Murancha (Novel)
Mrówańcza rosyjska okładka
General Information


Руслан Мельников (Ruslan Melnikov)




Russian (original)


Post-apocalyptic fiction

Publication Date:

January 2011 (Russia)
October 2014 (Poland)

Media Type:



352 (Russian original)
368 (Polish version)


Murancha (Russian: Муранча) is a novel that is part of the Universe of Metro 2033, a long-running series of short stories, novellas and novels written by different authors, all set in the world of Metro. Murancha, written by Russian author Ruslan Melnikov, was originally published in January of 2011. Although there is currently no English version of the book, Murancha has been translated into one other Slavic language - Polish. The novel was translated to Polish by Paweł Podmiotko and published in Poland on the 22nd of October, 2014.

The book's strange title was made by combining the Russian words муравьи (ants) and саранча (locusts), thus creating Муранча. Mrówańcza, the Polish version of the name, was formed identically by mixing the words mrówki and szarańcza together. A direct translation of this to English would be something like Antcust (ant + locust), as opposed to the transliteration of Murancha. All of this refers to a breed of mutants.


Melnikov's novel is set in post-apocalyptic Rostov-on-Don, not to be confused with the much older and smaller Rostov the Great. Most of the book's action takes place within the tunnels of the Rostov metro. In reality, although planning of the project dates back to the 1980s, the rapid transit in Rostov remains under development as of 2015. The author explains how production was sped up for the liberty of the story. In Murancha, the Rostov subway is divided into two lines: the red line, which was finished and had all the necessary features of a shelter installed; and the blue line, which was still under construction when the bombs were dropped, therefore there are no rails or proper hermetic doors throughout this part of the underground.

The protagoist is called Ilya Magin (nicknamed Mag), a middle-aged hermit who continues to live in the long abandoned station where his wife Olga and son Sergiey died years prior. There are also some recurring secondary characters, such as Kozak the stalker and Taras Bulba (named after the character from Gogol's novella). The plot revolves around a swarm of heavily mutated giant ant-locusts that invade Rostov and how the denizens of the city's metro try to deal with the oncoming doom, whilst the more personal narrative focuses on Illya and how he becomes (at first unwillingly) involved with the affairs of the survivors. Throughout the course of the story, he must change his reclusive ways in order to start living again and finally recover from the haunting loss of family that he never truly came to terms with.


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