Mycobacterium tuberculosis variant Beijing B0/W148 is regarded as a successful clone of M. tuberculosis that is widespread in the former Soviet Union and respective immigrant communities. Understanding the pathobiology and phylogeography of this notorious strain may help to clarify its origin and evolutionary history and the driving forces behind its emergence and current dissemination. I present the first review and analysis of all available data on the subject. In spite of the common perception of the omnipresence of B0/W148 across post-Soviet countries, its geographic distribution shows a peculiar clinal gradient. Its frequency peaks in Siberian Russia and, to a lesser extent, in the European part of the former Soviet Union. In contrast, the frequency of B0/W148 is sharply decreased in the Asian part of the former Soviet Union, and it is absent in autochthonous populations elsewhere in the world. Placing the molecular, clinical, and epidemiological features in a broad historical, demographic, and ecological context, I put forward two interdependent hypotheses. First, B0/W148 likely originated in Siberia, and its primary dispersal was driven by a massive population outflow from Siberia to European Russia in the 1960s to 1980s. Second, a historically recent, phylogenetically demonstrated successful dissemination of the Beijing B0/W148 strain was triggered by the advent and wide use of modern antituberculosis (anti-TB) drugs and was due to the remarkable capacity of this strain to acquire drug resistance. In contrast, there is some indication, but not yet systematic proof, of an enhanced virulence of this strain.