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The magnates looked at each other, joy and fear crossing their faces (except for Beria, who made no attempt to hide his dismay). There was only one question on everyone's minds: what would Stalin do next?
Closing sentence of the first chapter

Twilight of the Red Tsar is an AlternateHistory.com timeline by user Napoleon IV.

In 1953 in Our Timeline (OTL), Joseph Stalin, the dreaded Soviet dictator, perished when he suffered a stroke alone. Having perished in his bedroom alone, no one dared enter it to check up on him until it was too late to save him.

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However, in this timeline (TTL), Stalin survives the stroke, albeit significantly weakened. The story follows the Soviet dictator as he begins a new purge of his imagined enemies, at home and abroad.

It can be read here

Unmarked spoilers ahead.

Tropes Included Are:

  • 0% Approval Rating: Thanks to Stalin's crimes, the Soviet Union and Russians as an ethnic group have this status with the rest of the world. Kulakov's order to shoot any Jew on sight during the Soviet Civil War becomes the final straw for the world community and leads to the end of UN recognition of Soviet Union as a legitimate state.
  • Adipose Rex: Stalin gets noticeably fatter as his illness progresses.
  • Adult Fear: Oh yes. War, violence, genocide, and oppression are realities in TTL.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: More than a few people due to be purged openly beg for their lives.
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  • The Alcoholic: Mao descends into rampant alcoholism after being forced out of power by the Chinese Politburo.
  • Almighty Janitor: Not so much in the timeline proper, but a frequent Running Gag in the comments is that Stalin's purges are so devastating and the factional power games between his would-be successors are so vicious that when the dust settles, the only person left to take over the Soviet Union will be the Kremlin's junior janitor (the superior janitors, naturally, having already been shot).
  • Apocalypse How:
    • China undergoes a Regional Societal Collapse. It begins with Mao's Great Leap Forward resulting in a horrific famine that kills millions. Then when the USSR and Red China go to war, Russia unleashes massacres and nuclear and germ warfare that cause millions more to die. It is not for nothing that posters remark that the Four Horsemen have arrived in China.
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    • Russia undergoes a Regional Societal Collapse as well. The massive shortages of food result in the Second Civil War. During the war, both sides act with the extreme brutality, to the point that both sides use nuclear weapons, ethnic violence between Russians and the oppressed nations flourishes (the fact that Soviets commit ethnic cleanising of Chechens and deported people in Central Asia doesn't help) and the amount of the Russian refugees is estimated in millions, thus creating the largest refugee crisis in Europe since the end of the World War II.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Many communist officials, like Kim Il-Sung, Matyas Rakosi and Nikita Khrushchev, who were also ruthless leaders, are victims of Stalin's new wave of purges.
    • Mao Zedong, after he was removed from the power, being despised by the common people and the CPC officials alike for his disastrous policies and blind optimism in the face of the inevitable defeat in the Sino-Soviet war.
    • Valko Chervenkov, the former leader of the Communist Bulgaria, was subjected to a horrible torture and death, but it is hard to feel sorry for him, as he was an active participant in the Second Holocaust and almost totally destroyed the Bulgarian Jewish population.
  • The Atoner:
    • America has a huge change in attitudes towards Jews after the revelation of the Soviet Holocaust, leading to anti-Semitic views being practically eradicated and all Americans taught extensively about Nazi and Soviet atrocities, as well as a Jewish cultural revival occurring in the USA.
    • Syndicalist Hungary also makes up for its anti-Semitism after its delegates are attacked during a visit to New York in 1969 by angry protesters and Jewish Hungarian exiles. Hungary promptly establishes strong relations with Israel, celebrates Jewish culture in education and museums, rebuilds demolished synagogues and eventually becomes one of Israel's closest allies.
