|“||One Party, One Leader, One Ideology.||„|
The Red Line (Russian: Красная Линия) is a Stalinist political faction in the remnants of post-apocalyptic Moscow.
In the year 2033, it administers sixteen stations and is known to hold de-facto control over at least two satellite stations, Armory (known as Kuznetsky in most of the novels and pre-war world) and New Bolshoi (the pre-war Teatralnaya). The Sokolnicheskaya Line is the artery of the Red Line, on which most of its stations are located and to which all connect.
One of the most powerful factions in the Moscow Metro, alongside the likes of Hanza, the Red Line is in a state of permanent conflict with the much smaller, but more militarily advanced right-wing regime of fascist stations known as the Fourth Reich.
With the largest population in the Metro (estimated at 15,000), an unparalleled capacity for mass conscription, and a number of stations and metres of track surpassed only by Hansa, the Red Line is one of the most formidable factions in the post-apocalyptic world. Juxtaposed to Hansa's policy of political ambivalence and economic hegemony, the Red Line pursues a policy of violent expansion whenever possible, as showcased by its permanent state of conflict with the fascist Fourth Reich, crimes committed against non-aligned stations, and conflict with the Rangers over the Д-6 military installation.
The Red Line is a single-party state ruled by the Communist Party of the Moscow Underground and its General Secretary, Maxim Moskvin. Marxist-Leninist and Neo-Stalinist in ideology, political repression and indoctrination is an everyday part of life for Line citizens, considered a vital tool if the Party is to maintain its ascendancy and prevent fascist infiltration.
The names used in everyday parlance before the war to describe the different lines of the Underground are based on their colours on maps of the Metro, and Sokolnicheskaya was always depicted in bright red. This, combined with the pseudo-socialist nature of the Red Line and the association of the colour red with socialism, easily explain the post-apocalyptic origins of the name.
Sokolnicheskaya was built for much the same purpose as the palaces (or tombs) of the ancient Pharaohs. A testament to the glory of the Soviet state, and the power of Stalin himself. On every wall and edifice, sumptuous statues were sculpted and mosaics laid, and while now stained by soot or decayed by the passing of time, the name remained, and so did the aura of Soviet majesty.
It was this aura which attracted to the line everyone nostalgic for the socialist past and saw in the new world an opportunity to build a communistic utopia; like pilgrims journeying to visit the relics of a long-dead saint, surviving believers in the socialist dream congregated in the stations of Sokol, and bided their time.
Following the collapse of Central Metro Command a few years after the destruction of the surface, Communist agitators throughout the Red Line began to bring their work to fruition. All across the Red Line, Muscovites overthrew their administrations and established revolutionary councils. Once enough station governments had been overthrown, the masterminds of the revolution declared a first "Interstational", with the goal of uniting the entire metro and establishing true Communism for all time. (Numerous parallels can be made between the USSR and the Red Line; this is especially true of its history. The Interstational Period can be compared to the Russian civil war and the attempt to spread Communism into Poland, Finland, and the Baltic States. There are also parallels with the theory, embraced by Trotsky, that Communism had to occur on a global scale to succeed.)
Attempts at Expansion
Following the conquest of almost the entire Sokol Branch, the Red Line seemed on the verge of taking over the entire metro and establishing a universal pseudo-Soviet state. However, many remained in the Metro who opposed this potentiality on both ideological and more practical grounds. As the Communists prepared to strike at these stations and bring to fruit the long awaited workers revolution, a coalition of stations led by Hanza, which viewed the revolution as a threat to its economic interests and territorial integrity, similarly readied itself.
When the Hansa-Red Line War was finally sparked by the CCCP-to-be, the anti-comintern coalition was prepared. What should have been a short war according to both sides evolved into a bloody stalemate, sucking in precious men and material which could have improved life for the people of the Metro and gone into preserving what remained of civilization. As the war dragged on, mutinies and desertions on the front, coupled with growing unrest in the home stations, forced the two parties to reach an agreement. Ploshchad Revolyutsii, right below Red Square and all the decaying monuments of Soviet glory long since past, was ceded to the Reds from the Arbat Confederation, and Arbat received the Biblioteka Imeni Lenina station (later ceded to Polis). A guarantee of free transit was made by both parties (on which the Red Line, now cut in half, was dependent). With both parties satisfied, the way was paved for a relationship of mutual economic dependency and watchful ambivalence.
