->''They called Hitler crazy. But Hitler was not crazy. He was stupid. You don't fight Russia ''and'' America. You get Russia and America to fight each other--and destroy each other.''
-->-- '''Dressler''', ''Film/TheSumOfAllFears''

With the fall of communism in Europe, Russia lost some of its villain status, so writers were stuck on how to find evil Russians with UsefulNotes/MnogoNukes on hand. Because, frankly, there's no one else with cruise missile subs and carriers[[note]]Ironically, post-Soviet Russia only has ''one'' carrier, and even it is actually a "[[{{Battlestar}} Heavy Aviation Cruiser]]"[[/note]] for the US to fight. And if you try to set up the conflict in a work of fiction as UsefulNotes/YanksWithTanks versus UsefulNotes/ChineseWithChopperSupport, suddenly you've [[BannedInChina gone and alienated one of the largest markets in the world]].

There are two solutions: RenegadeRussian, or Make the Bear Angry Again.

The latter is where Russia stays in its authoritarian military democracy, or ditches that silly "democracy" bit altogether, and grows increasingly aggressive, possibly reabsorbing the post-Soviet states as some sort of a Soviet Reunion, Eurasian Empire, or something equally scary sounding. This allows Russia to start attacking places again and being generally assertive. More extreme versions will see post-Soviet Russia go on the path of [[RussiaTakesOverTheWorld outright global conquest]]. Probably will not involve actual bears, [[BearsAreBadNews unless Russia decides to get serious this time]].

This trope is also played with in some Russian fiction; it's close to playing it straight, but of course [[MyCountryRightOrWrong it's not viewed as a bad thing]].

Compare/Contrast TheGreatPoliticsMessUp, WhyWeAreBummedCommunismFell.

Contrast RussiaIsWestern, in which Russia fully blends into the Western world.

Administrivia/NoRealLifeExamplesPlease The trope involves [[FlameBait dangerous amounts of politics]].


* Creator/TomClancy's novel ''The Sum of All Fears'' was set during the Cold War and therefore not an example of the trope. When it was adapted as [[Film/TheSumOfAllFears a movie in 2002]] with Creator/BenAffleck and Creator/MorganFreeman, the story was updated using the tropes Make The Bear Angry Again, RenegadeRussian, and TerroristsWithoutACause.
* In ''Film/CanadianBacon'', the executive branch of the US government ''tries'' to get Russia to fight with them again in an attempt to improve their approval ratings ([[HilariousInHindsight predicting no one would]] [[FunnyAneurysmMoment take a terrorist threat seriously]]). The head of the Russian government smugly rejects their offer to be rivals again, so the administration settles on a smear campaign against Canada instead.
* Film/RedDawn2012 features UsefulNotes/NorthKoreansWithNodongs as the main enemy of the Northwest Coast protagonists, but several Russian advisors are seen from the Airborne Troops and Spetznaz. It's also implied that the Russians have attacked the entire Eastern Seaboard and that the North Korean invasion is actually a sideshow to the even more lightly implied Chinese invasion of the the rest of the West Coast.