    • The international community becomes one on the whole to the Soviet Jewish community in the aftermath of the Soviet Holocaust after the failure to protect Jews during the Holocaust and failing to provide aid during the Chinese Refugee Crisis. Foreign groups and civil rights groups, alongside philanthropists, artists and ordinary citizens, raise hundreds of thousands for the Soviet Jews. In a major Pet the Dog move for them both, military dictators Chiang Kai-shek and Park Chung-hee send hundreds of Chinese and Korean volunteers to aid Jews in the refugee camps. Heartwarmingly, there's no shortage of volunteers, as many were survivors of or had lost nearly everything in the Sino-Soviet War and Korean War. Eventually, thousands of UN soldiers arrive to help protect the camps in Siberia.
    • Asian-Americans also get a break from discrimination since Chinese are percieved as fighters against Soviet aggression and many people were horrified at the damage inflicted upon China and its people during the Sino-Soviet war.
  • Badass Preacher: Fr. Lech Zelenski burns himself to inspire the Polish people into rebellion.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: In May 1958, the Chinese Communist Party force Mao to resign, and send a peace delegation to Moscow, making Stalin the winner of the Sino-Soviet War.
  • Balkanize Me:
    • China breaks apart completely during the Sino-Soviet War. What's left is a PRC rump, a Southeastern part controlled by the KMT, an independent Tibet, a series of Soviet satellites in the Northern parts and an Taoist extremist group that rules over Chongqing. Eventually, the KMT takes over most of the country and destroys both the Taoist extremists, the PRC and finally reunifies China after decades of bloody fighting.
    • Soviet-occupied Austria is broken off to form a Soviet satellite state. This prompts West Germany and West Austria to unite into one country, which is then joined by East Germany after the fall of the Iron Curtain, with East Austria remaining independent.
    • During the Soviet Civil War, rebels capture most of north and central Russia, roughly all of Siberia east of the Yenisei River, a large chunk of the Urals, and the SSR's outside of Belarus and Central Asia.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed:
    • Semyon Ignatiev, the former MGB director under Stalin, commits suicide after he understood that he would be subjected to torture and death by Stalin.
    • While in Guiyang, the Tianshi Emperor elected to fight to the bitter end before killing himself and persuading his flock to kill themselves, saying them the KMT would torture, rape and murder them. However, some of the victims didn't consent to die.
  • Big Bad: Joseph Stalin, horrifically, horrifically so.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: During the Second Russian Civil War, the troika of Fyodor Kulakov, Dmitry Ustinov and Dmitry Polyansky take the plenipotentiary power, which allows them to make decisions without consulting the Politburo.
  • Black and Grey Morality: Big time. At points it even goes onto full on Evil vs. Evil.
    • While the Soviet Union under Stalin is unquestionably evil, America isn't too innocent either, with Eisenhower using nuclear weapons on Chinese towns, and Nixon passing laws limiting freedom of speech for anything connected to Communism.
    • This is most evident during the Sino-Soviet War. The Red Army has become a truly odious group, slaughtering countless Chinese civilians and unleashing nuclear and biological weapons on China, while Mao causes famine and violent political repression out of his own pride and ever-increasing ego. Meanwhile the Yellow Banners, a group of fanatical Taoist zealots who deal opium, purchase Soviet arms and create an oppressive theocracy in China's southwest. The one force that finally brings order to the country is the US-backed authoritarian Kuomintang government under Chiang Kai-shek in Taiwan, who invade China and eventually drive out both the Chinese Communists and the Yellow Banners, but continue their brutal policies of martial law in China. The neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia, however, are none too welcoming to millions of starving and diseased Chinese refugees arriving on their shores, forcing them into slums and occasionally starting riots.
    • The Suez War is between the anti-Semitic and pro-Soviet Nasser, while the British and French armies unleash their own atrocities on Egypt's civilian population.
    • The Second Russian Civil War is between a ruthless and totalitarian Soviet government, equally ruthless rebels who literally take no prisoners, and ethnic groups who, after years of oppression, are not above massacring Russians to get back their sovereignty.
  • Body Horror: Stalin's illness doesn't affect his body in a pleasant way. For example, doctors had to amputate his gangrenous toes, caused by atherosclerosis.
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • Stalin, and the USSR by extension, becomes this to many socialists and communists when the Soviet Holocaust is uncovered.