Following many conflicts over territory, the Red Line actively began trading consumer goods with Hansa. It has begun the electrification of tunnels, but there are famines from time to time in Communist stations. Although their territorial possessions allow the Red Line to produce a large amount of food and weaponry, its conflicts with the Reich have drained these resources substantially.
The Red Line's state ideology is a far-left mixture of Trotskyism and Stalinism. They claim to promote class equality, common ownership, and anti-capitalism. On paper, the Red Liners believe that everything that comes out of their labor is to be shared equally with everyone, meaning all are entitled to food, water, and housing. Their society, as noted by Pavel Morozov, follows a very strict mindset: one leader, one party, and one ideology to assure that their ideological goals are met. Pavel mentions order and control being considered more important than individual freedoms, to make sure their beliefs withstand.
In reality, life on the Red Line stations is tough for most residents, with a brutal police-state system of government and frequent shortages of food or other necessities - citizens are often overworked, underpaid, and generally terrorized by the government. Well-armed soldiers patrol each station under communist control to maintain law and order as well as prevent rebellion, while conscripted recruits are used for war fighting at the front. According to Khan, individuals commonly sell out their own neighbors to the police, supposedly for rewards of food. Those who do so much as disrespect a soldier, or are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, are arrested and sent to Lubyanka station located underneath the old KGB (Soviet Union's secret police) headquarters, which is used as a political prison by the Communists for citizens who break the law or do not obey the government. A common phrase used in regards to Lubyanka station is that "the ticket to Lubyanka is always one-way", hinting that all who go there are worked/tortured to death or outright executed. These rules and policies cause large numbers of refugees to flee the Red Line, creating a refugee crisis for the other factions, although most don't make it that far.
Officially, the Red Line is neutral to most other factions, the exceptions being the Fourth Reich and Bandits. The Communists are neutral towards Artyom during his brief stay at the Armory, but upon entrance to the Armory and outside the station, they are entirely hostile.
In the novel, the Red Line also has an alliance with the Revolutionaries, another far-left group who attack the Reich sporadically to reduce their numbers and force them to take troops away from the front-line. In-game, the Red Line don't have any solid allies, except before the events in Metro: Last Light, where they had a fragile alliance with Hansa and the Rangers. Despite officially being an anti-imperialist and neutral state, the Red Line is possibly the most imperialistic state in the Metro. They often attempt to gain control of nearby stations by gradually exerting their influence upon the current government, or backing the overthrow of it in favor of a pro-communist government - either way, they will eventually take over and integrate the station into the Red Line and regard them as a "free" station.
The Red Army, the official military of the Red Line, and is believed to be the largest army in the Metro. When comparing it to the military of the Fourth Reich, the Red Army is much larger in size due to the Red Line having a much higher population to conscript from, and because of this they also have lower standards towards the combat capability of their troops. Internal politics of Communist controlled stations are focused upon conscription, aimed at enticing as many recruits to join up as possible. Therefore, they have the manpower to launch costly human wave attacks against the Nazi defenses without so much as a second thought.
Red Army soldiers are mostly untrained, poorly equipped, and sent into battle shortly after recruitment. The methods of how soldiers are recruited and criteria to be considered suitable for combat are never explained. It can be assumed, however, that while they are not forced to be soldiers, all able-bodied males are pressured into signing up due to the apparent poor quality of life in Communist-held stations. Soldiers are promised pay of one full clip of bullets for fighting but are pressured into spending their pay to fight the enemy.
The Red Army, like other factions, contains different units that have different specialties. The main wing of the Red Army which it is known for, its infantry, is the largest force in the entire Metro. It's mentioned in "Sparta" that the Red Line has 15,000 people living in their stations, of which it is likely that up to several thousand of them are soldiers. While its infantry size is impressive, the Faction Pack reveals that the Red Army also has a skilled Sniper Team and puts you in control of a Red Line Sniper. The Red Line also contains a number of double agents and spies which are commanded by head of intelligence General Korbut, with some spies such as Lesnitsky having infiltrated powerful factions such as the Rangers.
The majority of front-line soldiers of the Red Army are poorly trained and equipped conscripts fresh from the stations, usually being armed only with a Bastard carbine, single magazine (which is also their conscription payment), and a non-protective cloth uniform. This is because these soldiers are used as cannon fodder by their commanders or as a human wall for protecting emplacements during the major combat with the Fourth Reich, often being slaughtered with ease by the more superior Nazi soldiers.
