In what would have been the end of the Russian people came as the greatest instrument of unity the vast nation had ever seen. First at war with Central Asia, and finally in a drawn-out campaign of aggression against the People's Republic, the Russian economic and industrial base crumbled under the weight of two major wars. In order to sustain it's existence, and to acquire long-envied lands, the Federation moved to annex large areas of eastern Europe - particularly, Poland, the Baltic Union, Germany, Austria, Hungary and half of the Italian Peninsula.