    • By May 1958, Mao Zedong has lost the respect of everybody over his failure to stop China's obliteration during the Sino-Soviet War, and is overthrown in a bloodless coup. In the present day, he's become hated enough that Chiang Kai-shek is a national hero and considered to be a far better leader than Mao by many Chinese.
  • Bullying a Dragon: After the Soviets leave China to stand alone in the Korean War and decline Chinese requests for aid, Mao Zedong, feeling betrayed by Stalin, publicity denounces him and criticizes his ideology. Needless to say, Stalin doesn't take this well and immediately declares war upon his new rival.
  • Buried Alive: The fate of some Soviet officials during the Second Russian Civil War.
  • Chummy Commies:
    • Due to Stalin's crimes, leftists in the West have forsaken Marxist-Leninism in favor of Syndicalism, a much more democratic and libertarian branch of socialism.
    • Once Castro comes to power, he creates a syndicalist state, but his nationalization of American property and his socialist leanings earn him Nixon's ire. Eventually, the CIA assassinates him, and put an embargo on the Cuban economy like OTL.
    • Hungary also goes syndicalist after the overthrow of the Soviet-backed regime.
  • The Chessmaster: Stalin, despite his weakening mind, is still capable of manipulating his subordinates into infighting to ensure that no one holds too much power and influence.
  • Church Militant:
    • The Yellow Banners are a Taoist version of this trope.
    • Egypt's new Islamic government features gangs of fundamentalist thugs roaming the streets that violently attack anyone the regime is opposed to.
  • Co-Dragons: After constant purges, Malenkov and Suslov become the closest people to Stalin.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Stalin enjoys doing this to all of his supposed enemies. Nikita Khrushchev is subjected to a particularly horrific Ass Shove, and Georgy Zhukov is strangled to death at the gallows.
  • Commie Nazis: Neo-Communists in America, who are more interested in the anti-Semitic aspect of the Soviet ideology to justify their violence and hatred rather than actual Communist ideals.
  • Crapsack World:
    • The 1950s are truly this if you live in the Eastern Bloc and Red China. The former is wracked by insurgency, terrorism and violent infighting, while the latter suffers nuclear and biological weapon attacks, the Chinese Civil War entering its third stage between the KMT and the CPC, and a militant Taoist insurgency.
    • By the 1960s and 70s, Egypt has descended into poverty, a radical Islamist revolution has occurred and crime is rampant. The effects are worsened by the damage from the Suez War and ongoing war with Israel over the Sinai. The government churns out violent, inflammatory anti-Semitic propaganda and gangs of militant fundamentalists attack anyone the regime is against, with Egyptian Christians either fleeing to Israel or living in fear. Many ordinary Egyptians hate their new government and long for the old days of Nasserism, but can do nothing about it for fear of being killed.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Valko Chervenkov, the former leader of Communist Bulgaria, is subjected to beatings, electric shocks, peeling off fingernails, knocking out teeth and had his eyes gouged out before being burned alive by Mossad agents for his participation in the Second Holocaust. Said agents regret that they didn't think of castrating him before setting him on fire.
  • Crushing the Populace: What happens to China, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: With the Soviet Union engulfed by civil war, every single puppet government the USSR backed collapses within a matter of weeks, except the remnant of Red China, and even then, the KMT had been delayed by weather and Yellow Banner forces.
  • Dark Lord on Life Support: Stalin's health is so bad that he spends almost all his time in hospital, and even outside hospital he is constantly surrounded by doctors and has to take supplemental oxygen through a nasal cannula. His incapability to rule paralyzes the Soviet government, as Stalin's subordinates fear to issue any orders and solve problems without Stalin's approval.
  • Deadly Decadent Court: Stalin's subordinates plot against each other to diminish political influence of their rivals or even subject them to death in order to gain the favor of the Red Tsar.
  • Deadly Gas: Used by Stalin in China as part of his biowarfare campaign against Mao.
  • Decided by One Vote: The agreement with East Austria passed in the Politburo by only one vote.
