The Kremlin, Moscow
An orange twilight fell through the windows of Nikolai Suvorov's presidential residence as the sun set above the Russian capital. For two decades, the President had tried to conclude every day he spent in Moscow with this solitary ritual: Watching over the skyline of 'his' capital, this grand eternal hero city of the Russian people, while the golden natural light of the evening disappeared on the horizon next to the magnificent dome of the Christ Saviour Cathedral and gave way to the countless man-made lights that marked the awakening of Moscow's once vibrant nightlife. But tonight, much of the city would remain in darkness, as it did for several weeks at this point. After the loss of the Scandinavian radar network in late 2048, many cities in north-western Russia were left wide open to American cruise missile and air strikes from the northern sea. Despite the best efforts of the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces, several squadrons had already found their way through and unleashed their deadly payloads above Murmansk, Severomorsk and Arkhangelsk, destroying fuel depots, port facilities and factories. Even though the US Secretary of Defense had gone on record saying that the attacks were primarily directed at military targets, it stood as a tragic, undeniable fact that the first civilian casualties among the Russian population were already numbering in the thousands and it would only be a matter of time until the first B2 stealth bomber would open its bomb bay doors above the capital itself.
Suvorov turned away from the window as the light of day disappeared. For a moment, he stared pensively at the old oil painting on the wall, which depicted the famous 18th century Generalissimo Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov. Whereas other young men of his generation would have idolised famous musicians or actors from the West, it was common knowledge that the President regarded his unrelated historical namesake as a personal role model due to his flawless service record and inspiring leadership. This was all despite the fact that the President had never been much of a military man himself. At the age of 18, Nikolai Suvorov had served his obligatory year in the forces as part of a logistics unit and he later used his presidential power to put an end to the brutal system of 'Dedovshchina' wherein the senior recruits would often bully and abuse their junior comrades to the point of humiliation, injury and occasionally death. Even after his rise to power, the President had always been humble enough to admit that his brief time in the Army did not qualify him to craft elaborate strategic plans which is why he let his actual Generals do their job during the campaigns in Africa, South America and Europe. The presence of his old idol used to help Suvorov in the past, allowed him to step back for a moment and take a broader look at the issues that plagued him but now, the Generalissimo could no longer provide him with any advice.
Continuing with his moment of contemplation amidst the exhausting daily routine of strategic briefings, casualty reports and emergency decrees, Suvorov inspected a number of framed photographs on his desk which depicted the few most crucial moments of his life: Him speaking passionately in front of thousands upon thousands of citizens who had gathered in Red Square to protest against the blatantly rigged vote of 2028. For decades, Russia had been under the rule of a corrupt, power-craving elite and the infamous Sulaymaan-Baluyev Affair of 2024 was widely regarded as the final straw. Many Russians had by now gotten used to the day-to-day injustices, economic disparity and social neglect but even the most jaded among them considered an underhanded collaboration with the Global Liberation Army for the purpose of petty power gambits in the Middle East to be high treason. Despite the growing opposition, the stubborn, geriatric President called for an election which he hoped to break and bend into a one-sided victory for himself in order to demoralise and discredit his detractors once and for all. But when it turned out that the followers of Suvorov's Novorossiya Party, a broad alliance of social democrats and civic nationalists, would not back down from their rightful claim, the incumbent ordered an 'accident' upon the very life of his opponent, leaving Suvorov injured but undaunted from rallying his supporters time and time again - for he knew that this was an opportunity that he and the Motherland would not see again during his lifetime.
The second picture showed the charismatic politician on top of a BMP combat vehicle in front of the Kremlin while he was shaking hands with Leonid Zhukov, then still a Major General, who declared common cause with the protesters and revealed that the President had ordered his regiment to engage them with lethal force after the Moscow police and militia forces had refused to comply. But despite facing down the barrels of several fighting vehicles and an ever-growing mass of citizens right outside the fortress wall, the old autocrat refused to surrender and barricaded himself inside the Kremlin with his personal praetorians after the military chiefs had collectively resigned in protest against his rule. The standoff dragged on and the world held its breath until a sentry on the wall lost his nerves and fired into the crowd. Soon, the heated situation escalated out of control and a combined force of soldiers and citizens mounted a daring assault on the historical compound, overwhelming its defenders and cornering the despot in his residence. During his final stand, the President managed to shoot five attackers by himself before he fell.
