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The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Russian: Сою́з Сове́тских Социалисти́ческих Респу́блик; Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik), abbreviated to USSR (Russian: СССР; SSSR) or shortened to the Soviet Union (Russian: Сове́тский Сою́з; Sovetskiy Soyuz), and at times informally referred to as Reds (Russian: Красные; Krasnyye) in reference to their adherence to Communism,[1] was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. Out of the 15 republics of the USSR, Russia was the largest in terms of size, and making up over half of the total USSR population, dominated the union for its entire 69-year history.

The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917, when the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the provisional government that had replaced the Tsar. They established the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (renamed Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in 1936), beginning a civil war between the revolutionary "Reds" and the counter-revolutionary "Whites." The Red Army entered several territories of the former Russian Empire and helped local Communists take power through soviets, which nominally acted on behalf of workers and peasants. In 1922, the Communists were victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian, and Byelorussian republics.

The newly-founded USSR became a founding member of the Philosophers, alongside the United States of America and China.

World War II

In World War II, the USSR fought against Nazi Germany in the Eastern Front, referred to domestically by the Soviets as the "Great Patriotic War," under the leadership of Joseph Stalin, largely due to the latter group violating the Molotov-Ribbentroff Pact via Operation Barbarosa. In 1940, Stalin ordered the NKVD to carry out a series of mass executions of at least 20,000 Polish nationals in Katyn, Western Ukraine and Belarus. After becoming a member of the Allies, the Soviet Union went on to defeat Germany on the Eastern Front, which was decisive in bringing about an end to the war. The Soviet Union and the United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the Cold War.

Cold War incidents

In the early 1960s, the Cold War between the USA and the Soviet Union reached a vital point following the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion. In 1962, a U2 Spy Plane photographed a Nuclear Weapons Disposal Facility in Cuba, gaining evidence that the Soviets were in fact using it to store live missiles, sparking the fear of nuclear war. In the resulting Cuban Missile Crisis, President John F. Kennedy made a deal with Soviet Union leader Nikita Khrushchev, that in return for the U.S. not invading Cuba, the Soviet Union would remove their missiles.

In actuality, the U.S.'s part of the deal was not just to not invade, but in fact to provide the Soviet Union with scientist Nikolai Stepanovich Sokolov. In 1964, in an operation known as the Virtuous Mission, Naked Snake was sent to rescue Sokolov and return him safely to the West. The operation was, in official records, a disastrous failure. However, in a follow up mission, known as Operation Snake Eater, Snake was successful in destroying a secret nuclear weapon, being developed by the extremist GRU Colonel, Volgin.

Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." Its canonicity within the continuity is disputed, therefore reader discretion is advised.[?]

Afterwards, Naked Snake, now known as Big Boss, was hailed as a hero by some in the Soviet Union, due to his fight against Volgin, given Jonathan's comments during the San Hieronymo Incident.

By 1964, the Soviet Union had scouted a new location for a missile base on the San Hieronymo Peninsula, following their failure to do so in Cuba. However, when the era of détente began in 1970, the Soviets halted construction of the base, in order to participate in the SALT Talks endorsed by Richard Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev. To conceal the base's existence, the personnel were abandoned, with both supplies and communications cut off. This ultimately led to an uprising after the renegade FOX Unit took over the base, and the Soviet Union was threatened with a nuclear attack from the ICBMG, though this later proved to be a ruse.

Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.

At some point later, the Soviet Union dispatched KGB operative Vladimir Zadornov to Costa Rica, to help spread Communism across Central America, and to split America into two and thus win the Cold War. He tricked CIA Station Chief Hot Coldman into forging an alliance with him and attempted to use Peace Walker to launch a nuke towards Cuba from an American base in Nicaragua, to ensure the plan succeeded. However, the KGB's plan backfired when Coldman ended up going through with the launch upon dying, and leaking false data to NORAD, which almost resulted in an all out nuclear war.

In the 1980s, the Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan in order to help prop up the country's leading communist party against a growing insurgency of rebels. Around this time, then-President Ronald Reagan, while making a speech, denounced the Soviet Union as the Evil Empire. During this time the Soviets were developing Metal Gear Sahelanthropus with the help of Huey Emmerich, but both Sahelanthropus and Huey were stolen by XOF before the project could be completed. Venom Snake and Diamond Dogs found themselves going toe-to-toe with Soviet troops on multiple occasions. Sometimes it was part of their grand crusade to destroy Cipher, but often they had been hired by the insurgents to aid in the rebellion. Their soldiers originally encompassed not just those within the Baltic states, but also throughout Central Asia. However, by the time of 1984, most of the Soviet soldiers were Russian, with Ocelot implying that the change had been made in order to ensure their forces didn't have any misgivings in killing the Afghani forces. In 1989, the Soviets pulled out of Afghanistan.

Warning: The following information is from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." Its canonicity within the continuity is disputed, therefore reader discretion is advised.[?]

During its time, the Soviet Union frequently stoked ethnic tensions within its member republics (including Georgia and Abkhazia), as a means to further control them. When the Soviet Union fell in the 1990s, this resulted in previously restrained ethnic tensions boiling to the surface. A notable example of this was the Georgian Civil War in the 1990s, with similar occurrences in breakaway states such as South Ossetia from Georgia, Transnistria in Moldova, and Nagorno-Karabakh from Azerbaijan.

Non-"Metal Gear Saga" information ends here.

Behind the scenes

As a former world superpower, the Soviet Union plays an important role in the Metal Gear series, with many characters, organizations, and technologies originating from there.

The ex-Soviet territory of Zanzibar Land serves as the setting of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. In that game's plot, which takes place in 1999, the Soviet Union still exists, reflecting reality at the time of the game's release in 1990. When the Soviet Union collapsed in the following year, its role was transferred to the Commonwealth of Independent States for the plot summary featured in Metal Gear Solid.[2] However, the re-released versions of Metal Gear 2 still mention the Soviet Union in its intro, due to the game's script not having been updated.[3]

The Soviet region of Tselinoyarsk is the setting of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.

Ronald Reagan's reference to the Soviet Union as an "evil empire," mentioned in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, is taken from the Star Wars films.


See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Kojima Productions (2015)
    Episode 9: Backup, Back Down
    Kazuhira Miller: All right, target extracted. Sorry, Reds, it [armored vehicle] belongs to Diamond Dogs now.
    This is said by Miller if the player chooses to extract two to five armored vehicles.
  2. ^ Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
    Special > Previous Operations > Metal Gear 2 Solid Snake
    Zanzibar Land was a democratic military regime that suddenly appeared in Central Asia in 1997. When their uprising took place, the CIS army, formed around Russia, sent a suppressive unit immediately.
  3. ^ Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (re-release), Kojima Productions (2006).
    A military junta comes to power in Zanzibar Land, a small nation bordering on the USSR, China, and the Middle East.
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