  • Defector from Decadence:
    • Ikrali Lashkhi, a Georgian who was one of the officials involved with the purging of Georgia's Jews, and who revealed the process to the US, invoked this, claiming to have been horrified by becoming as bad as the Nazis. Some people believe that he only defected to save himself from being purged since he was also a virulent anti-Semite.
    • Enrico Beringuer quits the Italian communist party after learning about the Soviet Holocaust.
  • Defiant to the End:
    • Georgy Zhukov's Famous Last Words are shouting the Russian insult to a picture of Stalin as he is lead to the gallows, saying that he is an abomination in the eyes of God and man.
    • Nasser, who spends his last moments fighting off British soldiers sent to assassinate him, opening fire on them as they storm his office.
  • Despair Event Horizon: During the Suez War, the British and French armies realize a battle in Cairo would be too costly, in terms of manpower and civilian casualties, so they decide to do the one thing the can demoralize all Egyptians: assassinate Nasser. It works.
  • Determinator: Mao Zedong, who pushes the People's Liberation Army to fight on against stronger Red Army and KMT forces. It is deconstructed when it becomes clear that the PLA simply can't stand up to the superior forces, and Mao's refusal to surrender hurts the Chinese more after Stalin unleashes more nuclear bombs. Eventually, the CCP fires Mao, and Mao remains reviled in China as an overconfident blunderer.
  • Different World, Different Movies: The version of The Turner Diaries of this timeline is a book "A Diary of Our Victory", written by a Neo-Communist, and thus has deaths of all rich people and Jews rather than of all non-whites as the Happy Ending.
  • Dirty Communists: Communism becomes even more discredited than in OTL, being unseparated in the mass consciousness from Stalin's crimes. Those Communists who don't want to be associated with Stalin's crimes abandon the ideas of Communism completely in favor of Syndicalism or any other non-Marxist far-left ideologies.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Malenkov's wife Valeriya is sent to a gulag for remarking that Stalin should lessen the amount of work he dumps on Malenkov.
  • The Dreaded: Even with the weak mind and body (or even because of it), Stalin terrifies the hearts of his subordinates and enemies alike. Even when Stalin is unable to function well, his minions don't dare to do anything as they fear to evoke the Vozhd's wrath, let alone discussing the potential successor to him. Ignatiev and Khrushchev learned it the hard way.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Mao falls into depression and becomes a heavy drinker after he was deposed by his own party, eventually dying from a drunken staircase fall.
  • Dystopia Is Hard: Joseph Stalin's purges, mass murders, as well the war with China have dealt serious damage to the Soviet economy and living standards due to the loss of so many doctors and other skilled professionals. Suslov and the other hardliners that succeed him are Marxist extremists who stubbornly refuse any badly needed reforms that don't meet Marxist-Leninist orthodoxy. eventually resulting in a food shortage that triggers another political revolution. And the mass incarceration in the Gulag leaves a population of millions of disillusioned citizens, who begin revolting against the Soviet state. Stalin's campaigns of ethnic cleansing create tremendous ethnic tension, further destabilizing the country. And the international reputation of the USSR goes down the tubes, isolating the nation from neutral nations and even other socialist groups.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Downplayed. Mikhail Suslov pulls the plug on the Soviet Holocaust once he gains power. But instead of helping Jews re-integrate into society or allowing them the right to immigrate, he forces the survivors into ghettoes throughout Siberia, hoping to cover up the mass murder of Jews.
    • Malenkov is also a downplayed version, as he also seeks to restore the USSR's prestige and reputation, but refuses all of Nixon's humane demands.
  • Evil Colonialist:
    • Russian settlers in Grozny ask Vainakh to be deported and replaced with other Russian settlers, and doesn't stop their pogroms even after the Soviet state enforces Russian culture.
    • Russian settlers in Portuguese Africa, who arrive as Second Civil War refugees, seize land from the black populace, forcing them either to move to less arable lands or becoming serfs in the Russian settlements.
