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"Sokovia's had a rough history. It's nowhere special, but it's on the way to everywhere special."
Maria Hill[src]

Sokovia (Sokovian Cyrillic: Соковиja; Sokovian Latin: Sokovija) was a former landlocked country located in Central-Southeastern Europe, bordered by Slovakia and the Czech Republic. After its capital city was destroyed by Ultron, it was politically absorbed into the surrounding countries.

History

American-Sokovian Conflicts

Novi Grad Bombings

"Sokovia was a failed state long before you blew it to hell."
Baron Zemo to Captain America[src]

Several attacks were orchestrated by the United States Air Force against Sokovia, in which the city of Novi Grad was devastated by a series of air raids. This resulted in massive infrastructure and property damage, along with heavy civilian casualties, including those of Iryna and Oleg Maximoff, contributing to the country's decline.[1] Iryna and Oleg's twin children, Wanda and Pietro, were trapped under the rubble for two days, unwilling to move from fear of setting off an explosive they could see, made by Stark Industries.[2] The twins were eventually rescued and then moved into a local orphanage.[3]

The bombings led to civil unrest and anti-American protests, with Sokovians blaming their government for not being able to protect them, as well as holding Stark Industries responsible for supplying weapons used in the attacks.[1]

Capture of U.S. Soldiers

"In Sokovia. You got us out of that hole."
Mary to Walker[src]

While serving with the United States Army, Mary Walker and her squad were stationed out in Sokovia where they were eventually attacked and captured by the Sokovian Armed Forces. Walker and the surviving members of her squad were locked in a Sokovian prison where Walker was tortured and raped repeatedly by the Sokovian military, while also being forced to watch her squad members being executed before her eyes.

Mary Walker escapes from the Sokovian jail

Eventually, Walker was removed from her cell and became aware that the Sokovian military were preparing to execute her. Unlocking a different personality within her mind, Walker broke free and armed herself with twin machetes, which she used to slaughter the soldiers until she was the only person left standing. Walker was eventually discovered by the US Army, although she had no memory of how the men around her had died.[4]

Establishment of the HYDRA Research Base

"We've been securing a base out here while their current "liberator-of-the-month" rebellion provides the cover."
Mark Basso[src]

HYDRA established an underground compound in Sokovia while its operatives still posed as loyal S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. While Sokovia was in the middle of a rebellion, HYDRA managed to send its operatives to the country under the guise of being S.H.I.E.L.D. peacekeeping forces.[5]

Human Enhancement Process

Arrival of the Scepter

"Where did Strucker say we were headed with this Scepter?"
"Sokovia."
Mark Smith and Mark Basso[src]

One of HYDRA's operatives, Mark Basso, was recently recruited Mark Smith to the HYDRA Research Base, as Smith managed to obtain the Scepter that Loki used during the Battle of New York for HYDRA. Basso explained how HYDRA had managed to secure a secret base in Sokovia while the current rebellion provided a cover.

Wolfgang von Strucker personally welcomed Smith, in order to make sure that his scientist, led by List, immediately began to study the Scepter. A group of HYDRA scientists immediately harnessed the power of the Scepter and attempted to use it to power the Chitauri Guns left behind in New York City. However, the progress they were making, though remarkable, was not enough for the advances that Strucker demanded. List told Strucker that in order to progress, they would need to perform their experiments on living human subjects. Watching the news reports of the rebellions in the streets of Sokovia, Strucker assured List they would have plenty of subjects to choose from.[5]

From Protesters to Volunteers

Sokovians during their protest for Sokovia

HYDRA had found some genetic oddities among the country's inhabitants, which ideally made them candidates for experiments with the Mind Stone.[6] List approached a group of anti-American protesters in the streets of Sokovia, which included the twins Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, in order to convince them that they should not look to their government to protect their rights, but rather fight for them personally. He offered to provide them with the "tools" they needed to battle their foreign oppressors if they were willing to volunteer for experimentation. The Maximoff twins confronted List, saying they wanted the wars out of their streets, but List claimed that they would need the power to achieve their goals. He exemplified the power he was offering them, saying they had already seen it in Iron Man and the Avengers. The only thing List said he required to grant them a greater future was their consent. Many of the citizens in Sokovia took List up on his offer, including the Maximoffs.[5]

Human Guinea Pigs

List conducted experiments to use the Scepter on the Sokovian citizens who volunteered in order to obtain the power that would allow them to stabilize their country. He approached Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, explaining that given the number of volunteers, they would still have to wait for their turn. List admitted he was eager to witness the results of his test on the Maximoffs, given they were twins, and wondered what kind of abilities the Scepter would unlock in them. Wanda was unsure about the procedure, but Pietro urged her to be strong, as it would soon grant them the power they needed to fight.

