United States as its single surviving superpower, with the closest contenders — post-Soviet Russia and the People's Republic of China — arguably not qualifying as true peers, especially in the earliest years following the dissolution. This left many writers annoyed, as they were now without an obvious choice for a country that could stand toe to toe with the US on the global stage, even if not necessarily as an enemy. Some try to argue that the modern Russia can fill in for the Soviet Union, especially as an aggressive and neo-imperialist force. Others who are critical of such an idea for one reason or another turn to a European superstate, or making China or Japan grow into the leader of a huge Asian bloc.
Others go a different route: a Post-Soviet Reunion. That is to say, Russia reunifying with some or all of the post-Soviet states into an alliance or even a bona fide superstate, which may or may not reuse parts or all of the USSR's name (including the failed proposal for reforming it). It may or not include any of the Soviet Union's former satellite states (most of which comprised the Warsaw Pact), other Eastern Bloc members, or other countries/territories that historically weren't part of the Eastern Bloc in any sense. Extreme examples may even have it incorporate the entirety of Europe (making it an atypical version of United Europe) and Asia.
Russian dominance is often inevitable due to it being the biggest post-Soviet state in practically every parameter, which can easily be played sinisterly by making the Post-Soviet Reunion be a de facto instrument for Russian imperialism, just like the post-Lenin USSR had become; the lesser member states may have been brought in by force (with the occasional Voluntary Vassal), or enticed into accepting Russian hegemony of their own accord. It can, however, just as well be The Alliance or The Federation, with Russia genuinely trying its best to be just the "first among equals" despite its natural advantages. Either way, tropes that apply to Russia can be applicable to a Post-Soviet Reunion.
Having a socialist/communist ideology (or at least its trappings) and using associated symbolism is not required, though it does open the door for using Cold War-era tropes that are associated with the USSR, like Dirty Communists (for villainous portrayals), Chummy Commies (for friendly portrayals), and Soviet Superscience.
A Post-Soviet Reunion is often prone to being a villain/antagonist, especially if it's attempting world conquest; if it's not the sole superpower, it typically stands in rivalry to the United States (particularly if it's the expanded version), United Europe, and/or China in a new cold war. That said, it can be a friendly partner of its traditional enemies, or even fully integrated into the Western world.
Not to be confused with Alternate History scenarios where the Soviet Union never dissolved, or the Russian Empire continued to exist into the modern day. Nor with Failed Future Forecasts that overestimated how long the Soviet Union would survive.
May serve as a Space-Filling Empire. The Logical Extreme of this trope is Russia Takes Over the World. For the opposite scenario to this trope — i.e. Russia splinters into several smaller states — see Balkanize Me.
The name is a play on the Soviet Union's name, as well as the fact that Post-Soviet Reunions are literally "post-Soviet" in three ways: they come into being during the post-Soviet era, comprise some/all of the post-Soviet states, and is often driven by the impact (usually negative) of the post-Soviet period on said states.
Sort of Truth in Television: The Commonwealth of Independent States and the three organizations that sprung from it — the Collective Security Treaty Organization (military alliance), Eurasian Economic Union (economic bloc), and Union State (confederal political union) — are a few attempts that have been made by Russia to restore the unity of the post-Soviet states in some shape or form, making them obvious choices for how to implement this trope in fiction. That said, a number of the post-Soviet states are not on board with the idea note , and how it turned out to be is quite controversial to say the least, so it should go without saying that real-life examples are not allowed with regards to this trope.
- The Irregular at Magic High School: In the aftermath of World War III, the Russian Federation had reabsorbed at least Belarus and Ukraine and became the New Soviet Unionnote , one of the four superpowers of the post-WW3 world order.
- Jormungand sees Russia recreate the New Soviet Union towards the end of the story and a new Cold War starting between it and the United States.