  • Evil Cripple: Stalin, who unleashes his second purge after a stroke damages his brain and confines him to a chair. By the late 1950s, he has degenerated into Dark Lord on Life Support, and needs a whole team of doctors to keep him alive. And even then, he is so weak that he can only stay awake for a few hours at a time.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Semyon Budyonny, especially in comparison with Molotov.
    Budyonny: (to his executioner): Do your job properly. There's no sense in wasting two bullets on me.
  • Famous Last Words:
    • "Vyrodok" (to a Stalin's portrait) — Georgy Zhukov
    • "God-speed to the Russians! God-speed to the Arabs! God-speed to the German people! Our Final Victory has never been closer! Heil Hitler!” — Adolf Eichmann
  • Final Solution:
    • The entire Jewish population of Russia is subjected to one.
    • Then the Soviets brutally subject the Chechens to another during the Soviet Civil War. One hundred thousand Chechens from the city of Grozny are massacred in a particularly brutal manner.
  • For Want of a Nail: Stalin having his stroke in the presence of someone saves his life.
  • Hate Sink: Stalin earns this designation thanks to the numerous atrocities he ordered, including outright genocide and ethnic cleansing, causing many worldwide to regard the Soviets as barbarians once the Soviet Holocaust was exposed. Due to this, communism becomes a highly discredited ideology, with many leftists in the West opting to go for Syndicalism or other non-Marxist far-left ideologies.
  • Heel–Face Turn: By August 1967, Red Army soldiers have gone into open revolt after being ordered to fire on starving protesters again, having had enough of killing civilians by this point.
  • Heel Realization: After George H. W. Bush's speech for the end of recognition of Soviet Union as a nation, Oleg Troyanovsky, a Soviet ambassador in the UN, refused to defend Soviet Union before the UN council and pleaded the UN members to vote for the end of diplomatic recognition of Soviet Union. Formerly a sincere believer in the Soviet case, Troyanovsky confesses that he had been only defending the lies of the Soviet government.
  • Hellhole Prison: The Gulags, particularly to Jewish prisoners.
  • Heroic BSoD: Eisenhower, who was clearly shaken by the decision to use 12 nuclear missiles on China to end the Korean War. The strain on him is so bad, he suffers a heart attack, and gives up running for reelection in 1956.
  • History Repeats: Like in 1917, a political revolution and a civil war are ultimately caused by food riots.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • Despite increased anti-communist hysteria, McCarthy still endures his political downfall with his attacks on the military.
    • Richard Nixon still becomes president, in 1957.
    • Abd al-Karim al-Nahlawi topples Syria's socialist-nationalist regime, albeit in 1958.
    • Boleslaw Bierut suffers the same stroke which killed him OTL.
    • Nicolae Ceausescu stills comes to power in Romania, and is executed along with his wife Elena when his regime falls, albeit in 1967.
    • Fidel Castro still overthrows Batista, only this time as a syndicalist, and still ruins American relations with his nationalization of American property. An invasion by Cuban exiles also falls apart, and the US puts an embargo on Cuba.
  • Killed Off for Real: Vyacheslav Molotov, Lavrenty Beria, Deng Xiaoping, Nikita Khrushchev, Leonid Brezhnev, Georgy Zhukov, Kim il-Sung, Kim Jong Il, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Shrukri al-Quwatli, Mao Zedong, Kang Sheng and Ayn Rand all die in this timeline, often far before their actual deaths in real life.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em:
    • The Soviet Politburo attempt to set Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and Hungary free but to keep East Germany, Poland and Romania. However, the only rebels who want to agree are the East Austrians, who are given independence in exchange for promising to stay neutral.
    • After getting the blame for the August Revolution and getting berated by Fyodor Kulakov, Suslov voluntarily steps down from power, choosing not to end up like Malenkov.
    • North Korea's dictatorship, devastated by the Sino-Soviet War, surrenders rather than try and fight against the South Koreans.
  • La Résistance:
  • Literary Allusion Title: Some chapters that contain Wham Episodes are named after the Book of Revelation. For example, chapter named "A Great Star Named Wormwood" describes the first nuclear strikes on China while a chapter named "The First Woe" marks the beginning of the Sino-Soviet war. Also, the first chapter of the timeline is named "Alpha and Omega".
