Russian TV – being, for the most part, sovok bilge – says that it is… because you get a “decommunization” award for sniping off the head of the Great Bald One.
But basically the entire ideological spectrum outside sovokland dismisses this.
The anti-svodomist Insomniac Resurrected:
It is an unfortunate state of affairs that Lenin is associated with Russianness. He was nothing but a ghoul, who killed many Russians. And while I am staunchly against the Maidan and against Ukrainian nazis, when the latter began toppling Lenin statues around Ukraine, I did not feel any regrets. It is not Russophobia to remove the statue of a rootless cosmopolitan, who hated the Russian people.
The arch-svidomist Polygraph.info:
Ironically, Lenin himself derided what he called “great Russian chauvinism,” leading to a policy of korenizatsiya (“putting down roots”) that sought to curtail Russian linguistic and cultural domination in other Soviet republics. In Ukraine, that policy included mandatory Ukrainian-language education.
In 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin slammed Lenin for this policy, saying it “planted an atomic bomb under the building that is called Russia which later exploded.” Ironically, many of Lenin’s policies have made him a lighting road for Russia’s far right. Russian nationalist firebrand Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the misleadingly-named Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, decried Lenin in the State Duma as a “Russophobe,” as Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev could be seen smirking behind him. Russian white nationalist blogger Anatoly Karlin derided Lenin as “a sadist, a Russophobe and a tyrant” in an extensive polemic echoing a commonly held view among similar ideologues. In this context, equating criticism of Lenin to Russophobia is inconsistent with fringe or even mainstream ideological discourse in Russia.
But in reality, there was no shortage of hidden and not so hidden anti-Russian content in this Ukrainian-made video game they could have focused on, had they so wished.
The game is based on Dmitry Glukhovsky’s eponymous series, and the third game in particular is based on Glukhovsky’s third book, Metro 2035. Now the first book, Metro 2033, goes light on politics and constitutes standard (if rather well-written) post-apocalyptic doomporn. There has been a nuclear war and the last survivors eke out a desperate existence in the Moscow Metro, subsisting on mushrooms and dwindling fuel stocks. Heroic “stalkers” venture out onto the blasted and irradiated surface to scrounge for supplies and spare parts. The Metro government has itself collapsed into many different station-states, including “Hansea” on the Circle Line, the “Red Line”, and the “Fourth Reich” at Tverskaya. I assume you can figure out their respective ideologies yourself. The Hero needs to navigate through these various station-states in his quest to stop a mortal threat to his home station.
However, as the third book (Metro 2035) rolls around, it becomes increasingly evident that the cake is a lie. The war is long over, and in reality, it is not really all the radiation and mutants keeping Muscovites in their sordid bunker. If only they knew that NATO is now friends and they could all go out and sing kumbaya in a circle with the Dark Ones and rainbow-colored pterodactyls flying overhead! Unfortunately, a deep state – the “Hidden Watchers” – blocks radio transmissions to Moscow, preventing them from embracing that happy fate.
Now this is all fine, sci-fi writers have always made critical comments on their societies. The Strugatskys were brilliant at it (who could the “unknown fathers” have been referring to? hmmm…). But the problem is that by the third book it was an open polemic, not the grimdark post-apocalyptic adventure story it started out as. This resulted in a suspension of belief and low ratings, though Glukhovsky himself would probably ascribe it Putler’s brainwashing.
People in Russia say that they’re happy with Putin – but then they’re being brainwashed day and night by all channels of TV, and they’re asked about their love for Putin by state-controlled sociological services.
Anyhow, in the book itself, the deep state at least lets the Hero leave, one of them remarking, “Let him leave. Good riddance!” as he observes him through a binoculars (a German made binoculars, Glukhovsky points out). Now apparently, things don’t go as smoothly in the video game (Metro Exodus), where they set out to hunt for him and his merry band of emigre outlaws as they traverse the post-apocalyptic zoo that Russia has become.
Promotional poster: “Wildlife of post-apocalyptic russia” (Russia written in lower-case).
Enemies are parodies of Mordor Russia, many of them ironically from a sovok perspective (but Ukrainian svidomism is pretty sovok itself). These include a Baron, a representative of the aristocracy sucking out oil and refusing to share it, as well as a Priest leading some crazed religious cult, a satire on the Orthodox Church, whose followers wear vatniks and imprison unbelievers.
The Continuity of Government has become the Cannibalism of Government. In the post-nuclear apocalypse, the surviving members of the Russian state at the Yamantau mountain base habr degenerated into a pack of crazed man-eaters literally feeding on local Russians. Or maybe they were always such.
They chief says, “We are the government that you deserve.”
You get a badge where the scepter and orb on the Russian coat of arms is replaced with a fork and a skull for dealing with them.
Now speaking of governments that one deserves… it is unsurprising that, as members of Kiev’s creative class, 4A Games heartily supported the “Revolution of Dignity”, including their co-founder and creative director:
I want during my time on Earth to live in a normal country – and if it could be the Ukraine, I can’t even imagine this… People gave their lives for this chance …
Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!
He wrote that in February 2014. Three months later, 4A Games relocated to Malta.
PS. As I don’t currently have a gaming PC, I haven’t played the game itself, and thus have only relied what other people have written about it. So I can’t comment on any of its actual gaming quality (but it seems to be respectable).