The lands west of the Urals and east of the Vistula are now some of the least habitable on Earth, approximately 60% yellow zones and 20% red. Western Russia is an autonomous zone, a patchwork of communes, city-states, and simple chaos. Moscow itself is a red zone, where human life only continues underground. East of the Urals, however, the USSR persists.
Vladivostok is the new capital of the new USSR. Government officials,
along with vital civilians, live in a large bunker complex beneath the
city. The only remnants of communism are aesthetic: emblems on uniforms and statues. The USSR is spartan, a military state, devoted to and dominated by a military hierarchy.
The cyclical plagues, allergen storms, and toxic rains that render so much of the Earth uninhabitable have largely spared Siberia and central Asia. Mutant animals, however, are more common, especially the giants: gigantic, unique monsters which range across the land. Although the USSR retains a greater ability to wage conventional war than most nations, much of its military is therefore focused on monster hunting and defense.
The USSR has a major technological advantage in the form of live, friendly elder things, retrieved from Antarctica and revived. Deep below the rest of the Vladivostok bunkers, the progenitors tutor their accidental children in the arts of hypnosis, applied neurology, and artificial intelligence. All USSR soldiers are hypnotically fortified, and more and more of their vehicles are assisted or automated by brain-chips, making for a psychologically sturdy military.
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