  • Man on Fire: The Polish revolt starts when two, then dozens of people begin self-immolating in protest, until Soviet troops open fire at a crowd coming to watch a priest burning himself, killing many, among them two children. This triggers mutinies and an eventual takeover by the rebels.
  • Moral Event Horizon: In-Universe. The revelation of the Soviet Holocaust is what causes the US and other nations to sever diplomatic relations with the USSR.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: Stalin when he unleashes a Holocaust on Russia's Jewish population, and the Red Army committing Einsatzgruppen-style massacres against Chinese civilians.
  • Nazi Hunter: Mossad in this timeline pursues not only Nazis, but Soviet officials as well.
  • Not So Different: The Soviets committing another Holocaust on the Jews, and using Einsatzgruppen-style massacres against the Chinese makes them eerily similar to what the Nazis used during WWII.
  • Nuclear Weapons Taboo:
    • Broken. Eisenhower uses nuclear missiles on several Chinese cities after Stalin's intransigence prevents a peaceful resolution of the Korean war. During the Sino-Soviet War, Stalin unleashes a hydrogen bomb on Beijing, and then another just a few miles to the North. And then, in April 1958, he bombs four more Chinese cities, killing millions more people, just so he can kill Mao.
    • During the Second Russian Civil War, the desperate CNS government unleashes nuclear missiles on Soviet forces as they close in on Moscow. The Soviets respond in kind with more nukes around Moscow.
  • The Plague: Stalin unleashes a bioengineered smallpox, with a 50% mortality rate among Chinese civilians already weakened by hunger.
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
    • Downplayed with the post-Stalin Soviet governnemt. Both Suslov and Malenkov understand that war with the Soviet ally and constant purges are harmful to the state and forsake Stalin's cult of personality. Make no mistake, however: the new Soviet government still adheres to the Marxist-Leninist orthodoxy, meeting any attempts of reforms with hostility, mercilessly suppress any signs of the resistance in the satellite countries of Eastern Bloc and force the liberated Jews into the ghettoes instead of reintegrating them into society, trying to cover up Stalin's crimes.
    • Subverted later during the Second Russian Civil War, when the Stalingrad Government practically loses its sanity. The Soviets launch a new campaign of terror (which includes shooting any Jew on sight), commit genocide on Chechens and de-facto commit ethnic cleansing of the deported people in Central Asia.
  • Prayer Is a Last Resort: Right before being put to death, Molotov, an outspoken atheist before, becomes so terrified with the prospect of imminent death that he asks the executioner to say a prayer. This request is denied. When Stalin hears the story, he bursts into laughter and mockingly imitates Molotov saying the Lord's Prayer.
  • Propaganda Piece: The Soviet cinema during the last Stalin years becomes more and more filled with anti-Semitic and Sinophobic tropes. One of the most ridiculous examples of the anti-Semitic hysteria is "Wages of Blood", which depicts the struggle between the honest workers and the conspiracy of Jewish capitalists. The climax of the movie portrays the attempt to murder one of the worker's children during a blood libel ritual by the main Jewish capitalist, only to be stopped and killed by the workers. In-Universe, Roger Ebert described "Wages of Blood" as "The Birth of a Nation with crayons".
  • The Purge:
    • A surviving Stalin gleefully unleashes one, expanding the Doctors' Plot against Jewish doctors into a Holocaust, and sending his associates to death or to gulags.
    • After the toppling of Syria's nationalist government by Abd al-Karim al-Nahlawi, he purges the country of leftist and communist organizations, killing thousands.
  • The Quisling: Antanas Sniečkus, the leader of the Lithuanian SSR, is regarded as this by Lithuanians for organising his own purges and mass deportations of ethnic Lithuanians in order to impress the Party.
  • Rape and Revenge: The anti-Chechen pogroms start after young Chechens gang-rape a Russian woman in Grozny.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Richard Nixon gives one to Joe Stalin in his 1957 inauguration.
