|“|| The Allies have infiltrated one of our nuclear reactors! They have tampered with the core so that a meltdown is imminent within 30 minutes. They must not succeed! Enter the base and find any remaining technicians. Guide them to the four coolant stations so they can activate them, then activate the main computer. The security systems have been armed so beware. Kill any Allies you find.|
- Mission briefing
Core of the Matter is the eighth mission in an alternated Soviet campaign of Command & Conquer: Red Alert.
Nadia spoke to the commanding officer of the Soviet forces on the phone that the core in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics has been targeted by Allied Spies. When she tells Kukov about this, he tried to go but Nadia forced him to stay with her for the time being. The Soviet Commander was sent to the underground facility so that the core can be repaired online once again.
Unbeknownst to both the Soviet Commander and his rival-in-arms, Soviet military officers backed a plan to assassinate Stalin which eventually fails and the Premier finds out that his subordinates are behind it. Vladimir Kosygin decides to get out from Soviet exposure as Stalin (after an Allied tragedy at Elba island) finds out that Gradenko must be behind it, but Nadia Zelenkov poisons him with tea following orders to the Soviets' own leadership.