When: post World War II
Googled: [Soviet codenames "secret project"]
As far as I know, in the U.S. code names for secret projects are (with exceptions) two words, generated by a central agency (N.S.A. ??) from independent lists of adjectives and nouns, then eyeballed to make sure they aren't inadvertently obscene or come too close to the project's purpose. Results like "Elegant Broomstick" or "Rubicund Hamster" are acceptable.
Does anyone know how this worked in the U.S.S.R? The project in question could be civilian or military or a joint effort.