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Soviet Union

The Soviet Union, or USSR, was a large socialist grouping of countries that spanned Europe and Asia which existed on Earth during the 20th century.


Russia was part of the USSR. and, as such, the Russian language was extensively spoken by its peoples. Ukraine and Kazakhstan were also parts of the Soviet Union. (AUDIO: Thin Ice, 1963: The Space Race)

The Soviet Union worked with the Committee for many years. (AUDIO: Zone 10)


Early history[]

The Russian Revolution of 1917 replaced Russia's monarchy with a communist government. The October Revolution, which took place on 7 November 1917, was a part of the larger revolution and was noted for being particularly bloody. (PROSE: History 101)

Its leader was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. During its existence, the position was held by Joseph Stalin, Nikita Khrushchev, Konstantin Chernenko and Mikhail Gorbachev, among others. (PROSE: History 101, Who Killed Kennedy; AUDIO: Protect and Survive)

The symbol of the Soviet Union was the hammer and sickle. (COMIC: Target Practice)

In the 1920s, the KVI was formed out of an organisation previously set up by the tsar to investigate extraterrestrial activities. (PROSE: Trace Memory)

In Asia, the USSR's influence leaked southwards into China after the revolution in 1911, fostering a growing communist movement which posed a challenge to the Kuomintang led by Chiang Kai-shek. The communists were successfully confined to the mountains in north and central China, bordering Mongolia, prior to 1937.

In Japan, until February 1936, the Kodo Ha faction of the Imperial Japanese Army argued that the army should further consolidate occupied Manchukuo in order to offset strategic advantages enjoyed by the Soviet Union which threatened the Japanese Empire. (PROSE: The Shadow of Weng-Chiang)

In 1938, Glory Bee was a Soviet spy. (AUDIO: Invaders from Mars)

Prior to World War II, the Soviet Union began research into psychic powers in the hope of creating a psychic bomb designed to provoke extreme emotions in people. This ambition had been achieved by 1965. (AUDIO: Peshka)

World War II[]

Before the outbreak of the war in September 1939, the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany. (AUDIO: An Eye For Murder) The pact stipulated that Poland be split between Germany and the USSR. Hitler hoped this would keep the Soviets off Germany's back but fully intended to attack them eventually. The Soviets participated in the invasion of Poland which started the war. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus)

During the war, the Soviet Union was allied with the United States of America, the United Kingdom, France and other nations against Nazi Germany. (AUDIO: Resistance, TV: The Curse of Fenric) They entered the war in 1941 after Germany attacked them in order to capture their land, oil, grain, and metals and to use their people as slaves. (PROSE: Just War, Losing the Audience) The Soviets suffered terribly during Operation Barbarossa, (PROSE: The Shadow in the Glass) losing almost two million soldiers as prisoners of war in the Battles of Bialystok, Kyiv and Vyazma-Briansk. The Germans advanced 1,000 miles into Soviet territory but when the snowy winter arrived in 1941, the Soviets adapted to the harsh conditions better than the Germans and successfully pushed them back from Moscow. (PROSE: Just War)

Cold War[]

The post-Second World War state of tension which existed between the Soviet Union and capitalist Western nations such as the United States and the United Kingdom was known as the Cold War. (PROSE: First Frontier, Endgame; TV: Dreamland, Cold War; AUDIO: Threshold, Protect and Survive)

This led to an arms race which saw mass stockpiling of nuclear weapons by all concerned. (TV: Cold War; AUDIO: Protect and Survive) The Cold War remained tense in 1983. (TV: Cold War) However, it had ended by 1993. (PROSE: Goth Opera)

During World War II, when it appeared that the United Kingdom would be invaded by Nazi Germany, four citadels were built under the surface of London. They were intended to allow the British government to continue operations if the worst happened. After the war, the citadels were maintained due to the threat posed by the Soviet Union in the Cold War. (AUDIO: The Fifth Citadel)

In the 1950s, the Fourth Doctor and Leela visited the Soviet Union. (AUDIO: Sound the Siren And I'll Come To You Comrade)

In 1951, the Eighth Doctor visited Moscow in the Soviet Union. (PROSE: Endgame)

In 1956, the Soviet Union invaded Hungary. (AUDIO: 1963: The Assassination Games)

The Soviet Union also had an extensive space program. It oversaw the production and launch of Sputnik, Earth's first artificial satellite, in October 1957. Its launch was reported on by the BBC on 15 October of that year. (AUDIO: Unregenerate!)