Meanwhile, Mark Smith wondered how they would evade human trials. Mark Basso explained to him that once Project Insight launched, the whole world would change, as HYDRA wouldn't need to work underground anymore.[5]

Age of Miracles

"No one has made it past this stage of our experiments with alien enhancements. Well, no one other than the twins of course. von Strucker has them in Sokovia. It would be so nice if they were not our only viable subjects."
List to Sunil Bakshi[src]

Wolfgang von Strucker and List, one of the scientists stationed at the HYDRA Research Base, discussed the public revelation of HYDRA's existence and its infiltration within S.H.I.E.L.D.. List asked what would they do now that Nick Fury had revealed everything about them, but Strucker replied that Fury only revealed the things he knew.

Wolfgang von Strucker with the Scepter

As they continued walking through the facility, Strucker acknowledged that HYDRA and S.H.I.E.L.D. were two sides of a coin that was no longer currency, and he stopped right in front of the Scepter, saying that they have something more worthy than anyone could imagine, even though they have only scratched the artifact's surface.

Strucker informed List that they would lure Captain America and his allies to other HYDRA facilities in order to keep them away from the base, and they would deal with the "volunteers" to their experiments, burying the dead deep so that none could find them.

Wolfgang von Strucker sees his experiments

List asked about the two survivors of their experiments, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, who were being kept in cells as they struggled with their powers. Strucker acknowledged that sooner or later the Avengers would meet them, as the world was not a world of spies anymore, not even a world of heroes. Strucker ominously announced the arrival of the age of miracles, as there was nothing more horrifying than a miracle.

As Strucker was speaking, Pietro moved at superhuman speed from one side to another of his cell, while Wanda moved a series of cubes with her mind, finally crushing them together.[7][5]

Attack on the HYDRA Research Base

The Avengers fighting against HYDRA forces

"Coulson, please tell me you know where it is."
"Sokovia. Pretty sure List is headed there right now."
Maria Hill and Phil Coulson[src]

Provided by information gathered by Phil Coulson, and relayed to Maria Hill[8], the Avengers discovered the location of the HYDRA Research Base where the Scepter was located. They attacked in full force, breaking down the defenses of the base. There they had a brief interaction with the Maximoff twins. In order to minimize casualties, Iron Man used his Iron Legion to try to keep Sokovian citizens away from the fight, though they were met with some hostility from the people, who were angered by the presence of the Americans.

Tony Stark manages to take the Scepter

Both Captain America and Iron Man were able to infiltrate the main building. Wolfgang von Strucker, surrendered himself to Captain America, while Iron Man searched for the Scepter. When he found it, Wanda used her abilities to make him hallucinate and see the Earth under attack by aliens and his Avenger companions lying dead before him, causing him a lot of emotional pain. Once the vision subsided, he used his armored arm to take the Scepter back to the Quinjet.[2]

Destruction of Novi Grad

Novi Grad getting attacked by Ultron Sentries

"Sokovia. He's got Nat there, too."
Hawkeye[src]

With the first fight with the Avengers fought, Ultron retreated into the Internet and repurposed the HYDRA designed robots to serve him, as well as making another body for himself in the abandoned base. Once his new body was finished, he summoned the Maximoff twins to a church in the center of the city. There, he explained to them his intentions about supposedly saving the world, and "ending" the Avengers. However, he kept hidden his true plan: to raise the city into the sky and drop it, so as to duplicate the effect of a meteor which would wipe out the human population on Earth, believing that humans were the greatest threat to the planet.

After the Battle of Seoul, where Ultron lost the synthetic body he was building, he returned to Sokovia, with Black Widow as a hostage. There, he built his doomsday project, along with a new body made out of vibranium.[2]

Battle of Sokovia

Wanda Maximoff evacuating the Sokovians

"Ultron knows we're coming. Odds are we'll be riding into heavy fire, and that's what we signed up for. But the people of Sokovia, they didn't. So our priority is getting them out."
Captain America to the Avengers[src]

Drawn by a morse coded message sent by Black Widow, the Avengers traveled to Sokovia, where they began the process of evacuating the city, while Iron Man and Vision went to confront Ultron, who had already lifted up the city of Novi Grad into the atmosphere. As the Avengers began to battle with Ultron and his Sentries, S.H.I.E.L.D. arrived in the Helicarrier and managed to evacuate the remaining civilians and eventually most of the Avengers.

