The BBC detective series - which saw detective Sam Tyler (John Simm) transported from 2006 to 1973 - will be renamed The Dark Side of the Moon and will be set in 1979.
The remake will see a tough Moscow cop wake up with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev in power, and government youth organisation Young Pioneers still active.
Whereas the BBC series focused on the rough and ready police culture of the 1970s versus the more politically correct ways of modern Britain, the Russian producers admitted they had to reflect an entirely different atmosphere due to the influence of the Soviet regime.
"In the British series, he goes from our time to that one and sees a harshness that does not work. He is a decent guy and opposes it," said producer Alexander Tsekalo.
"In our story, it is all absolutely the other way round. He finds himself in the 1970s and behaves with a harshness that is not appropriate for a policeman of the Soviet period."
Under the strict Soviet regime, police occupied a fairly minor role and were not nearly as powerful as security forces such as the KGB. Today's Russian force is severely underfunded and has been accused of bribe-taking, as well as engaging in drunken shootings and the torture of suspects.
"He [is used to being able to] push his way into an apartment without a search order, break down the doors, twist people's arms and ask one-sided questions," Tsekalo explained.
"They keep telling him, 'Have you gone mad? You're unbalanced. You mustn't do that. We don't do stuff like that'.
"We worked with the reality that we live in," he added, "because today the authorities are harsher in some ways than they were then."
The Russian launch marks the second time that Life on Mars has been adapted for foreign audiences. In 2008, a US version of the series aired on ABC, but was cancelled after just one season.