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18th January 2019


When the premiere group of super-heroes known as the Soviet Super-Soldiers proved too independent to control properly, the government of the Soviet Union formed a new team of super beings that they could: the Supreme Soviets. As change swept the nation, breaking the Soviet Union into separate nations, the team evolved as well. Although it took the less ominous name of the People's Protectorate, the team’s mission was essentially the same: to serve the government of Russia, first and foremost. Over the years, their missions domestic and abroad have brought them into conflict with their international counterparts in the United States and Canada.


Sputnik/Vostok, Crimson Dynamo V/Airstrike, Red Guardian IV, Perun, Fantasia/Fantasma

First Appearance: Captain America (1st series) #352 (Supreme Soviets);                                Soviet Super-Soldiers #1 (People's Protectorate)

Last Appearance: off-panel prior to Iron Man (3rd series) #9


  • As a member of the Soviet Super-Soldiers, Crimson Dynamo had formerly worked alongside Russian mutants Darkstar, Vanguard and Ursa Major for the betterment of the people of the Soviet Union. However, as the Soviet government’s persecution of mutants grew worse, the tension between the Dynamo and his teammates grew too great and he departed.
  • Red Guardian IV, Fantasma, Perun and Vostok had not appeared prior to the formation of the Supreme Soviets.
  • Josef Petkus was a special operative for the intelligence agencies of the Soviet Union before becoming the fourth individual to take the name Red Guardian. The mantle had remained unused for some years, ever since Tania Belinsky, the third Red Guardian, had become Starlight.
  • Perun is the actual Slavic deity worshipped over a thousand year before, now bound to an amulet that was found by a Soviet agent named Valeri Soyloyev.
  • Although appearing human, Fantasma was actually an extraterrestrial, a member of the Dire Wraiths. As a female member of that species, she possessed magic abilities. For most of her time on Earth, however, she seemed to be unaware of her true identity as an extraterrestrial and believed herself to be human. It's unknown how Fantasma came to the attention of the Soviet government but, considering the presence of Dire Wraiths in the Forbidden Zone, presumably she was found and given a human identity.
  • Vostok is the combination of a Soviet scientist named Anatoly and mysterious alien technology.


Although the Soviet Super-Soldiers had named themselves after the communist government of the Soviet Union and had occasionally worked with it, they had never truly worked for it and maintained their independence. Fed up with this insubordination, the Soviet government decided to create its own team that it could control. Additionally, as the Soviet Union’s policy toward mutants had been a particular point of grievance with its predecessor, this new team would include none.

In their first assignment, the newly formed “Supreme Soviets” were sent to apprehend their predecessors, the Soviet Super-Soldiers, who had defected to the United States and were temporarily residing on Avengers Island. Its members, Red guardian, Perun, Sputnik and Crimson Dynamo, arrived in disguise, thanks to the spell-casting abilities of their teammate Fantasia. Appearing instead as Captain America, Thor, Vision and Iron Man, they took the Super-Soldiers by surprise and, apparently, killed them.

Determined to learn whether the assassination had been sanctioned by its government, Captain America traveled to the Soviet Union to investigate. He was met by Red Guardian, who gave his American counterpart a tour of Moscow. During their tour, the two were attacked by a large, strange, black bear creature, which seemed to absorb Red Guardian into itself. Another attack by the bear creature took place soon after, and this time the rest of the Supreme Soviets, Sputnik, Perun, the Crimson Dynamo and Fantasia, were dispatched to defeat the creature. Captain America assisted them but could only watch as one by one the Supreme Soviets were absorbed into the creature. Following a hunch, Captain America leapt into the strange creature and discovered that it was the actually combined life essences of the Soviet Super-Soldiers, animated by the Darkforce. They had absorbed the Supreme Soviets into themselves in an attempt at revenge. Captain America urged the Super-Soldiers to reconsider, reminding them that they were heroes. His words moved them and the creature vanished, leaving the Supreme Soviets alive, though unconscious. [Captain America (1st series) #352-353]

When a terrorist group comprised of environmental activists seeking to destabilize the state's nuclear submarine program attacked a shipyard on the border between the USSR and Finland, the Supreme Soviets were sent to stop and apprehend them. Indeed, the terrorist faction was no match for the mighty Supreme Soviets and were captured with ease. Upon their return, Crimson Dynamo was informed by Colonel-General Fyodor Shelkov that his army service extension to the Supreme Soviets had been rescinded and that he was needed back in Moscow. Once he returned to the Kremlin, Crimson Dynamo was ordered by Valentin Statalov to go to New York City and retrieve the original Titanium Man.

