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Russia of 2103
Banned words: neo, cyber.

We're looking at defining the cyberpunk Russia of 2103. Some of the questions that have been asked by staff are:

What does Russia look like?

What is its political status?

What about its climate? How has it been affected by global warming?

How relevant are historical events and figures to the population?

Please extrapolate and let us know if you have any other questions you'd like answered in our lore. :)

Ooooh I'd say that Russia of 2103 is very nationalist and isolationist, trying to survive in a world where many countries have lost their sovereignty. There's an odd mix of traditional and modern customs; the people treasure ballet and literature, for example, yet also are striving to be on the cutting edge of everything...although their efforts ultimately fail to live up to the ultra-technological Withmore City. The Russians' efforts to remain relevant are mainly seen in outer space, as Russian space stations compete with Freesky, and regularly map out the stars beyond the solar system.

Moscow is very much a thriving city, the buildings of old interspersed by new skyscrapers and factories. As global warming melts the permafrost in northern Russia, agriculture has become even more productive. (Haunted by the Chernobyl disaster, Russia declined to adopt nuclear energy, and thus was not affected by the nuclear blast that decimated much of the Middle East.)

Politically, Russians continue their trend of electing a strong leader. Though not a dictatorship, the Russian government has a great influence on its people, who still mourn the loss of their superpower status of yore. The Soviet Union is well-remembered, and the Soviet aesthetic is beloved by many traditionalists. Orthodox Christianity, Eternalism and atheism compete, young believers often starting fights on the city streets.

A question: In the Russian area of Red Sector, what is the poster saying "Remember St Petersburg" referring to?

I would call Russia one of the strongest countries left on earth. One of the richest one too. It's military controls the artic and Russia exploits the fossil fuels found in the artic also controlling a lot of trade in the northern hemisphere. Definetly a tense relationship with the new Prussian empire. Not sure if the Nordic countries are engulfed in the empire, but if they are Russia's military would have a lot of close encounters with the Prussian one. Similar to what is going kn between the US pacific fleet and the Chinese armed forces. Definitely aggressive leaders and little personal freedoms. Coorporations even not in power legally are pretty much the driving force of the Economy as oligarch control the very corrupt goverment and just like today the goverment prioritizes macro economic indicators over the general well being of the population in order to get profit for the massive mega corps.
Remember St. Petersburg:

From the timeline. It's a great read! More can be found there on the topic but these are the key bits.

2048.8

The tension between the Russian Syndicate and Genetek reaches breaking point, and hostilities become physical. Genetek floods the Russian cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg with shock troops. The army of corporate soldiers storms through the urban landscape, slaughtering one in three people. Genetek offers a final ultimatum: The Russian Syndicate pay a total of 4 trillion Australian dollars, or the rest of Moscow comes under the knife. The world at large is horrified. The Russian Syndicate grudgingly agrees. The UNGDC launches a full investigation on the troops used by Genetek in the attacks.

2049.3

The UNGDC concludes that the forces used by Genetek were heavily genetically altered. The world is highly concerned, as are many of the transnational corporations. The UNGDC appoints a task force to draft a new binding set of rules on clone technology that applies to all corporations, nations, and individuals.

This sounded like fun so I thought I'd throw in my rough vision. Take what you like and abandon what you don't!

==================

After Russia is forced to pay four trillion Australian dollars to Genetek after the attacks on Moscow and St. Petersburg in 2048, they find themselves in extreme financial hardship. Desperate for money the Russians begin essentially selling positions on the Council of Ministers to corporations with only geneTek being banned from operating within Russia or holding a position on the Council of Ministers.

The executive branch, headed by the President (who is elected by popular vote) continues to run the executive branch of the government and more or less sees to the basic needs of the nation. Military, police forces and the maintenance of all infrastructure not owned by a corporation falls under his purview. He is also in charge of appointing the prime minister who oversees the purchase of positions on the Council of Ministers and acts as an organizer of said ministers.

The country is heavily centralized with most of the population living in the Moscow sprawl, St. Petersburg or another large city. Most of the rural population lives on corporate owned and operated farms, mines, lumber mills, and so on. Corporations own large campuses and arcologies as well as most valuable real estate throughout the country. Public buildings, campuses and the land between them is cared for by the Russian government. As in Withmore, Jurisdiction is a big deal with various companies having extradition treaties with each other and the government but no real authority beyond their borders.

Cloning services are limited to the high and mighty in Russia as there are no GeneTek facilities within the country. This is the one point which the government has truly pushed on all corporations within the country. No GeneTek products or services are permitted at all. Though a few clone data brokers have been able to provide services to the most powerful figures in Russia, it is done with the upmost secrecy and that clone data is transmitted to neighboring countries country. Should such a person die they will "clone out" in a GeneTek facility in a neighboring country ans must discretely make their way back into Russia. Should the death be very public and it can not be passed off as "worse than the reality" an entire new identity must sometimes be taken and strings pulled to grant this new person access to their old wealth. The Bratva has proven very useful in providing smooth transitions (infiltration, new identities and wealth transfers).

Though the Russian government has grown in wealth and power they are spread thin across the vast country and that power is rarely collected in one place for long. Russia also still has a more traditional justice system involving judges, police and trials. Of course, the system is corrupt and the rich will nearly always gain a beneficial verdict.

