Here’s an intellectually respectable “Blast from the past” to understand the motives, a (August 23, 2008), “The Soviet ape-man scandal” by New Scientist’s Stephanie Pain:
When Ivanov put his proposal to the Academy of Sciences he painted it as the experiment that would prove men had evolved from apes. “If he crossed an ape and a human and produced viable offspring then that would mean Darwin was right about how closely related we are,” says Etkind. When Ivanov approached the government, he stressed how proving Darwin right would strike a blow against religion, which the Bolsheviks were struggling to stamp out. Success would not only bolster the reputation of Soviet science but provide useful anti-religious propaganda to boot.
But it was actually crazier. More.
Intellectually respectable: Not an effort to prevent awareness of the implications of Darwinism in human society; a look at the evidence.