While this side-mission took place, the rest of the Supreme Soviets embarked on a mission to apprehend the second Unicorn, who was causing chaos in Leningrad. Although the combined efforts of the Supreme Soviets were able to defeat the mysterious new Unicorn, Sputnik was seriously injured during the battle. Fortunately, being more machine than man, he could be repaired. Upon returning to the Soviet Union with the Titanium Man, Burkharin was forced to hand over the Crimson Dynamo armor. However, upon being reunited with his teammates, he was presented with a new armor and dubbed Airstrike, while Valentin Shatalov took the Crimson Dynamo armor for himself. Burkharin's return came at the right time, as Perun had disappeared, leaving his human host powerless.

Several weeks later, the Supreme Soviets moved into their new headquarters, located several miles outside of Moscow, where Perun returned just in time for a press conference and the now fully repaired Sputnik took the new name Vostok. In keeping with the changing government, the team was renamed the People's Protectorate. [Soviet Super Soldiers one shot]


  • Burkharin never adopted the Airstrike armor on any known missions. Instead, he continued to wear the Crimson Dyanmo armor, possibly a copy of it, as Shatalov was also active as the Crimson Dynamo during this time.

Chronology Continued:

The People's Protectorate became involved in an international incident when a Soviet terrorist faction known as the Peace Corpse took over a British nuclear submarine called Winterwind, which was positioned in the Atlantic Ocean. The People's Protectorate confronted the terrorists directly, which put them up against the Avengers, who had been invited by the British Prime Minister to investigate. The two super teams battled, during which time Fantasma (who had previously been known as Fantasia) sensed a boding danger. The battle had raged too close to Atlantis and had drawn the attention of the undersea nation’s own heroes, Tyrak, Meranino and Orka, who confronted the heroes while the terrorists continued to maintain their hold over the Waterwind.

Due to the mutual threat, the People's Protectorate and Avengers agreed to set aside their differences as they battled the Atlantean army, during which time the Waterwind made a quick escape, albeit with one Avenger stowed away onboard. When the Atlanteans were defeated, the People's Protectorate agreed to work alongside the Avengers to stop the terrorists and, after receiving information from the stowaway Avenger on the Waterwind, the super teams tracked the stolen nuclear submarine to Newfoundland. There the terrorists had docked in a populated costal community, demanding the submarine be repaired after sustaining some damage. As the teams surveyed the situation, differences in ideologies between the two teams became apparent, but again the two groups put them aside when the situation became more complicated by the arrival of Alpha Flight. The Canadian team’s leader, Guardian, declared that as this was Canadian soil and that she was now in charge.

For the sake of hostages aboard the Waterwind, Guardian allowed the Waterwind to be docked and the three super teams set up a makeshift headquarters to discuss their options. Red Guardian and Vostok joined a small squad that would infiltrate the Waterwind, attempt to rescue the hostages and diffuse any nuclear danger aboard the vessel. Meanwhile, Fantasma, Crimson Dynamo and Perun would assist the others with evacuation of civilians in the town. As the begrudged Atlanteans made their way towards Newfoundland, Red Guardian and Vostok came across two of the terrorist faction inside the Waterwind, each of whom had biologically attached themselves to the nuclear control console, ready to start World War III.

Despite the escalating stakes, the three teams continued to work together. Fantasma made the evacuation of civilians possible by masking the presence of herself, the heroes assisting her and the evacuees themselves. Meanwhile, Perun and Crimson Dynamo joined several other heroes in battling the angry Atlanteans. Most crucially, Red Guardian infiltrated the Waterwind, appealing to the terrorist leader, as they had previous personal connections. Undeterred, the terrorist leader voiced his belief that by detonating the nuclear device, Russia would unite the nations of the world in a mutual goal of war. While Red Guardian distracted the leader, Vostok and the Vision attempted to disarm the nuclear devices, but in doing so activated the failsafe and bombs exploded. Fortunately for all, Shaman of Alpha Flight was able to envelop the entire surrounding area in his medicine pouch. While this saved the nuclear blast and fallout from the area, it also brought along all three teams and the evacuating civilians and scattered them all throughout various realms of the medicine pouch.

