For curiosity sake; why were West Germany and Italy not mentioned as either in support or against the Gulf War/Kuwait War?Overall I think that the most realistic outcome is further and increased integration economically on either side of the iron curtain. In the west, the Communist movement would he definitely strongly resurgent in France but even stronger in Italy. I suspect Franco-German capitalists may drift towards the unthinkable, in doing what capitalism tends to do in crisis.
I don't think outright fascism but surely more populist than in OTL. I however am not very sure about it since in OTL the West is supporting extreme far-right (to be honest Nazis; they even wear swastikas) paramilitary groups in both Ukraine and Belarus,Turning to fascism? This would give the Eastern Bloc the clear moral high ground.
I agree with you; TTL USSR will more than likely weather the early 2000s (*)recession almost unscathed not because it is a manufacturing hub like OTL PRC was but because it would be somewhat isolated from the World Markets.Honestly yes I agree but Honestly, it's just practically the best point. But I do agree the current version of the USSR could weather the storm unscathed. If anything it's more likely internal influence is the only thing that can push this USSR to any reform. Though I would argue China survived the gfc for entirely different reasons why this USSR would.
*It is highly likely that TTL Great Recession will take place earlier than in OTL for the simple fact that the West would NOT have new markets to expand into in the early 1990s. Maybe 2004/2005 instead of 2007/2008.
Small side note: I also think that TTL PRC will grow slightly slower than in OTL for the fact that a Sino-Soviet rapprochement will likely scare the West of possible technology threats