* Creator/DaleBrown -- where Russia ''[[UsefulNotes/FromRussiaWithNukes launches nukes]]'' at the USA.
* The Covert One novel ''The Moscow Vector''.
* In the Creator/TomClancy book "[[Literature/JackRyan The Bear and the Dragon]]", China wakes Russia up and still wins against a bear weakened by a poor economy beset by kleptomaniacs in power and TheMafiya. Thanks to bringing Russia into NATO, earlier in the book, the US then comes to Russia's aid. [[CurbStompBattle The predictable]] ensues.
* In the backstory to the ''Literature/LeftBehind'' series (first book written and published in 1995) Russia attacks Israel, due to Israel becoming something of a LastFertileRegion (or at least, much more fertile than it was before), and the Bear is just plain angry that Israel won't share the AppliedPhlebotinum that made this possible. (All of this stems from the authors' interpretations of Biblical prophecies.)
* The ''[[Literature/EclipseTrilogy Eclipse]]'' series by John Shirley has a resurrected Soviet Union.
** Similarly, the slow, and generally ignored, Union State (or, more superfluously, the Union State of Russia and Belarus) is a ''real life'' supranational entity intended as the framework for shared national economies, a unified judicial system, a shared parliament and, of course, a shared military command. Widely ignored in the West, and NATO, perhaps because of its sluggishness and the nonthreatening fact that its members and proposed members are all voluntary participants with either historic ties to the Russian Federation (Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan) or frozen conflict zones (Transnistria, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia), frequently former autonomous districts who are no longer on speaking terms with newly-founded republics they were lumped with. One exception is Serbia, which has never (literally and figuratively) answered to Moscow. Its similarity to the Soviet Union is ''probably'' not a coincidence.
* Apparently HumongousMecha and BlackBox technology prevented the Soviet Union from falling in ''Lightnovel/FullMetalPanic''.
** According to the background information in the light novels, development of weaponized Black Technology resulted in a pan-middle eastern conflict and a civil war in China. This changed international relationships, delaying the opening of the USSR, and during this period the coup against Gorbachev was successful, resulting in his assassination and the continuation of the Soviet Union. [[spoiler:Of course, for those developing said weaponized Black Technology, this arrangement has proven to be satisfactory and '''very''' profitable...]]
* One of the first of these works is Barrett Tillman's ''Literature/TheSixthBattle'' from 1992, where a military coup overthrows the nascent Russian democracy, gets most of the former republics back into what is re-branded the Union of Eurasian Republics and then gets its allies together to invade [[UsefulNotes/TheApartheidEra apartheid South Africa]].
* In ''Literature/EndersGame'', the Warsaw Pact is a frequently-mentioned threat, and at the end of the book they even launch a brief civil war within the IF. The original book was written before the collapse of the Soivet Union, and later novels refer to this organization as the ''Second'' Warsaw Pact, implying that the Soviet Union re-formed after its real-life collapse.
* ''Literature/TheTimeTraders'' by Creator/AndreNorton, first published 1958, features a conflict between the USA and the Russians over TimeTravel technology. When it was re-released after the end of the Cold War, it included a new paragraph describing the emergence of a belligerent "Greater Russia" from the ruins of the old Soviet Union.
* Subverted in FyodorBerezin's ''Incoming Cataclysm'', where it is initially assumed that Russia may have gone back to its Soviet days, when an American base is destroyed by forces bearing the hammer-and-sickle red star. However, it is eventually determined that the attackers are from a [[AlternateUniverse parallel world]] where the Soviet Union is the dominant power. The rest of the novel is a major naval battle between our world's American carrier group and the other world's Soviet carrier group (the latter didn't really exist in RealLife). The parallel Soviets assume they're fighting ''their'' Americans (a pretty common occurance for them), while most of the American servicemen (except for the top brass) assume they're fighting some new unknown threat that uses Soviet symbology. Both sides use technology unknown (or seen as archaic) to the other, such as satellites and stealth ships for the Americans and ground effect planes and battleships for the Soviets. Both sides lose their supercarriers, which causes the Soviet forces to return to their native dimension (the rift was formed by the presence of active nuclear reactors).

* ''Series/{{Spooks}}'' played this straight in its seventh series.
** Series ten featured {{Renegade Russian}}s trying to trick Britain into this.
* Several episodes of ''Series/TheXFiles'', notably MythArc two-parter "Tunguska"/"Terma" in Season Four. According to those episodes, the Russians still operate gulags and have KGB assassins infiltrating the West, as part of their own project to research/cover up alien life. The Cigarette-Smoking Man lampshades the trope, telling a colleague: "Wake the Russian bear, and it may find that we've stolen its honey."