Despite this, many Communist soldiers can be seen wearing professional combat armour and metal helmets, as well as being armed with Kalashes, some also featuring night vision goggles. These soldiers can be seen in the levels "Armory" acting as security forces, and "Frontline" just hanging around, either talking to other soldiers or patrolling. Judging by the fact that these well-armed soldiers are always a distance away from the frontline, it could be assumed that they are either officers/squad commanders or elite units either on par with Nazi soldiers or even better, to be sent to battle when conscripts are not effective or low in numbers.
By 2034, for unknown reasons, the Red Army appears to have been developed greatly, with a larger number of soldiers featuring equipment and training on par with other factions such as the Reich. Their weapons often have attachments such as laser sights and optics, have a high number of heavy armoured suits, plus a considerable number of soldiers with CBRN suits in areas where they have deployed biological weapons. In the latter half of Metro: Last Light, during the massive assault on D6 and on the Frontline, the teams sent to kill Artyom have gear that is similar to those used by the Rangers, which includes nearly identical body armour and heavily modified high-level weaponry. They even employ soldiers with ballistic shields, flamethrowers, gatling guns, improvised "tanks" similar to Panzers used by Nazis, and an armored train to back up their offensive.
List of Equipment
|AK-74M||Assault Rifle||5.45x39mm||Russian Federation|
|AK-2012||Assault Rifle||5.45x39mm||Russian Federation|
The demeanor of Red Army soldiers varies greatly. While Artyom is hidden in the storage compartment of the rail-car carrying newly recruited conscripts on the way to the front line, some of the Communist soldiers can be heard explaining why they joined the Red Army. One claims he joined because he genuinely believes in Communism, another explains participation in the Red Army is a family tradition, while a third less enthusiastic soldier claims he is purely in it for the money. The lack of morale and enthusiasm by many Red Army soldiers towards their cause is once shown again during a rallying speech by a commissar, where they do not participate in singing the national anthem, and one of the soldiers making pessimistic statements about dying before he can spend his conscription payment. There are various Communists that can be heard admiring socialist leaders and organizers from before the war, such as Vladimir Lenin, Karl Marx, and Che Guevara. When Artyom is captured by Nazis at the front-line, they assume that he is a Red spy and mock him, asking him to pray to Marx as some sort of god.
The Red Line's officers seem to maintain a very high discipline standard as they will apparently execute a person for "desertion" even if they were attempting to do something that would benefit the Red Line's cause. In the level "Frontline", a soldier can be seen pleading for his life before being executed by his officer as part of a "Revolutionary Tribunal" after returning from discovering a hidden passage leading behind the Reich defenses. Several Red Army soldiers can also be heard openly criticizing the Red Line and their commanders to each other, but are often told by one of their comrades to shut up, scared that they will be tried for treason and executed.
|Attention! Spoiler ahead!|
This article contains plot information that may spoil major story aspects for the reader. Read at your own risk, or skip the spoiler by clicking HERE.
The Red Line doesn't play a crucial role in the events of Metro 2033, where they are featured briefly. They are only fought against in the level "Frontline", where they are already fighting against the Reich, and can be entirely avoided if Artyom sneaks by them.
Metro: Last Light
The Red Line returns as a major faction during the events in Metro: Last Light, and are most common human enemies in the game. The Communists absconded with several biological weapons developed before the war, and party leaders have seen fit to use them on various Metro stations as a means to take control of them. The effects of these weapons are clearly seen in several screenshots, causing mass hysteria among the general populace. The Red Line has secretly developed a huge army which is mobilized against the Rangers in D6, and the Fourth Reich from a second front, in the final part of the game. On both fronts, the Red Line suffered massive losses and none of their objectives are achieved.
Metro 2033 (Novel)
After Artyom flees Kitai-Gorod and rescues Mikhail Porfirevich and Vanechka, they briefly stay at Kuznetsky Most, a free station on paper, but a Red Line satellite in reality, with a heavy presence of Red Line troops. They settle for the night, but are forced to quickly leave when a guard wakes them up and informs them that a Red Line spy has heard them discussing the Emerald City, the mention of which is strictly forbidden in the Red Line.
Leonid takes Sasha to Sportivnaya, the southeastern-most Red Line station, from which, supposedly, one can get to Emerald City. Though this is proven to be a lie, Leonid attempts to redeem himself by getting Sasha to Polis. He does so by assaulting a guard and stealing a motorized trolley. They speed through most of the southern half of the Red Line before the alarm can be raised, but are eventually pursued by a Red Line armoured trolley. They mange to reach Polis, however, before they are caught. The Red Line stations are described as bleak and crumbling, despite being painted in beautiful murals. All, more or less, resemble each other.