    Richard Nixon: Today we face the greatest threat our country has ever faced: the threat of Communism. In his quest to dominate the world Joseph Stalin has taken measures that were too evil for even the Nazis. He has unleashed poison gas and hydrogen bombs, which make the bomb we dropped on Hiroshima seem like a child’s toy. He holds the people of Eastern Europe, China, and Southeast Asia in his iron fist. And he has launched another Final Solution against the Jews. To those who say we can peacefully coexist with such a monster I say: never forget! Never forget that the minute we let our guard down the Soviets will pounce, destroying everything we hold dear.
  • Reconstruction: After seeing the horrors of Stalinism brought to their most logical conclusion, Italy's radical leftists embrace syndicalism, which rejects single-party domination in favor of worker self-management.
  • Reluctant Ruler: Suslov, who prefers to be the power behind the throne and, after the beginning of the Civil War, calmly resigns from his position.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized:
    • Mass pogroms occurs between ethnic groups in the Caucasus, especially in Chechnya and the Nagorno-Karabakh.
    • The Liberation Front of Ichkeria makes a suicide attack against the building of the Council of Ministers in Grozny.
    • The Council of National Salvation in the Soviet Civil War acts in the same brutal manner as the Stalingrad government and they are the first to use nuclear weapons on the Soviet territory.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Vilified: The revolts in the Eastern bloc play out like this. Hungary's rebels are syndicalists who pledge to commit a true worker's state, and renounce aggression against the West.
  • Richard Nixon the Used Car Salesman:
    • Averted with the Trope Namer who is the US President.
    • Bill Clinton, Hu Jintao and Barack Obama are both historians and political writers.
    • Nikolai Ryzhkov becomes a political dissident after being horrified by the war crimes of the Red Army during the Sino-Soviet War. Together with Varlam Shalamov, he becomes one of the founders of the "militant" Syndicalist party during the second Civil War which is banned later and Ryzhkov himself is deported for attempting to take over the CNS.
    • Andrei Sakharov becomes an important member of the Council of National Salvation.
    • Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn still writes about his life as a Gulag prisoner. He also becomes an influential figure in the CNS during the Civil War and the main editor of the Solzenytsin Report which consists of documents revealing the darkest secrets of the Soviet government.
    • Vladimir Zhirinovsky, known by his Jewish surname, Eidelstein, becomes a far-right politician in Israel.
  • Russian Guy Suffers Most: Not only Soviet Union faces another Great Purge, but the inefficient Soviet economic policy results in decline of the Soviet economy and living standarts, and, consequently, in the bloody Second Russian Civil War. Said war becomes even more devastating after nuclear weaponry came in use. Red China, however, doesn't get it better after being nuked, invaded by one of its former communist allies and suffering from a serious bio-chemical attack.
  • Sanity Slippage: Joseph Stalin's lunacy and paranoia get even worse as he ages and unleashes more horrors on the world.
  • The Scapegoat: After the fall of Moscow, the Politburo attempted to make Suslov this before resigning.
  • Scatterbrained Senior: By the beginning of the Suez War, Stalin is suffering from severe dementia. He often talks about the people like Lenin and Trotsky as if they were alive and sometimes he even forgets who he is. Stalin's mental state serves his subordinates well when they don't carry out his order to send the Western powers an ultimatum to withdraw forces from Egypt which could have resulted in World War III and Stalin later either forgets about the order or thinks that the invasion has already started.
  • Scrapbook Story: Like many AH.com timelines, the story is composed of In-Universe history books, documents and so on.
  • The Sociopath: Joseph Stalin. Racist, paranoid, power hungry, and willing to kill anyone who gets in his way.
  • Shout-Out: Some authors of In-Universe books about Asian politics are named after anime characters, like Misato Katsuragi and Yusuke Urameshi.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: In-Universe, the MGB during the Second Russian Civil War uses the music of Tchaikovsky in prisons to mute the sounds of shooting prisoners.
  • Spark of the Rebellion: A year of bad weather caused by the larger use of nukes causes bad harvests in the Soviet Union, resulting in shortages of food.