[[folder:Video Games]]
* As expected, this is pretty much what happens in ''Creator/TomClancy's VideoGame/EndWar.'' Awash with money and resources after a catastrophic energy crisis, the Russians decide to make themselves the world's only superpower. They even spark WorldWarIII by turning the [[EagleLand United States]] and [[UnitedEurope European Federation]] against each other.
* ''VideoGame/WorldInConflict'' is set in an AlternateHistory, where USSR launches an attack on US and Western Europe in 1989 (in RealLife, the final, milder part of the UsefulNotes/ColdWar), with China later joining the party (no, not the Party)[[note]]An ''extreme'' stretch, given that Russia and China are not on friendly terms, and in fact tend to despise each other[[/note]]. It should be noted that since this ''is'' an AlternateHistory where the Soviet Union has not yet collapsed, it can probably be said that the Bear of this universe never ''stopped'' being angry in the first place.
* The ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty: VideoGame/ModernWarfare'' series mixes this with RenegadeRussian. During the events of ''Call of Duty 4'', a nuclear weapon was detonated in the middle of a Middle Eastern city at the command of a pair of Russian terrorists (Imran Zakhaev and his protege Vladimir Makarov). Zakhaev's death at the end of the game for the bombing has him dying as a martyr, allowing an Ultranationalist party to seize control of the Russian government in the intervening five years leading to ''Modern Warfare 2''. The bear gets angry again when a FalseFlagOperation conducted by Makarov (who himself was ''too'' radical for the incumbent Ultranationalist leadership, continuing the Renegade Russian theme) leaves Russia thinking an American terrorist perpetrated an attack on an airport, prompting an invasion and the start of WorldWarIII.
* Russia goes to war with Georgia in ''VideoGame/GhostRecon'' - an example that can be considered [[DeFictionalization defictionalized]] to a point.
* The first ''VideoGame/DeusEx'' computer game, set in the near future, subtly implies that the Soviet Union might have risen again when the player encounters some emails with the domain "sovnet."
* The ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlertSeries'' never really let the Bear [[TimeTravel calm down much]], but [[VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert3 the third game]] takes place in a contemporary-''looking'' world, so this trope is right at home.
** Both ''[[VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert2 Red Alert 2]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert3 Red Alert 3]]'' (which are [[AlternateUniverse technically]] the same war [[TimeTravel because of reasons]]) involve the Soviet Union rearming after being decisively defeated during ''[[VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert Red Alert 1]]'', disarmed, and put under an Allied puppet government, thus Making the Bear Angry after an entirely ''different'' sort of hiatus.
* [[OhGodWithTheVerbing And again with the]] TimeTravel, ''{{VideoGame/Singularity}}'' never calms the Bear down either, and then has it [[spoiler: take over the world]].
* In ''VideoGame/ShatteredUnion'', Russia invades Alaska after Washington, D.C., is destroyed by WesternTerrorists and the rest of the country splits into six factions, all vying for control. The hard-line Russian President Vladekov claims that [[RussiaCalledTheyWantAlaskaBack Alaska should always have been a part of Russia]] and, since it's separate from the rest of the US, it has no business being a part of that country. Later on, it is revealed that [[spoiler:the Russian president masterminded the D.C. attack]]. It is also revealed that the Russian people are against the invasion and the military build-up and will rise up if Vladekov is sufficiently weakened by the re-unified US.
* Several games in the ''VideoGame/{{Battlefield}}'' series set in the modern era seem to go with this approach, pitting the Russians against the US. Notable examples include the ''[[VideoGame/BattlefieldBadCompany Bad Company]]'' games, ''VideoGame/BattlefieldPlay4Free'', ''VideoGame/{{Battlefield 3}}'', and ''VideoGame/{{Battlefield 4}}''.
** The ''VideoGame/ProjectReality'' mod has a few examples as well, as some maps will have the Russians fighting against factions they'd normally be on friendly terms with.
* The {{backstory}} of the ''{{StarFight}}'' games has Russia undergo another revolution on September 11, 2012 (Note: this is an old game, so they had no way of knowing 9/11 would become an infamous date). A year later, the Soviet States of Russia are formed, starting a new UsefulNotes/ColdWar. This time, it's with the [[UnitedNationsIsASuperPower UN]], which has, essentially, become a single entity. After the discovery of FTLTravel, UN forms the [[SpaceNavy UNSF]] and uses it to annex the SSR. The remaining Soviet leadership flees Earth for Mezen Prime, an Earth-like world found and settled by SSR, reforming the SSR into the Soviet States of Mezen. Later, the UNSF and SSM fight several wars, resulting in an [[AIIsACrapshoot AI revolt]] which bombs Earth back into the Stone Age and turns Mezen Prime uninhabitable.