Before the events of the book, the Red Line attacks D6. They are repelled, but cost the Order half their men. At the start of the book, the Red Line is facing a famine due to the mushroom disease that has swept the Metro.
Dietmar forces Artyom to place a mine at Teatralnaya and blow up the connecting passage to the Red Line. Artyom places the mine in the wrong position, and gets himself deliberately captured by the Red Line in order to get in contact with a radio operator that was captured earlier. Unfortunately, Svinolup executes the Radio operator out of spite, and is about to execute Artyom as well, but the latter reveals himself to be a Reich saboteur and claims he can call off the offensive. When he radios Dietmar, however, he signals for the beginning of the offensive instead, which causes the remote mines, including the one placed by Artyom to blow up. Artyom is able to escape to the surface in the subsequent chaos, albeit without any protective gear.
The Reich storms Teatralnaya and also tries to take Revolution Square, but are beaten back in a counter attack from the Red Line, which was possible due to Artyom not placing his mine in the correct position, leaving the passage to Okhotny Ryad still open. The Reds eventually launch an offensive from Kuznetsky Most to Pushkinskaya, utilizing poorly armed prisoners from Lublyanka. The Reich responds by sending its own prisoners from Pushkin into the tunnel and subsequently blowing it up. Artyom, Lyokha, and the other Reich prisoners are forced to battle the Red Line prisoners in pitch darkness. Artyom's knee is injured during the skirmish. After the battle, one of the Red prisoners reveals that numerous prisoners from the Red Line were sent to build something on the surface in Balashikha. This turns out to be wind turbines used to supply a radio jamming station with electricity, although the soldiers present are not Red Line men, but from Hanza.
Later, Artyom, Lyokha, and Savelii accompany Letyaga on a mission to deliver cartridges to the front, although it turns out that they are delivering the bullets to the Red Line. Letyaga is forced to restrain Artyom, who is outraged that they are helping the enemy that attacked the bunker. Letayaga claims that the Red Line is going to use the bullets to buy food from Hanza to relieve their famine. Although he has orders to execute Artyom and his companions for acting out, Letyaga instead helps them escape through Komsomol, a Red Line station currently overrun with a horde of starving citizens attempting to get to Hanza. Artyom attempts to convince the citizens to leave the Metro and seek their fortune on the surface outside of Moscow, but is ignored. The citizens instead storm the Red machine gun posts and are mowed down by the dozen with the same bullets the Order just delivered. They eventually overrun the posts, however, and storm the Hanza border, dragging Artyom and his companions along. They are able to get away before Hanza employes the flamethrowers against the refugees, although Savelii is lost and trampled by the crowd.
Besssolov later reveals that the Red Line, like all the other major factions in the Metro, is under his control, and even implies that he and the Watchers were responsible for their creation. At the end of the novel, Sukhoi reveals that the mushrooms at Exibition have died too, so they must now import pig feed from Hanza. Artyom questions how Hanza remained unefected by the plague, but another station resident tells him that they bought it from the Red Line, specifically Komsomol, implying that the pig feed is made from the starving citizens killed there.
After the defeat of the battalion of Cheslav Korbut in D6, the general was put under tribunal. Secretary General Moskvin entered into an alliance with the Order and Polis. The fate of the Red Line is identical to what is happening in Metro 2035 novel. At a Hanza radio station, Artyom can overhear a conversation between two soldiers that the Hanza government could withdraw normal weapons for an operation against the Reds or the Reich.
|Phew! That was close.|
While there may be minor spoilers in the sections below, the major spoilers have passed. Click HERE to go back to the beginning of the article.
|Save a group of "Reds" from Fascist captivity.|
|Complete the level "Armory" without getting caught.|
|Complete "Frontline" without killing anyone.|
|On the level "Frontline" kill all of the enemy Red Army and Fascist Soldiers.|
Metro 2033 Redux
|Rescue Ranger||/ 30|
|Save a group of Reds from Fascist captivity|
|Invisible Man||/ 40|
|Complete FRONTLINE level without killing anyone.|
|On the level FRONTLINE kill all of the enemy Red Army and Fascist Soldiers.|
Metro: Last Light
|Find out about the Reds' plans.|
|Within a Hair of Death||/ 10|
|Escape from the Red Line.|
|Kill all the Reds on the THE CHASE level.|
Metro: Last Light Redux
|Find out about the Reds' plans.|
|Within a Hair of Death||/ 10|
|Escape from the Red Line.|
- The only person to ever specifically mention the Soviet Union is Miller while inside D6 when talking about the technology, referring to it as having "Soviet soul". When activating the emergency lights, however, he says that the central elevator reminds him of "old Hollywood movies about Soviet Union [sic]".