- The Discworld as expanded in A.A. Pessimal's fanfics begins with the canonical idea that there is a Fantasy Counterpart Culture analogous to our Russia. Canon hints that there was an unspecified catastrophe that caused the Discworld's Russia to implode, leaving scattered remnants around the Central Continent. Pessimal suggests that an original Rodinian Empire, itself a remnant of the fabled Dark Empire, endured a revolution that expelled the monarchy and ushered in a "Union of Soviets". This too collapsed after maybe eighty years, and after a despairing attempt at Democracy, Rodinia fractured, with its most coherent remnants being the nation of Mouldavia, and what is now Far Überwald (subject to Lady Margalotta). Other Rodinian-speaking remnants exist in Zlobenia, Borogravia, Kazakhstan and the Vortex Plains. In the "modern day", nationalists of various persuasions are agitating for reunion, and both the Tsarist and the Soviet camps have plausible leaders. Lord Vetinari takes very good care to have all these people where he can see them and makes sure these talents are gainfully occupied working for him, in Ankh-Morpork.
- John Shirley's Eclipse Trilogy originally had the Soviet Union invade Western Europe since it was published before the events that led to the USSR's dissolution. Later books that were made after the event retconned it so that Russia had reformed the Soviet Union.
- Ender's Shadow: In the vague distant future of between 87 and 84 Before Xenocide, Russia created the Second Warsaw Pact, a confederation spanning the entirety of the old Soviet Union, the countries of the first Warsaw Pact, Finland, Yugoslavia, Albania and Greece, by "promising not to be as dreadful an overlord as China".
- In the 2018 novel The Singularity Trap, the Soviet Union is reformed... and then merges with China to form the Sino-Soviet Empire, standing in opposition to the United Earth Nations.
- The Sixth Battle has the Russian Federation collapse after less than a year or about a year and a half at most, and is replaced by the Union of Eurasian Republics, which incorporates most of the former USSR bar the Baltic republics and Moldova. How they manage to recover from economic and political collapse as well as create five functional fleet carriers and their air groups in less than a year is...rather less explained. Oh, and the writer has the UER decide to attack apartheid South Africa for some reason.
- The Time Traders by Andre Norton, first published in 1958, features a conflict between the USA and the Russians over Time Travel 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, implying that post-Soviet Russia had eventually reconquered the other post-Soviet states.
- World War Z: In the aftermath of the Zombie Apocalypse, the Russian Federation transformed into the Holy Russian Empire, and not only pushed the undead menace, it proceeded with realizing its leaders' ambition to retake all of the USSR's former territories, starting with conquering Belarus. That being said, the theocratic rule is apparently just a facade being used to legitimize authoritarian rule, with the newly crowned tsar and head of the Russian Orthodox Church being implied to be none other than Vladimir Putin himself.
- Downplayed in Years and Years, where the Russian Federation once again renames itself to the Soviet Union, and sends its military forces to annex Ukraine. This is what prompts the refugee crisis which causes Viktor to flee to the UK.
- Alliance of Valiant Arms has Russia fall under a communist regime and rebrand as the Neo-Russian Federation, with the ambition to rebuild the USSR by force.
- In the original Call of Duty: Modern Warfare trilogy, the Ultranationalists' ambition is to take over Russia and restore the glory days of the Soviet Union, which would entail this trope being made real. This culminates in Russia launching a full-scale invasion of Europe in the trilogy's last game — not just the former Soviet republics and Warsaw Pact members, but the countries of Western Europe as well.
- Civilization: Beyond Earth: In the wake of the Great Mistake, a drastically changed Russia capitalized on the recent collapse of the European Union to regain the trust of Eastern European countries, enticing them with access to its wealth of strategic resources and appealing to their shared cultural heritage to convince them to join the newly rebranded Slavic Federation, which contrary to the usual expectations from its name is defined by inclusivity of its non-Slavic nations and the large degree of autonomy that it offers to its member states, knowing little to no ethnic and religious strife as a result. And in contrast to the Soviet Union of old, the Slavic Federation became famous for its engineering feats rather than military power, earning a reputation for "heroic infrastructure" and pioneering space program.
- The first Deus Ex game, set in 2052, implies that some sort of recreation of the Soviet Union had taken place, as the player comes across email addresses with "sovnet" as the domain.
- Earth 2150 seems to have had this trope happen twice, as the lore makes mention of a "Greater Russia" being involved in the "War of 2048"note that wrecked the world and shattered all of the existing powers; in its wake, an alliance between a Russian force with an ambitious commander and a Mongolian nomadic tribe led to the creation of the Eurasian Dynasty, which eventually came to encompass all of Europe, Asia and Africa thanks to access to old Soviet military assets.