Ultron getting defeated by the Avengers

Eventually, Ultron was overpowered, and his primary body destroyed by Wanda Maximoff in an act of rage and grief over the loss of her brother. However, this allowed one of his Ultron Sentries to take absorb his conscious and activate the Doomsday Trigger, which caused the city to plummet back to the ground. Through the combined efforts of Iron Man and Thor, the city was destroyed, and the disaster was prevented. The sole remaining Ultron Sentry, which carried Ultron's mind, managed to crawl away, but was intercepted by Vision, and destroyed with Ultron's consciousness.[2]

Aid Relief Efforts

Sokovian crater, in the absence of Novi Grad

"The world's been a little twitchy since Sokovia fell out of the sky."
Daisy Johnson[src]

While most of the destroyed Novi Grad plunged into the sea, some debris fell onto the rest of Sokovia, killing many civilians. After the battle, cleanup crews were sent to Sokovia, and regional neighboring countries began responding to the chaos. As a result of the extensive damage and the massive loss of civilian life, the Battle of Sokovia was one of the contributing factors that prompted the formation of the Sokovia Accords.[9][10]

In 2016, Sokovia was still recovering from the battle; Midtown School of Science and Technology held a Sokovian Relief Lunch with an all-you-can-eat paprikash buffet for $5. All of the proceeds were donated to charities helping Sokovia.[11]

Dissolution

Wanda Maximoff's cabin in Sokovia

"I heard what became of Sokovia. Cannibalized by its neighbors before the land was cleared of rubble, erased from the map."
Baron Zemo[src]

In late 2023, Wanda Maximoff went into hiding and fled to the Sokovian mountains. There, she lived alone in a cabin. While living there, Maximoff tried to understand her full powers as the Scarlet Witch, even learning how to go into astral form while reading the Darkhold.[12]

By early 2024, Sokovia was annexed by neighboring European countries, which led to it being erased from the map.[13]

Sokovian Memorial

Helmut Zemo standing at the memorial

"I don't suppose any of you bothered visiting the memorial? Of course not, why would you?"
Baron Zemo to Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes[src]

A memorial established after the Battle of Sokovia dedicated to the victims of Ultron was erected where Novi Grad once stood.[13] In 2024, Helmut Zemo visited the memorial and was met by Bucky Barnes. Ayo and two other members of the Dora Milaje arrived and arrested Zemo, taking him away.[14]

Appearances

Appearances for Sokovia

In chronological order:

Trivia

  • Sokovia is one of the few fully fictional locations in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • Sokovia displays some similarities with several fictional Eastern-European countries from the comics:
    • Slorenia, a country often at war, that was completely destroyed by Ultron.
    • Slokovia, another Eastern-European country where a cult of Thor was born and the Avengers had to stop an uprising.
    • Transia, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch's country of origin in the comics.
  • After its introduction in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Sokovia made an appearance into the main Marvel Comics universe. In it, Sokovia was invaded by HYDRA forces led by the clone of Red Skull, aiming to overthrow Sokovia's dictator General Kamil Novoty in order to present themselves as liberators.
  • A computer screen in Avengers: Age of Ultron shows Sokovia as being located between Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Another screen in Captain America: Civil War shows it somewhere on, or close to, the northwest coast of the Black Sea. As the camera zooms in, Sokovia's location moves to the border between the Czech Republic and Slovakia, then to the one between Austria and Italy.
  • Signs in the country are written in the Serbian Cyrillic alphabet, one exception being the logo of the Sokovian Police, which, as seen on an officer's computer, is written in Latin alphabet.
  • Even though Sokovians use Cyrillic, Avengers: Age of Ultron puts Sokovia between Czech Republic and Slovakia, countries that actually use the Latin alphabet.
  • The Sokovian flag features the Pan-Slavic colors, however they are arranged vertically instead of horizontally, making it look similar to the French flag.
  • Religion appears to be important in Sokovian culture, as Sokovians from previous generations had constructed a church in the centre of Novi Grad, so that "everyone could be equally close to God".
  • Chicken paprikash is a well-known Sokovian dish.[10][11]

References

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