Before there was a Polaris, before there was a First Fleet, before there was a United Earth... there was the Polyarnaya Zvezda. Belonging to the venerable "Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin" class, her type was the first Soviet spacecraft with Warp capability. With Cold War and WWIII grudges still being held against the United States of North America, the Union of Soviet Sovereign Republics worked hard to break their former enemy's Warp monopoly. Even though severely damaged in WWIII and undergoing a civil war, the Soviets managed to launch their first Warp ships as early as 2075. They were hardly real "starships", more like heavily overbuilt Soyuzes, but they were still capable of exploring the Solar System.
The fourth of her class, the Polyarnaya Zvezda, meaning "Pole Star" intercepted an incoming flottila of three Tellarite vessels in 2082. The Tellarites announced the annexation of the Sol system to their territories. The Polyarnaya Zvezda contacted all orbiting and outbound Soviet and American spacecraft and with demonstration of strength, they convinced the Tellarites to leave before the Earth ships open fire upon them. The Polyarnaya Zvezda's desperate call for help against an alien invasion broke though more than a century of bitterness between the USSR and the USNA. Realizing that threats coming from outer space are more dangerous than opposing political ideologies, the two superpowers began to work together. Soon, the Solar Fleet, the precursor of the United Earth Stellar Navy was born.
The Polyarnaya Zvezda became obscure memory in the upcoming decades. But when the Romulan War came, a Captain named Linus Randolph named his new Powhatan class light cruiser "Polaris", the English equivalent of the original Russian name, to honor the old Soviet ship that unified Earth against an alien invasion. The rest is history...
IRL, I designed this ship to look similar to the Phoenix, Friendship One and Masao Okazaki's designs. It's somewhat clumsier but a firm little construct, then again, she is Russian to boot. Her commanding officer is Colonel Sergei Philippov, named after the best teacher I ever met. The ship has three decks, a fusion core for the Warp drive, only four Warp coils (two in each nacelle) and a peak performance of Warp 1.37.
Model by me