- EndWar: As oil and gas prices soared in the wake of the Arabian Peninsula being devastated by nuclear attacks in 2016, the Russian Federation became flush with enough money to build up its military well past the Soviet Union's heights during the Cold War, and when many of the dysfunctional countries of Eastern Europe and the Balkans were effectively excluded from the newly formed European Federation, it wasted no time seizing the opportunity to bring them into its sphere of influence to the point of de facto annexing them. Just before WW3 breaks out, Russian territory (both de jure and de facto) includes Belarus, Ukraine, and Bulgaria, and stretches all the way to the Adriatic Sea, having several outposts in the "lawless zone" comprising the former Yugoslav states.
- Front Mission series: Wracked with economic hardships and internal conflicts after the dissolution of the USSR, the members of the Commonwealth of Independent States united in 2015 into the Republic of Zaftra, which went on to serve as a recurrent villainous faction as butted heads with the setting's other space-filling empires. Belarus supposedly broke away from the CIS before the creation of Zaftra (per a supplemental artbook for Front Mission 3), but this is later contradicted by Front Mission 4 (which is set 16 years earlier) showing it as Zaftran territory, implying that it seceded. By the time of Left Alive (2127), Zaftra has more or less descended into civil war, although Front Mission Evolved (2171) sees it completely unmentioned, leaving its fate ambiguous.
- In the first Ghost Recon game, the government of the Russian Federation is overthrown by an Ultranationalist coup, which accuses the former of betraying the Russian people by siding with the Western countries, and glorify the Soviet Union. They then spend the next few years securing control over Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan through mostly foul means, rebranding the resulting alliance as the Russian Democratic Union, before going on a war of conquest against the rest of the former Soviet states with the aim of forcibly annexing them into the seconding coming of the USSR.
- In Girls' Frontline, Bolshevik groups resurged within the Russian Federation infiltrated by 2030, infiltrated various major institutions, including the Federal Security Service, the Navy, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and exploited domestic disasters to discredit the federal government and secure enough support to a widely popular revolution, ushering in the Neo-Soviet Union by 2032 and reincorporating several of the former Soviet republics, with Ukraine descending into a civil war that split it between a pro-Soviet east that controlled the capital Kyiv and a pro-EU west. Later, it intervened in a German Civil War when East Germany seceded as the German Democratic Republic and asked the Neo-Soviet Union to intervene, leading to World War III erupting when the European Union and the United States got involved. The Neo-Soviet Union eventually joined the Union of Rossartrism Nations Coalition.
- Rise of the Reds: After throwing off the yoke of the post-Soviet dictatorship, the newly liberalized Russia rode the economic boom from selling huge amounts of oil and gas to the recently war-ravaged European countries, allowing it to prosper and strengthen its economy... which it then used to share the fruits of its prosperity with several countries in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, which had just broken away from the rapidly disintegrating European Union after years of living under Brussel's increasingly illiberal "federal" government. The shift is cemented by those self-same countries getting snubbed later by the newly formed European Continental Alliance, leading to those states entering into an alliance with Russia. Ukraine is the exception to this... until a civil war erupts between pro-Western and pro-Russian factions, and a Russian intervention leads to Ukraine's southern coastline and easternmost parts seceding and joining Russia. Eventually, however, Russia (and by proxy its allies) ends up invading the ECA with the aim of conquering it in a desperate bid to avert economic collapse, which is further complicated by the United States jumping to the ECA's defense.
- The backstory of the Starfight games has Russia undergo another revolution on September 11, 2012note , leading to the Soviet States of Russia being formed and a new Cold War starting.
- The Zhirinovsky's Russian Empire timeline in AlternateHistory.com has the eponymous Real Life eccentric, 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 recreated as a 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.
- Parodied in the The Simpsons episode "Simpson Tide", where Russia reveals that the end of the Cold War was a sham, and dramatically returns to its Soviet ways — including the Berlin Wall popping back up from the ground complete with in-place guards and dogs, and the corpse of Lenin arising and staggering around his tomb, moaning "Must crush capitalism..."
American UN representative: "The Soviet Union?" I thought you guys broke up.Russian UN representative: Yes, Zat's vat ve vanted you to think! [Evil Laugh]