  • Staircase Tumble: Mao descends into alcoholism after his sacking and dies from a fall down a staircase while drunk, just a few days before the KMT army attacks his HQ. Chiang, who wanted to put him on trial as one last humiliation for his rival, is not very psyched about this.
  • State Sec: The real life Ministry of State Security, or MGB, becomes the enforcer of Stalin's purges.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: During the Polish rebellion, a Soviet military base is obliterated with a a truck filled with explosives.
  • Suddenly Significant City: Stalingrad became the new Soviet capital after the rebels took Moscow.
  • Taking You with Me: After the realization that he will be captured by FBI soon, Martin Thompson, the Neo-Communist author of this timeline's version of The Turner Diaries, kills Ayn Rand and commits suicide right after that.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: Happens to the Soviet embassy in Hanoi, courtesy of angry Chinese refugees recovering from smallpox and sympathetic Vietnamese citizens. Ironically, Ho Chi Minh himself, who is disgusted with the USSR by that point and maintains a cordial relationship with Israel PM David Ben-Gurion, was about to declare the Soviet diplomats Persona Non Grata, but the protesters do it for him by killing nearly all the staff and burning the embassy to the ground. Hanoi police, who despise the Soviets as much as the rest of the world, stand back to enjoy the destruction and only arrest the few surviving refugees when it looks like the fire will spread to other buildings, but the survivors are given extremely light sentences for arson.
  • Velvet Revolution: How things play out in East Germany, Poland and Hungary: the Army refuses to fire on the protesters and instead join them.
  • War Is Hell:
    • The Sino-Soviet War and the third stage of the Chinese Civil War utterly devastate China in ways never seen before, making the Second Sino-Japanese War look like a water balloon fight.
    • The Suez War and the later conflicts it sparks are all devastating to Egypt, leaving it a miserable hellhole for years to come.
    • The Soviet Civil War, characterized by brutality on both sides, ethnic violence, using of nuclear weapons and a massive refugee crisis.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: The Council of National Salvation created after the fall of Moscow has a political landscape ranging from religious conservatives and nationalists to socialists. Separatists are another thorn, with some supporting the CNS after promises of autonomy or independence and others deciding to play alone.
  • Wham Episode:
    • "Blind As Young Kittens", the second chapter of the timeline, already starts as the one with the beginning of the Soviet Holocaust.
    • "A Great Star Named Wormwood", when the US drops the first atomic bombs on China.
    • "The First Woe", the start of the Sino-Soviet war.
    • "No Gods No Masters", as the Soviet Civil War begins.
  • A World Half Full: After years of devastating wars and horrifying famines, the KMT under Chiang Kai-shek defeats both the Yellow Banners and the PRC and thus reunify China. Under Chiang's rule and his son's, China finally enters an era of peace and recovery from the horrors of the past, plus undergoing a cultural renaissance. Rebuilding the economy, ending government corruption and recovering from the war takes a lot of time, but China starts to slowly thrive again. On the other hand, Chiang extends his policy of martial law in Taiwan to China, and his son is still rather authoritarian.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • The Soviet forces massacre children in China, making Andrei Chikatilo comment his urges to kill started here.
    • The MGB murders a young Kim Jong-Il.
    • Two children are shot during a demonstration in Poland.
  • Wretched Hive:
    • Chinese refugees are forced into these all across Southeast Asia. The one in Rangoon is probably the worst, with millions living in filthy shacks infested with cockroaches, vermin and disease.
    • Egypt becomes a poverty-stricken hellhole where 'criminals' are mutilated, tortured or executed in public on a daily basis, while women and opponents of the fundamentalist Islamic regime are subject to frequent attacks by the regime's thugs. Debates even arise about reintroducing slavery.
  • You Monster!: Georgy Zhukov's Famous Last Words are shouting the Russian equivalent to a picture of Stalin as he is lead to the gallows. It should be noted that it is a far more serious insult in Russian than in English, as it is basically saying that someone is not simply evil, but an abomination in the eyes of God and man.
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