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“It seems history is truly bound to repeat itself,” Mikhail said as he sat on a wreck of burned, twisted metal. He wiped a smudge from a cracked drinking glass with his thumb causing a dirty fingerprint to be smeared across the rim of the glass. He scrunched his nose and mouth in disgust. Troops dressed in forest camouflage marched past him ignoring him as if he were just another peasant. Of course there was nothing about him that set him apart from the rest. His dark blue great coat and pants were standard winter wear for a soldier in the White Army.


This was not a lifestyle he was accustomed to. He had had a sheltered childhood, never leaving the lavished palaces of St. Petersburg or the grand estates of the Russian aristocracy.. Now things were different, his grand empire was just a distant memory. What was left was a loose union of ruined provinces at war with one another beset by numerous unfriendly states.


The once proud Russian tsar was reduced to hiding in plain sight as little more than a common soldier. He had placed his hopes in several generals and admirals who were nominally loyal to him at best. In truth they were more concerned with seizing power for themselves while the remains of his once great empire tore itself apart.


What was left of Vostosklavia was ruled by the Supreme Soviet made up entirely of delegates from the Communist Party of Vostokslavia, which had made the city of Chelyabinsk its temporary capital. The true ruling body, the Politburo, 25 of the Communist Party’s most prominent members, directed the iron fist of the Red Army through the puppet Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars. It was through him that the Red Army was charged with the duty of capturing the ex-Emperor and bring him to justice, but that was not their main concern.


The Politburo was not only concerned with capturing and killing the ex-tsar. The Red Army had been formed to combat counterrevolutionary organizations like the White Army. LIkewise the NKVD was tasked with suppressing counterrevolutionary thought within cities and among the so called citizens of Vostokslavia.


However above all, the Politburo wanted to control the hearts and minds of the Vostokslavian people. Internal dissent would not be tolerated. Therefore, it was appropriate that the Committee for State Security began the single greatest operation to suppress opposition since it’s rebirth. Thousands of homes and businesses were searched with millions of rubles worth of contraband seized. Anywhere between 200 and 2600 summary executions were performed as alleged enemies of the revolution were “purged.” It was the bloodiest day in Russia in over nine decades. The government was careful to not identify the people it killed as political enemies, instead they were all labeled armed combatants and White Army spies.


This was just one face the Politburo put on in order to sow fear in order to prevent dissent. The other face, the one it presented to the world was one of benevolent dictators who promised a new and better future for the people. They even held show elections to replace the, until now, military government that ruled within the country’s borders.

--------------


On the heels of the nationwide purge and subsequent staged elections, Chairman-elect Fyodor Volkov rose to address a crowd of supporters from behind a bulletproof glass pane. He had light brown hair with greying spots on his temples. His hairline had receded and now showed more of his wrinkled forehead than ever before. A pair of dark eyes were set deep which somehow gave them a more sinister appearance. He wore a plain black business suit with a red flag pin pinned to the lapel. He embodied the ideals of the Vostokslav Communist Party--strength, wisdom and above all ruthlessness.


“These are dark days,” Volkov began, “The countless terrorists and counter revolutionaries that threaten our communist system will be forced out of hiding and annihilated. We have already brought many of them to justice in the recent operation, but our work is not done yet. As long as there are imperialists, capitalists and tsarist agitators within our peaceful society we will not rest. I know the people will stand with us and aid the government in its task. Anything less is treason.”

The chairman paused for a roar of applause there were likely disingenuous. “To all those watching at home and abroad, to foreign nations--friend and enemy alike; Vostokslavia is strong, the Communist Party remains in full force and while the Red Army marches this nation will be free!”

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