Due to divergence in the Fallout universe, the USSR did not dissolve in 1991 and continued to exist well into the 21st century, theoretically up until the Great War. While the exact reasons for the USSR’s survival are unconfirmed, certain factors can be presumed to have played a large role; the relative warming of relations between east and west would have allowed the US–Soviet arms race to subside at least partially, putting less of a strain on the Soviet economy. The difference in history between universes leaves many of the USSR’s affairs between World War II and the Resource Wars (a period of almost 100 years) a mystery, or at least unconfirmed within Fallout canon.
The Soviet Union is known to have had a consular service and foreign service and even maintained strong consular relations with the United States. There was a Soviet consulate in Los Angeles (which Natalia's grandfather worked at), suggesting that Soviet–American relations were good enough in 2077 that American and Soviet citizens were able to visit each other's countries. However, there is evidence that the USSR was still considered at odds with the west, and was at the very least suspected of espionage by a part of the American populace.
During the Resource Wars, the Soviet Union was in no direct conflict with the United States, with no real evidence suggesting it played much of a role in the international situation at all. The USSR had access to sufficient reserves of petroleum and uranium (particularly within the Caucasus region and the central steppes, as well as in the satellite state of Romania), and likely pursued policies of isolationism and economic protectionism, consolidating its energy sources and weathering the storm of shortages on its own, consigned not to invade other nations so long as it was not invaded itself.
It is unknown what role the USSR played in the Great War, as it considered both sides of the war far from its allies. The Soviets and Chinese remained hostile throughout the 2000s, and there was always deep distrust between the US and USSR, as had been the status quo between socialist and capitalist nations for over a century. The possibility of a war between the eastern and western powers was still present in the minds of the people, and considered by some to be a real threat. There is no evidence suggesting Soviet support for either side of the Sino-American War, although they were doubtlessly drawn into the subsequent thermonuclear exchange, as it involved every major world power. Given the international situation, it is likely that in the final hours of modern civilization, the Soviets found themselves pitted not only against China or the western powers, but in a mutual destruction scenario with both factions at once.
The reason for China’s status as the primary socialist power and enemy of the west in the Fallout universe is not canonically stated, but a connection can be assumed to the Sino-Soviet Split and subsequent improvement of Soviet–Western relations – the latter of which is necessary to explain the survival of the USSR and Warsaw Pact and therefore maintain the Cold War culture and feel central to the Fallout world.
|The following is based on Fallout Extreme and has not been confirmed by canon sources.|
|End of information based on Fallout Extreme.|
- The Fallout universe was devised around the ideas of retro-futurism and a ’50s-era feel as well as the legacy of a global thermonuclear war. The creators of Fallout decided the best and simplest way to explain this was to have the Cold War of our timeline continue well into the 21st century, maintaining the culture of the Red Scare and its east–west mentality. In order for these to make any sense at all, the Soviet Union would have to still exist as a socialist country in the universe's lore leading up to the war – but in order to survive that long in the first place, the USSR could not remain the main socialist adversary of the United States. Therefore, the partial thaw of east–west relations and subsequent rise of China as the primary socialist world power were necessary events in the Fallout lore in order to explain the continued capitalist–socialist cold war it relies on for its central plot.
Behind the scenesEdit
When R. Scott Campbell was asked why China was the U.S. enemy and not the Soviet Union, he answered that it was because he heard the Russian mob firing their guns in the street while he was telephoning a Muscovite. After that, he had a difficult time believing that the U.S.S.R. would be in a position to threaten the world any time soon.
- ↑ A diplomat from the Soviet Consulate in Los Angeles was able to secure a place in Vault 13 and Natalia, one of the Fallout 1 pre-made characters, was the diplomat's grandchild
- ↑ In the Helios One terminal entry "Can I Tell Him?" urging complete secrecy, A hypothetical situation is presented that results in the USSR acquiring national secrets, with "Ivan Bullykov will get more than lunch money out of your kids. He'll have national secrets! And while they're parading him through Red Square as a national hero, your children will be working in forced labor camps, right next to you and your beautiful young wife".
- ↑ Wastewater treatment plant terminal entries: Devlin - "Answer me this, Specialist Buttinski: if the American people are overrun by Kremlin Joe and his Chicom cronies, what good will clean drinking water be?"
- ↑ The nuclear Armageddon in the back-story was between the US and China. After shipping several people asked me why China and not the old standby, the Soviet Union. I made the choice when I remembered experiences with Oleg, a Moscow developer I worked with months before when I was assistant-producing a typing game. Once, in the middle of a phone conversation, I heard some muffled bangs, and the phone went quiet. When I asked him what the noise was, he replied, “Oh, it was just the Russian mob firing their guns in the street.” I thought he was joking – he wasn’t. After that, I had a really hard time believing that the once mighty USSR would be in a position to threaten the world any time soon. So I turned to the next major communist country that typifies “the East”: China.