- During the mission "Frontline", Artyom will be able to save three communist soldiers from being executed by Nazi soldiers. This will also garner an achievement and moral points.
- Red soldiers apparently have a method to destroy the Nazis' Panzers, but it's never seen in-game. However, a burning Panzer is seen in the middle of the level "Frontline", halfway between the Nazi and Communist positions.
- New recruits are paid a single fully loaded magazine of Military grade rounds upon joining the Red Army but are expected to be an "honorable soldier" and use it on the enemy.
- If listening to some of the conversations between communist soldiers at the Armory, someone mentioning how there was once a war between the Russians and the Nazis in the past, and that they won can be heard. This in reference to the Great Patriotic War, though many details of the war have doubtless been lost in the passing twenty years, and what remains has been distorted by both Red and Fascist propaganda.
- The war between the Fourth Reich and the Red Line is an allusion to the conflict of the Eastern Front in World War II. The equipment and strategy used are historically suggestive. For example, the communist Red Line uses poorly trained, mostly conscript forces that are high in numbers to rush enemy positions, while the Nazis of the Reich use an army of well trained and equipped professional soldiers, though their overall forces are fewer in number.
- At the beginning of the mission "Frontline", a commissar can be heard using communist propaganda (speech and patriotic song) in an attempt to rally the newly transported conscripts - similar to tactics commissars of the Red Army used before and during the battles of World War II to boost morale during assaults or charges.
- According to dialogue between conscripts, one claims that his father and grandfather fought in the Red Army. As life in the Metro has only existed for 20 years and the Red Line's army even less, it's possible the conscript's grandfather may have served in the original Red Army of the Soviet Union in the past, maybe even during World War II.
- According to some dialogue between several Rangers in the first chapter in Metro: Last Light, there are about 15,000 people living in the Red Line.
- The Red Line and the Fourth Reich are the only two factions to possess tanks. The Red Army is also one of two armoured train users in the Metro games, the other being Hansa, as shown in Metro Exodus.
- The armoured train used by the Red Line is possibly a reference to the Soviet military leader and politician Leon Trotsky's armoured train, which he drove throughout Russia during the early 20th century.
- The Red Line most likely uses the Russian version of the Internationale as a national anthem. The commissar in the beginning of "Frontline" and Pavel defiantly sings it while being tortured by the Nazis.
- In Metro: Last Light, at the start of the game, Artyom is lead to believe that the Reds are allies and that the Nazis are the primary antagonists. However, once Pavel betrays Artyom, the Reds are discovered to be the primary antagonists of the game. The Nazis still remain hostile though, just inconsequential to the story.
- On the banner used by the red line the abbreviation "CCCP" and the words "Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь!" orbit around a globe defaced by the hammer and sickle. "CCCP" is the Cyrillic abbreviation for "Union of Soviet Socialist Republics" and "Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь!" translates to one of the most famous rallying cries from the Communist Manifesto motto "Proletarians of all countries, Unite!". This would suggest that the official name of the Red Line is, in fact, the "Union of Soviet Socialist Republics", though this is never confirmed in-game and may simply be a form of homage to the Soviet Union.
- The seal occupying the centre of the Red Banner is the State Emblem of the USSR from 1923-1936, with the before mentioned Soviet motto in the Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Georgian, Armenian, and Azerbaijani languages. The use of the 1923 emblem is strange; the most likely explanation is that it was aesthetically simpler and therefore easier to incorporate into the game. Additionally, it was in use during the early Stalinist era (an era which the Red Line seeks to emulate) and it's also possible that the speakers of the six languages of the 1923 emblem happened to be some of the largest non-Russian ethnic groups in the Red Line.
Concept Art by Vlad "Feanture" Tkach
|Factions of the Moscow Metro|
1905 Confederation • Arbat Confederation • Baumansky Alliance • Belorusskaya Trade Outpost • Children of the Underground • "Europe" • Farms and Factories • Great Worm Cult • Huliaipole Republic • Human-Mutant Society • Kalininskaya Confederation • May Day Republic • Mitino Commonwealth • Pechatniki Confederation • Revolutionaries • Ryazan Community • Satanists • Sevastopolskaya HPP • VDNKh Commonwealth • Yasenevskaya Community