The third picture was taken a mere 24 hours later and showed Nikolai Suvorov during his official inauguration as the new President of the Russian Federation. After decades of systematic corruption, economic decay, international disrespect and arbitrary repression, the new man inside the Kremlin enjoyed broad public support and the trust of the Russian people. In the following years, he went on to rebuild the Russian state from the ground up, taking a hard line against organised crime, improving the civil rights situation and introducing greater democratic participation and self-governance on the regional level in order to turn the republics of Russia into a true Federation at long last. Overnight, the nation was taken over by a spirit of collective optimism and soon, the foreign powers which had long dismissed Russia as a kleptocratic rogue state had to acknowledge the realities of this brave new world as the country's economy entered an unprecedented period of growth thanks to the many profitable resource deals made in the wake of the Global War On Terror. Ever since the catastrophe in the Middle East and the geopolitical withdrawal of the United States, Russia had become the world's primary exporter of oil and while the other major powers were still busy implementing their future alternatives to fossil fuels, the Federation reaped the benefits of these profitable exports, allowing Suvorov to invest billions upon billions into the country's education and healthcare system, the infrastructure, the industry and the military. Throughout the years that followed, it appeared as if the Motherland would finally manage to close the gap between itself and the most prosperous nations of the world.
"Those were the days", the President mumbled to himself while a tear escaped his eye. He had dedicated his entire life to his country but now, he was all alone and responsible for the most terrible catastrophe in its recent history. Worse yet, he was the one who, through his own misjudgement, enabled the atrocities of General Aleksandr and turned his vile army of brutes into an institution which he could no longer control at this point. He was tired and restless, found himself wondering what could have been if his life had taken a different path and day-dreaming of the family he never had. And so he sat down at his desk, reached for a sheet of paper and wrote down a few personal thoughts which he locked away in a small safe behind the painting of his idol before he disappeared back into the underground command bunker. The early warning system had detected another incursion into Russian airspace. That following night, the black Spirits appeared above St. Petersburg and wreaked complete devastation on the city's shipyards and factories, as well as a major hospital - another one among many collateral damages.
In this update, we would like to present you the new models of the Weapons Bunker and Industrial Plant which we're going to introduce in Version 1.85
As of Version 1.85, the Russian Weapons Bunker will come with a new model, which was mainly done to have a more compact construction footprint for what used to be a rather large building. Its function remains unchanged: The Weapons Bunker grants access to Russia's Tier 1 technologies, allows you to deploy the rugged Surveillance Missile and lets you purchase a number of important upgrades, both old and modified, to increase the combat effectiveness of your troops. Version 1.85 will introduce Advanced Infantry Munitions, which takes the function of the old Extended Magazines upgrade whilst also improving other infantry units: RPG Conscripts will be outfitted with an improved version of their RPG-27s which fire an inert 'dummy' rocket to distract active protection systems from the actual warhead while Igla Troopers gain the ability to fire a special anti-air missile with a dual infrared/radar guidance system, which guarantees a hit after a longer lock-on time than the regular missile. The new Assault Armaments upgrade adds infantry fireports to Mishkas, rocket launchers to BMPs and allows Kodiak tanks to switch between regular shells and the lethal Refleks missile, which provides a stronger punch against tanks at longer ranges at the cost of a slower reload mechanism.
The Russian Industrial Plant has been given a neat visual update as well. As of Version 1.85, the Mass Production upgrade will no longer be required to reduce the production cost of Russian vehicles and aircraft. Instead, the prices will be reduced immediately upon completion of the Industrial Plant, which is also capable of providing shelter for a number of Arms Suppliers. The rest of its functions - access to Tier 2 technologies and additional upgrades - remain unchanged.
...and after two weeks of absence due to a short vacation and a private party, Hecthor Doomhammer will be returning with us to do another stream this upcoming Sunday: