AHC: Republic of Siberia

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to find a way to create a viable Siberian politie whose inhabitants see themselves, in vast majority, as truly distinct from Russia and Russians by the present. There is a twist, however: to get the maximum points you must meet this challenge while leaving the wider world as close to OTL.

Putting this in pre-1900 as I figure the cultural butterflies might have to start fairly early, even if they would only make themselves felt later.
 
During the Russian civil war the Whites receive a lot of US aid through Vladivostok making it impossible for the Bolsheviks to capture the region. The peace treaty allows the continuation of a liberal Siberian Republic that receives economic aid from Western powers and over the decades forms its own national identity separate from the Soviets in a similar way to what happened with Canada and the United States. In the rest of the world the story unfolds in a similar way.
 
During the Russian civil war the Whites receive a lot of US aid through Vladivostok making it impossible for the Bolsheviks to capture the region. The peace treaty allows the continuation of a liberal Siberian Republic that receives economic aid from Western powers and over the decades forms its own national identity separate from the Soviets in a similar way to what happened with Canada and the United States. In the rest of the world the story unfolds in a similar way.
How would the story unfold in a similar way with such a significantly weakened Russia though? Wouldn't that affect the Interwar Period quite significantly and ensure that any WWII that might arise would be massively different?
 
The Japanese realizing the vast amount of resources to be tapped by proper management, set up a Siberian puppet Republic rather than interference in the much more populated China, this is seen as a vast empty land with what few people they have easily assimilateable into good Japanese, the natives who kinda look like them, and the Russians who will naturally see their culture as superior and adapt.

They push as far west as modern Sakha before being stopped by the Bolsheviks.
 
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