Several humans were also sent into space as part of the program; they were termed "cosmonauts". (PROSE: The Mind Extractors) During the 1960s, Yuri Gagarin and Valentina Tereshkova, the first person and first woman in space respectively as far as the majority of humanity was concerned, were among them. (AUDIO: Thin Ice)

After her detection from the Soviet Union to the United Kingdom in 1958, the Czechoslovakian scientist Dr Nadia Červenka provided the Sen-Gen Facility with a neuro-chemical hallucinogen developed using a yellow fungus which was discovered in the Tunguska crater. It was believed to be extraterrestial in origin. (AUDIO: Artificial Intelligence)

In November 1963, a Soviet spy ring was operating in London. A spy who went by the alias of Miles Barrington Smythe was working with an MI6 double agent. (TV: The Cambridge Spy)

In 1964, the British intelligence agency MI5 believed that the new Prime Minister Harold Wilson was a Soviet spy. (AUDIO: State of Emergency)

By 1965, the Soviet Union was experimenting with the weaponisation of magnetic forces. It constructed the satellite Maurania 7, which crashed in Lower Burford, Herefordshire, for that purpose. (AUDIO: Unto the Breach)

The Seventh Doctor and Ace attended the ceremony held in honour of the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution in Red Square in Moscow on 7 November 1967. The Doctor explained to Ace that the celebration of the October Revolution was held in November as Russia was still using the Julian calendar, which was eleven days behind the Gregorian calendar, in 1917. (AUDIO: Thin Ice)

Soon after UNIT was formed, they used a Russian rocket to destroy the Cybermen's invasion fleet. (TV: The Invasion)

In 1971, a UNIT soldier named Francis Cleary was mentally conditioned by the Master to travel back in time using a Time Ring and prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy on 22 November 1963. The Master ordered him to wear a Soviet military uniform in order to fool the United States of America into thinking that the Soviet Union was responsible for the attempt on Kennedy's life, thus leading to a nuclear war in which hundreds of millions would die. This plot was defeated by the journalist James Stevens, who likewise travelled from 1971 to 1963 using a Time Ring. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy)

In the 1970s, four Soviet cosmonauts had their minds extracted by an alien Extractor. (PROSE: The Mind Extractors)

Also in the 1970s, a Soviet spy attempted to talk the Third Doctor into defecting, but was unsuccessful. (COMIC: Target Practice)

A Soviet propaganda poster in the Scottish town of Краснодар, used for Cold War training. (TV: Before the Flood)

Several years later, the British and Soviet branches of UNIT worked together against the Waro threat. (PROSE: The Devil Goblins from Neptune)

In response to the Luron invasion of Earth in 1979, the Soviet Union placed its entire nuclear weapons arsenal at UNIT's disposal. (AUDIO: The Valley of Death)

In 1983, the Soviet submarine, the Firebird, discovered the Ice Warrior Skaldak frozen in ice beneath the North Pole. (TV: Cold War)

On 8 May 1984, the Soviet Union announced that it was boycotting the Olympic Games which were to be held in Los Angeles later that year. (AUDIO: The Reaping)

On 26 April 1986, the nuclear reactor at Chernobyl underwent a meltdown. (COMIC: Black Destiny)

In the 1980s, Mikhail Gorbachev succeeded Chernenko as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. (AUDIO: Protect and Survive)

In 1989, the Soviet Union withdrew its troops from Afghanistan. (COMIC: The Broken Man)

In November 1989 there were protests for democracy in several Eastern Bloc countries, such as Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. Gorbachev, still president, allowed the nations to leave the bloc, with the Soviet Union splitting up, and the Berlin Wall being pulled down. (AUDIO: Protect and Survive) Later, fighting broke out in the former Soviet territories and was still underway by 1994. (PROSE: Invasion of the Cat-People)

Alternative timelines[]

In an alternative timeline in which Nazi Germany won World War II as a result of the Seventh Doctor and Ace accidentally leaving laser technology in Colditz Castle in October 1944, the Nazi scientists were able to refine uranium and create nuclear weapons. They subsequently bombed Moscow, forcing the surrender of the Soviet Union and winning the war for Germany. (AUDIO: Klein's Story)

In an alternative timeline created by the Elder Gods in the hope of destroying Earth, Vladimir Kryuchkov became the Soviet General Secretary instead of Gorbachev in the 1980s. On 9 November 1989, World War III broke out with the Soviet Union on the one side and the United States and its allies, including the United Kingdom, on the other. Given that nuclear weapons were used by both sides, hundreds of millions of people were killed in the conflict. This timeline was ultimately negated by the Seventh Doctor. (AUDIO: Protect and Survive)

Behind the scenes[]

  • To describe events throughout the second half of the 20th century, the names "Russia" and "Soviet Union" are often used interchangeably, but are in fact separate. Although the biggest by far, Russia was only one of several republics that formed the Union.
  • In the real world, the Soviet Union was created in 1922 and dissolved in 1991.