Soviet Politburo: The Death of Stalin

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, 1953


In 1953, the USSR is gripped in an ideological struggle with the United States for planetary domination of their respective socio-economic systems. The conflict has already blazed into a proxy war on the Korean peninsula, and the Soviet military, gutted by the Second World War, must rebuild and prepare to confront the Americans on a global scale. At the same time, the country is still grappling with rebuilding from the purges of the 1930s and the damage wrought by the Second World War, which cost the lives of 20 million of its citizens and left much of the country's industry and countryside in ruins. You, the Soviet Politburo, made up of a mix of government ministers and top Party officials, are responsible for that rebuilding, as well as steering the country through the Cold War.

For three decades, the Politburo has been little more than the puppet of one man, Joseph Stalin, who has ruled the country with an iron fist, and has not been shy about killing those he deems as disloyal (including Politburo members and their families). But now, in 1953, your beloved supreme leader is ill-and it is an open secret among Politburo members that he only has a matter of months to live. Your challenge as Politburo members is thus twofold: use your portfolio powers to help confront the country's many challenges, both foreign and domestic, while building allies and a power base to remain relevant in the looming post-Stalinist era. But you must tread carefully-for Stalin, even in his weakened state, is as watchful and paranoid as ever-and treason is not tolerated in the Soviet Union. Удачи!