In the aftermath of the explosion, the People’s Protectorate found themselves trapped within the realms of Shaman’s medicine pouch. Ultimately, the combined efforts of members of the People's Protectorate, Alpha Flight and the Avengers succeeded in finding a way back to Earth along with the civilians but without releasing the radiation. After officially making allies – and friends – with their North American counterparts, the People's Protectorate then return to Russia. [Avengers (1st series) #319-324]

When Igor Drenkov, an officer of the Bodyguard Service, was kidnapped in Washington DC while on a diplomatic mission, the People's Protectorate journeyed to the United States to recover him. The search was made easier by Fantasma, who possessed a psychic link to Drenkov as a result of shaking his hand when they had met on an earlier occasion. Despite her usefulness, Red Guardian was clearly frustrated with Fantasma's holier-than-thou nature, as well as Perun's overly jovial attitude. Most important for him, Red Guardian was determined that the People's Protectorate prove that the dissolution of the Soviet Union has not made their country weak.

As they arrived in New Mexico, the team was confronted by the group known as the Pantheon, who downed the People's Protectorate's jet and then boasted that they had delivered Drenkov into the hands of an associate. At first, a battle seemed imminent until, to the Pantheon’s surprise, the Protectorate suddenly vanished. Considering the overall mission more important than a battle, Fantasma had used her power to make it appear as if the Russian team had vanished, while in instead they continued to track Drenkov. Eventually, they discovered that he was a prisoner of the Hulk, who was the associate of whom the Pantheon had spoken. As Crimson Dynamo and Perun engaged the Hulk in battle, Red Guardian voiced his belief that they had completed their mission by finding Drenkov and should leave, avoiding a battle with the powerful Hulk. This turned out not to be an option, as the battle had been joined by the Pantheon, who quickly took out Fantasma to prevent a repeat of her previous trick. Eventually, cooler heads prevailed and the Hulk explained his actions. He informed them that, years before, Denkov had been in a position to stop the explosion that had created the Hulk but did not, a crime for which the Hulk wanted him to pay. To this, Drenkov pointed out that, in creating the Hulk, he had created a hero. Though his logic was impeccable, the whole situation pushed Denkov over the edge and he crumbled to insanity. Presumable, the People’s Protectorate returned him home to Russia for treatment. [Incredible Hulk (2nd series) #393]

Vostok and Perun were in space when they came across several heroes who were allies of Quasar, returning from a mission in space. Perun and Vostok were in the process of offering the heroes transport in their space ship when they were contacted by Quasar, who had discovered more cosmic trouble and hoped his allies would assist him one again. While Vostok returned to Earth, Perun accompanied the heroes to a meeting point, where Quasar and other allies, including Darkstar and Vanguard of Siberforce, rallied. Quasar was happy to have assistance from Perun and informed his allies that a group of aliens called the Starblasters had kidnapped his girlfriend Kayla Ballantine and the Watcher. As the heroes ventured into space, Perun proved by powerful ally, as well as being a jovial one. When the team did battle with the Shi'ar Imperial Guard, Perun did battle with both guardsmen Starbolt and Neutron, easily besting them with his divine strength and powers. The tables turned, however, when Quasar’s group caught up with the Stablaster and were captured. The heroes eventual made their escape, during which time Perun made a major miscalculation. When he used his hammer to smash a hole through the ship so the Starblasters would be sucked out into space, his hammer unintentionally careened out into space and did not return to him. Fortunately, the heroes soon encountered the Stranger, who was in conflict with the leader of the Starblasters, the villainous Skeletron. He bade the heroes to accompany him and eventually returned Perun's enchanted mallet to him. Following the defeat of Skeletron, the cosmic battle was ended and with the victorious heroes returned to Earth. [Starblast Crossover]