The Russian government has also taken on a very corporate feel with the President acting as a kind of CEO. Though the president's power has diminished in some ways they are still a powerful and imposing figure to those under their domain. Beyond that, he can, if needed, assemble a fighting force greater than most corporations within Russian borders and has done so on a few occasions (especially when ensuring the anti-GeneTek provisions are enforced).

The average citizen of urban Russia often finds themselves to be visitors of many nations but citizens of none. While at work on corporate property they fall fully under the Corps authority. When they return home to their corporate owned apartment they are now fully under that corps authority. On the transit between they are frequently under the authority of the Russian Government. Though extradition (as mentioned above) is a common and major thing in Russia, there is far less cooperation and information exchange than found in Withmore.

True corporate citizens are those who have been deemed valuable enough to not only hire on but to also provide corporate living arrangements on corporate properties. Such an individuals spend a vast majority of their time on corporate property and rarely step foot onto other corps territories. When they do leave their corp's property is is with corporate transport and under corporate guard and usually just moving from one corporate campus to another.

Rural Russians are frequently born, raised and die in corporate complexes. Working, living and dying for their company. In some ways they are similar to the true corporate citizen but their lives have far less value (nearly none at all) and their pure corporate lifestyle is simple a matter of convenience and expedience.

I spent a huge chunk of my time in college studying Russian history, and there are a few constants to consider while brainstorming this stuff.

* Russia is huge. It isn't the most populous nation on earth (especially in 2103 after Genetek massacred millions of people) but it covers an enormous landmass with a much more diverse group of ethnicities (both native and imported) than any other country. If America is a melting pot, Russia is a boiling cauldron.

* Russia is always changing. It has constantly gone through enormous facelifts throughout its history, from the time of the Kievan Rus to the establishment of the Imperial line to the conquest of Siberia to Peter the Great's westernization to the Soviet revolution and finally the establishment of the Russian Federation. Russia in 2103 is probably unrecognizable in a lot of ways.

* Russia has an identity crisis. Because of the previous bullet points, it's often difficult for Russians (both individually and as reflected in larger social programs IE government propoganda) to define what their exact culture is. To solve this problem, they generally turn to collectivist ideology (as with anti-nationalist multicultural Soviet and post-Soviet propaganda) or canonize figures of the past as icons of Russian-ness. Today in the Russian Federation, many people, even those who are staunchly anti-communist, uphold Soviet-era leaders and figureheads like Stalin (actually a Georgian but shhh he's Russian) and Gagarin as national heroes and indicators of what is properly Russian. This tends to involve lots of painting over or talking around more unpleasant details, especially when these efforts are turned toward lionizing less pleasant figures like Ivan the Terrible. Russia in 2103 probably still venerates these figures (and those who have come and gone through the 21st century), but that should tend toward the politically cynical, twisting their words and actions to support and legitimize the regime and the corporations currently in power.

* Russians did some extremely dope shit despite seemingly always being at a disadvantage. I personally believe the establishment of Magnitogorsk and the subsequent industrialization of the Soviet Union was the greatest feat of 20th century industry. They won the space race. They modernized the country in the span of a generation under Peter the Great. They seem to be pretty good at information warfare and remote political influence, and are presently using globalization and the internet to do things that didn't seem terribly likely just a few years ago. Russia may be cash poor in 2103, but the country should probably be good at leveraging pure manpower and seemingly out-of-nowhere strokes of genius. Think lower-tech industrial brute force versus Japan's sleek high-tech perfection.

* Russia has always been a place where large-scale political violence has been an accepted reality. Journalists and activists today are being jailed or silenced in ways that reflect the Gulag system of the past. In the latter days of the Empire, outright massacres of civilians by military forces were not unheard of. Peasants did not have any rights to speak of until the 19th century and prior to that could be done away with without anyone in power experiencing any real consequences. In 2103, what's left of Russia's government is probably more violent than the Hall could ever dream of being, and the Corporations are probably even worse.

* Russia is loaded with natural resources and as glaciers retreat and sea lanes open up, Russians today are already seeking to take advantage of newly uncovered natural gas deposits. It'd be kind of funny if 2013's shitass climate was a boon for the Russian economy, giving them greater access to resources previously buried under polar ice.

Disclaimer: I have never lived in Russia or experienced these things personally, so someone who has spent a lot of time there may know more than me!

Vera's answer is so good that I would probably put her in charge of writing Russia's lore.
Alright,

I appreciate the time and work everyone has put into this thread so far but I think we've proceeded with an idea that has no structure or form behind it.

What we're going to do instead of take a step back, recognize that putting a vast amount of work into one society in our timeline only creates a new demand for us to put equal amounts of work into other societies in our timeline, thus creating more and more work that while it improves the backstory and lore of our world, does not immediately improve the quality of the gameplay experience.

We've always believed that player imaginations were one of our best assets and we let people make up the lore in small bits in their histories that we approve, they can play the characters they want with the backgrounds they come up with.

That being said, I want to structure out an upgrade to our lore, and the major players in the world that would be published all at once, not a country at a time, because if I know how we all work, we'd do one, realize it's more work than we wanted to be involved with, and be stuck with Russia being the only country with significant lore development.

So, I am going to work with Mephisto and whoever else to set out a series of guidelines and requirements such as a specific number of type of events we want to cover that are pertinent to the development of a society, and a specific number of each type of event we want to showcase, and we'll start with the countries that have coded languages. Russia, Japan, Some major European players like New Prussian Empire, etc, so on and so forth.

Once we've defined what we actually want the end product to look like, we'll petition the player base for assistance if it's needed.

Thanks.