* ''VideoGame/{{Vanquish}}'' has the Russians returning to a militaristic country, at odds with the rest of world, after a Military coup. This of course leads to them attacking the 51st American state; InSpace!
* In ''[[VideoGame/{{Earth 2150}} Earth 2140]]'' and its sequels, the [[TheEmpire Eurasian Dynasty]] was formed after WorldWarThree has destroyed all the old nation-states in the mid-21st century. A Russian Army colonel leads his remaining men from their bunker East into what used to be Mongolia, where they encounter the Khans, a nomadic tribe. Joining with them, the colonel proceeds to start conquering what's left of civilization in Europe and Asia. He also marries into the tribe, changes his name, and forms his own dynasty, which persists for another century. By the time of the ill-fated Dynasty's war with the [[EagleLand United Civilized States]], ED now controls all of Europe, Asia, and Africa using cyborg armies and military equipment that has not changed since the last war (and if that means going up against HumongousMecha with old-fashioned tanks, so be it). They are the least technological faction in the games, but can easily out-produce the others, preferring the WeHaveReserves approach.
** According to the ''Earth 2160'' intro, Russia went communist again in 2008. Troop movements followed, culminating in a nuclear strike against an (presumably) American naval battle group. After a bit, Washington, D.C., is leveled by a nuke. Then it goes FromBadToWorse. There may be a RetCon here, as the [[AllThereInTheManual manual]] for ''Earth 2150'' claims that the nuclear war started in the 2040s.
* Surprisingly averted in ''VideoGame/CivilizationBeyondEarth''. The Slavic Federation expedition is led by General Vadim Kozlov. Despite the military title, the man's backstory reveals that he's not warlike in the least and that his main obsession is space exploration. He's a thin-veiled {{Expy}} of UsefulNotes/YuriGagarin (he even uses Gagarin's CatchPhrase at the end of a speech). Sure, like any faction, the player can play the Slavic Federation as he or she wishes, but SF's main bonus is directly related to space which can be used for both peaceful and military purposes. It's not clear if the trope applies to the Slavic Federation on Earth.
* A FantasyCounterpartCulture example in ''Videogame/AceCombat5TheUnsungWar''. After a period of peace efforts kickstarted by the end of a world war 15 years before where they fought on the same side, Yuktobania suddenly declares war on Osea (thinly veiled expies of the Soviet Union and the US, respectively). [[spoiler:Later revealed to be an InvokedTrope, since the war was orchestrated by [[TheRemnant remnants]] of resident [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Nazi Germany expy]] Belka, the country that caused and lost the previous war, using puppet governments on both sides to cause an war that would eventually ruin both nations in revenge.]]
* ''VideoGame/AllianceOfValiantArms'' has the "Neo-Russian Federation"; Russia returning to a communist regime in the early 21st century and engaging in an expansionist military campaign against their European neighbors.

* The ''WebOriginal/ZhirinovskysRussianEmpire'' timeline in Website/AlternateHistoryDotCom has the titular RealLife excentric, nationalist politician become President of Russia and later the whole post-Soviet Union after a cascade of events including Yeltsin's assassination during the 1991 coup attempt, and remain in power until he is overthrown by a popular revolution in 2003. The Soviet Union (minus the Baltic republics) is not dissolved but turned into a [[ANaziByAnyOtherName fascist-esque]] federation known as the Union of Independent States, that launches or gets involved in wars in the dissolving Yugoslavia, Romania, Estonia, Afghanistan and Pakistan besides doing its best to discourage its member republics from breaking away.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Spoofed by ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', where Russia reveals that TheGreatPoliticsMessUp was a sham, and dramatically returns to its Soviet ways - including the Berlin Wall popping back up from the ground and the corpse of Lenin arising and staggering around his tomb, moaning "Must crush capitalism..."
--> "The Soviet Union?" I thought you guys broke up.
--> Yes, Zat's vat ve ''vanted'' you to think! [EvilLaugh]