  • The winds of change not only continued to sweep the Russian government, but also Russia's super teams, as both the People's Protectorate and Siberforce either went their separate ways, or were disbanded in details not fully chronicled.
  • A new Russian super team called the Winter Guard was formed, consisting of People's Protectorate members Steel Guardian, Vostok and Fantasma, Siberforce members Darkstar, Vanguard and Sibercat, and another Russian super being, Powersurge. [Iron Man (3rd series) #9-10]
  • In keeping with the changing times, Red Guardian IV becomes Steel Guardian [Iron Man (3rd series) #9]
  • It's unknown why Perun was not part of the new Winter Guard team, however he reconnected with some of his former teammates when a rift was formed in the Winter Guard. Following the death of Darkstar, several members departed the team and, although it is not clear whether he was an actual member, he accompanied the others. [Darkstar & the Winter Guard #1-2]
  • Burkharin maintained a low profile, occasionally active as Crimson Dynamo, and eventually joining the Winter Guard. At some point, he transitioned into semi-retirement as a hero, becoming the administrative handler to the Winter Guard instead. [Darkstar & the Winter Guard #1-2]
  • When Alexi Shostakov, the original Red Guardian, was restored to life, he became known as Ronin, and as part of the Dark Ocean Society, sought to incite war between Russia and Japan. In this bellicose endeavor, he used a young girl with illusion powers whom he called Fantasma and outfitted his army with armor and battlesuits resembling those of Crimson Dynamo, Sputnik and Perun and calling them the Supreme Soviets. Shostakov was defeated by the Black Widow and the girl called Fantasma, whose whereabouts are unknown. [Black Widow (4th series) #7-8, Widowmaker #1-4]


Sputnik / Vostok (Anatoly)

First Appearance: Captain America (1st series) #352

All Supreme Soviets/People's Protectorate appearances: Captain America (1st series) #352-353, Soviet Super-Soldiers #1, Avengers (1st series) #319-324, Incredible Hulk (2nd series) #393, Quasar #54

Powers: Merged with alien technology to become a living synthozoid with superhuman strength, durability, flight, liquid metal regenerative body, and metal transmutation powers allowing him to animate and control metal objects or machines

Crimson Dynamo V / Airstrike (Colonel Dimitri Bukharin)

First Appearance: Iron Man (1st series) #109

All Supreme Soviets/People's Protectorate appearances: Captain America (1st series) #352-353, Soviet Super-Soldiers #1, Avengers (1st series) #319-324, Incredible Hulk (2nd series) #393

Powers: Micro-circuitry battle armor uses exoskeleton for superhuman strength, armored resistance to physical injury, Vanko generators producing electrical plasma blasts, Gatling guns, micro-rockets, and boot jets enabling flight

Red Guardian IV (Josef Petkus)

First Appearance: Captain America (1st series) #352

All Supreme Soviets/People's Protectorate appearances: Captain America (1st series) #352-353, Soviet Super-Soldiers #1, Avengers (1st series) #319-324, Incredible Hulk (2nd series) #393

Powers: Highly-trained martial combatant, carries a discus shield

Perun (merged with Valeri Soyloyev)

First Appearance: Captain America (1st series) #352

All Supreme Soviets/People's Protectorate appearances: Captain America (1st series) #352-353, Soviet Super-Soldiers #1, Avengers (1st series) #319-324, Incredible Hulk (2nd series) #393, Quasar #54-55, Starblast #2, Quasar #56, Starblast #3, Quasar #57, Starblast #4

Powers: Mortal man bonded with the Slavic Storm God through a mystic amulet, able to displace himself and summon Perun who possesses superhuman strength, endurance, reflexes, resistance to physical injury, flight, immortality, and elemental bio-electricity, allowing him to channel lightning through his body or traditional weapons including an axe, hammer, or sickle

Fantasia / Fantasma

First Appearance: Captain America (1st series) #352

All Supreme Soviets/People's Protectorate appearances: Captain America (1st series) #352-353, Soviet Super-Soldiers #1, Avengers (1st series) #319-324, Incredible Hulk (2nd series) #393, Starblast #1

Powers: Amnesiac Dire Wraith sorceress locked in human form, capable of levitation, sensory manipulation to cast illusions, disguise appearances, make people invisible and undetectable, block all incoming sensory experiences, and psychometrically link with someone, allowing her to sense their location and perceive through their senses after making physical contact