Variant of "companion" formed in England in the 1500's. It was a military (especially naval) term to address one who had achieved the same high ranking as yourself, and may only be used by commanders, admirals and such.
In the USSR it became a popular form of address, and of welcome into the social groups surrounding bolshevism.
Replacement for "sir" or "mister"
"Comrade Gumba" sunk your battleship, bitch.
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