This piece I threw together is really a moderate version of the USSR 1958 series. This is my impression of the empire that the Red Tzar (and the white tzars that came before him) dreamed of. The backstory is not carved in stone, and not really the main issue behind the maps, but I'm guessing things progressed somewhat along these lines:
Early 1940: The Allies decided to intervene in the Finnish-Soviet Winter War. Anglo-French expeditionary troops landed in Norway, intending to transit through Sweden into Finland. However, the Germans invaded Norway from the south and defeat the Allied expedition. The Winter War ended in March, as Soviet troops enter Helsinki and a Soviet puppet government took over the reins in Finland.
Summer 1940: Germany invaded France and the Low Countries. The Allies suffered another humiliating defeat, as the British retreat and the French surrender.
Summer-Winter 1940: Utilizing the hostile state existing between Britain and the Soviet Union, Stalin revisited the Great Game and began a campaign to curb British influence the Middle East. Through the use of diplomacy, espionage and military force, the Soviets manage to install puppet regimes in Afghanistan and in Iran. At the end of the year, Iran was totally occupied by Soviet troops and the new communist government was forced to relinquish territories that were claimed by Soviet nationalities.
Late 1940-Spring 1941: Having failed to defeat the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force, Hitler was met with two alternatives for forcing the British out of the war: Either stage an invasion of the Soviet Union, or assist the struggling Italians in their campaign against the British in North Africa. He went with the latter choice and sent a mighty expedition to Africa as well as conquering Yugoslavia and Greece. Planning and preparations for an attack on the Soviet Union were set in motion.
Spring 1940: With the British retreating from Egypt. Stalin orchestrated a communist-nationalist uprising by Iraqi Kurds in British-controlled Iraq. In May, The Socialist Republic of Kurdistan was made up of Kurdish territories in Iran and Iraq.
Summer 1940: Faced with humiliating and demoralizing defeats, Churchill was forced to resign as prime minister of Britain. A new pacifist government agreed to pull Britain out of the war on the conditions that German hegemony in Europe and Soviet hegemony in Central Asia was accepted. German military buildup on the German-Soviet borders was intensified. Meanwhile, Turkish authorities felt threatened by the advance of their old enemy, the Russians, into the Middle East. They also saw the establishment of Kurdistan as a major threat. Secret talks of Turkish involvement in an invasion of the Soviet Union took place during the summer and autumn. Hitler decided to throw the dice in August 1940 and risk an attack on the Soviet Union despite the fact that the time of year was not preferable.
Winter 1941-1942: The German advance into the Soviet Union halted not far from Moscow due to bad weather and logistics problems. The Japanese performed a surprise attack on the US navy base at Pearl Harbor in December 1941, which prompted the US to enter a war against the Axis powers.
Spring-Summer 1942: Turkey joined the Axis and the war against the Soviet Union in April. Turkish thrust into the Caucasus, synchronized with a German summer offensive into the Ukraine was supposed to bring the Soviets to their knees. Although the Germans captured much territory and the Turks managed to occupy the Southern Caucasus areas before the summer was out, the Axis failed to deliver final victory. The war continued for another winter, which only strengthened the Red Army and weakened the invaders.
1942-1944: The Americans initiated a 'Europe first' policy, aiming to get Britain back on her feet and liberate Western Europe before the Soviets did. The Soviets and Americans began extensive cooperation in their common war against Germany. The Americans staged landings in North Africa and in Italy, resulting in the fall of Mussolini in 1944. The Germans slowly retreated from Russia and Ukraine throughout the two period whereas the Caucasian front saw little movement. The Turkish army seemed unable to sustain a suitable supply past the Caucasian mountains.
1945: The Americans managed to open Britain up for military access in order to stage an invasion of France in early 1945. The British fully re-entered the war when a furious Hitler declared war on them for their deal-breaking. Britain played a minor role in the American-lead opening of a second front in France and the liberation of France, which took place from the summer of 1945 on. The Red Army pushed the Germans back to the original 1941 German-Soviet borders in the spring of 1945. Communist partisans finalized the liberation of Yugoslavia without direct Soviet military support and the minor axis nations switched sides and became communist. Soviet advance into the Southern Caucasus commenced in the summer of 1945 and the demoralized Turks were pushed back into Anatolia. The Soviets repeatedly rejected Turkish requests for peace talks and instead aimed at their unconditional surrender. The advance into Anatolia was followed by heavy terror bombings by the Soviet Air Force and in the winter of 1945, the Turkish government and army collapsed and surrendered. Germany surrendered in the Christmas of 1945.
1945-1946: The victors of the Second World War in Europe, the Soviet Union and the United States, along with a minor representation of Britain and France, negotiated the new borders of Europe and the Near East in a series of conferences. Already in the autumn of 1945, the Red Army turned to the Far East and declared war against Japan in compliance with American requests. The Soviets assisted the Americans by invading Manchuria and Korea and parts of China proper. Japan surrendered in mid 1946. No atomic devices were used in the Second World War, as the Americans had not developed them by that time.
1947-1949: A Civil War went on in China between nationalists and communists. The Soviets and Americans made a deal in 1948 in which Stalin promised not to support the Chinese communists with material aid and instead, the US and Kuomintang China recognized the establishment of an independent pro-Soviet Xingijang and the annexation of inner Mongolia to the pro-Soviet Mongolian state. This was to be the last diplomatic cooperation between the two victors of the Second World War before the Cold War set in from 1949 onwards.
1949-1952: Occurring simultaneously to the Chinese Civil War, the small-scale Indian Civil War erupted in 1949 when India broke away from the British Empire. Fueled by Soviet support, Pakistan and Balochistan fought India and each other. As a result, the two countries are securely placed in the Soviet side of the Cold War. The event worked to crystalize the growing misunderstandings between the former Allies of the Second World War.
1949-1960: Being the regional power in the Middle East with its solid puppet allies in Turkey, Iran and Kurdistan, the Soviet Union could affect the post-war developments in the former mandates of Syria, Palestine, Jordan and Iraq. By the end of the decade, all three of them (three as Palestine and Jordan united after the Soviet Union vetoed the establishment of Israel in 1949) had become pro-Soviet socialist states.
Difficult position for USA and NATO. Well of course, Britain surrendered and they did not have the Bomb. Nevertheless, China is in the blue team in this scenario. However, with the oil-rich Middle East and Iran in the Red team, this Cold War will play out much different than OTL's.
There are two flags in there that I must credit as the work of others. The Austrian flag is the creation of the user xt828 over on alternatehistory.com and the Iranian flag was found at althistory.wikia and is made by the user Realismadder. Hope these guys don't mind me using their flags here