Often confused with the now-defunct Soviet Union.
Also noted for its cool space stuff and magical floating ekranoplans.
In 2008 Russia intervened in a Georgian land dispute - with the result that Tennessee retained its 1818 claim on the southern bank of the Tennessee River.
From 2000 to 2008 (officially), Russia was led by President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. Noted for his KGB background, judo expertise, habit of appearing shirtless and his spooky resemblance to both a Renaissance painting and Dobby the house-elf from Harry Potter, Putin is well known in popular culture. AH.com in particular has elevated him to action-hero status, with Flocculencio describing him as 'a Magnificent Bastard' before writing vignettes that feature Putin single-handedly taking on terrorists who attack the Kremlin in a Die Hard-esque scene, and so forth.
In 2008 Putin became prime minister, being replaced as president by Dmitry Medvedev. It is widely believed, at least in the West, that Medvedev is president in name only and Putin still holds real power. However, Calgacus recently advanced an alternative theory: upon noting how disproportionately large and square Medvedev's head is, he argued that “Medvedev” is really Putin wearing a square Medvedev's-head-shaped helmet.
Examples of AH.com lore about Putin:
From Flocculencio -
Putin's a nasty, nasty chap but, as I've said before, I can't help but look at him with some sort of horrified admiration- he's a Magnificent Bastard. He seems like he could be like an evil real-life version of Jack Ryan from Tom Clancy's books- you can imagine terrorists seizing the Kremlin only to be foiled by Putin taking to the air ducts. He'd kill one of the terrorists in a horrific way, possibly giving him a Viking-style Blood Eagle, and nailing him to the wall where the other terrorists soon find him. They make plans to evacuate only to find that Putin's put the entire place on lockdown. Then this message comes over the PA: “How ironic- the hunters have become the hunted. Now, gentlemen, let the games begin. Pray you live to see the dawn.” He'd hunt them through the Kremlin, taking them down one by one, playing little mind games to set them against each other. When dawn breaks, the locks are unsealed and Spetsnaz troopers pour into the building only to find one solitary surviving terrorist curled up in the foetal position, rocking gently and crying. They search the building and find only bodies until they reach Putin's office where he's calmly going through some paperwork. “Ah gentlemen- how nice to see you. Have someone send up some coffee- it's been a long night.”
From Doctor What -
What's Putin doing in all this? Skydiving out of a plane (without a parachute) into a forest filled with giant radioactive mutant wolves armed with only a dull spoon as a weapon. The giant radioactive mutant wolves died instantly just from one glance of Putin's Glare of Awesomeness ™, exploding into large clouds of vodka fumes–in which Putin then collected the fumes in a chalice made from the skull of the last journalist who wrote a 'downer' article about Putin being a dictator. Putin then spewed out the vodka and set fire to the fumes–thereby creating an impromptu rocket which launched him back into the plane where he jumped out from. With any other person, this would have been an event of a lifetime. For Putin–this was a Tuesday.
From Flocc again (on who would win the 2008 Georgian war):
Russia has Putin. He'll put on some warpaint and go out behind enemy lines at night to hunt the greatest game of all…Man! At the Georgian command posts the sentires will hear but a rustling in the night and the next morning they'll find all their senior officers dead in their beds- not even from violence but from pure, unadulterated fear, for they have seen the thing which goes bump in the night and they know that it is Putin…
A number of AH.commers come from Ukraine or Russia. In the early days of the board, most of them appeared to live in Canada or other western countries (USA, Germany)… The number of native Russian members has since then grown.
In AH, Russia often becomes a place for an evil communist regime, an evil fascist regime (typically in “CPs win WWI” scenarios), an evil czarist regime or an evil theocratic regime. Very often it also gets balkanised. Only very rarely it has a better fate, as some often lament.
One particularly evergreen cliché is that The Russians Want Alaska.