Is this TL a good start?

  • Yes

    Votes: 8 66.7%
  • No

    Votes: 1 8.3%
  • Maybe

    Votes: 3 25.0%
  • Perhaps?

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .
A Different President.
Russia Resurgent

Chapter 1: 1996 Russian Elections

Russia and the World held their breath as on 3rd July, the results of the 1996 elections came in.

Many people today even wonder why Yeltsin even tried. Under him Russia had become the butt of all Western Country’s jokes and corruption, crime, oligarchs etc were the ones ruining Russia unchecked under Yeltsin. The 1993 Constitutional Crisis in Russia had made Yeltsin very unpopular in Russia. And the votes came in.


Nominee: Boris Yeltsin

Party: Independent

Home State: Moscow

Percentage of Vote: 13%


Boris Yeltsin


Nominee: Gennady Zyuganov

Party: Communist Party of Russia

Home State: Moscow

Percentage of Vote: 28%


Gennady Zyuganov


Nominee: Grigory Yavlinsky

Party: Yabloko (Social Democratic Party of Russia)

Home State: St. Petersburg

Percentage of Vote: 53%


Grigory Yavlinsky.


Grigory Yavlinsky won the Russian Elections of 1996 with a good lead over Yeltsin and Zyuganov. However Yeltsin considered the electoral results to be fraudulent. Considering Yavlinsky didn’t have total plurality of votes, Yavlinsky offered Zyuganov to form a coalition government between the Social Democrats and the Communists, also mainly to combat Yeltsin, who would not take this result laying down. Zyuganov initially wished to turn the offer down, however after much goading from the other members of the communist party, Zyuganov agreed and on August 9th, Grigory Yavlinsky was inaugurated as the 2nd President of the Russian Federation.

The new Cabinet of the Russian Federation was thus formed as:-

President: Grigory Yavlinsky

Prime Minister: Gennady Zyuganov

Minister of Agriculture: Vladimir Bulgak

Minister of Defense: Sergey Shoyu

Minister of Economy: Yevgeny Yasin

Minister of Education: Vladimir Fillipov

Minister of Foreign Affairs: Igor Ivanov

Minister of Internal Affairs: Anatoly Kulikov

Minister of Justice: Sergey Stephashin

Minister of Transportation: Nikolai Tsach.

Minister of Health: Yury Shevchenko

Minister of Culture: Vladimir Yegerov

Minister of Emergency Affairs: Alexander Lebed.

Meanwhile the first course of business for Yavlinsky as president was the ongoing Chechen Crisis in Chechnya. On 11th August the situation in Grozny was dire as Chechen fighters had been able to infiltrate and take control of the majority parts of the city of Grozny. Yavlinsky gave a speech in the Kremlin that day to signify his commitment to bring back Chechnya into the fold of the Russian Federation.

The History of both Chechnya and Russia are long and glorious. However another thing that they have in common, is that Russia and Chechnya stood together. When Napoleon invaded, some of the bravest troops were Chechnya’s own people. When Hitler and the Nazis invaded, some of our best troops came from Chechnya. We have stood together for centuries, and we shall continue to do so. However we know that rapprochement shall be a hard and arduous journey. However this government is willing to provide special privileges and incentives to the people of Chechnya. We implore the people of Chechnya to see reason and to stop this bloodshed in our country.”

On August 14th the Russian General Konstantin Pullikovsky threatened a massive airstrike and ballistic missile bombardment of Grozny and was televised into the public. Yavlinsky publicly denounced Pullikovsky’s declaration and declared that no airstrikes or ballistic missile attack on Grozny would happen and that General Pullikovsky had been sacked and replaced with Alexander Lebed who was now General Lebed on duty.


General Alexander Lebed.

Lebed was ordered to bring Grozny back under Russian control and to break the Ichkerian Republic’s power there and then, whilst limiting the Civilian casualties. Lebed on August 14th gave a speech broadcast over Grozny imploring the civilians to leave the city and to enter the refugee camps that the Russian Army had hastily assembled outside of the city out of the warzones, before the Russian tanks and artillery started to attack the city. Lebed told them that the offer would stand until 11:59 PM August 18th and the fighting would resume from 12:00 AM August 19th. The end result was a massive exodus of Grozny’s populace as 2/3 of the populace managed to escape the city. The previous Russian Army’s incompetence was slightly reduced as proper coordination had allowed them to maneuver the refugees out pretty quickly and in an orderly manner.

On 12:00 AM, August 19th the Russian tanks started to fire at Chechen positions and trenches in the night as the Chechen Fighters were pushed back by the Russian firepower which far outmatched the Chechen firepower. Russian infantry soldiers managed to take control of the northern part of the city by daylight and the fighting continued in the city center and the southern portions of the city.

On 7:50 AM, the Russian T-72 tanks entered and managed to take control of R308, an important junction in Grozny. In the east, the Russian troops entered and took control of the R36 and R38 roadways leading outside of the city managing to cut off the Chechen troops cutting into Russian lines and committing guerilla actions. On 10:10 AM, the Russian troops up north managed to seize the center part of the city and take control of the eastern part of the city as well. The Chechen fighters withdrew to the southwest and committed their reserves for a final defense. The Russian tanks and armored cars managed to form an assault positioning and started to assault the Chechen defensive line on 2:15 PM. The tanks and troops quickly overran the Chechen line on 3:30 PM and managed to seize the entirety of the city.


Russian Troops in the Battle of Grozny.

The Chechen Military in Grozny which had initially numbered around 13,500 at the beginning of the battle had suffered 2,243 dead, 6,676 injured, and 3000 captured. The Third Battle of Grozny was a decisive victory of the Russian forces who altogether had got minimal casualties. In Around the remaining 70,000 civilians who were left in the city, around 4,000 were killed, around 12,000 injured and 8,000 missing. Due to the general infantry attacks and using tanks only for main road battles etc, had limited the civilian casualties, which was even still general high. However considering around 120,000 Grozny citizens had fled to Dagestan and the rest of Russian Caucasus, the civilian damage was light in comparison to what had happened in the previous parts of the Chechen War.

Mashkadov who was commanding the Chechen Army was captured by the Russians and he was forced to sign the Grozny Accords on behalf of the Chechen militias. The Grozny Accords signed on August 20th brought an official end to the Chechen Wars as the entirety of Chechnya was brought under Russian rule once again. The Grozny Accords was signed by Mashkadov with him as the official emissary of the Chechen government. Akhmad Kadhirov, the Mufti of Chechnya switched sides and declared himself to be off the Russian side.



Shamil Basayev commanding a small force tried to breakthrough into Grozny the next day but his entire force had been destroyed in the subsequent battle and he himself was killed when a sniper from a building a good distance away managed to sharp shoot him. This was the breaking point for the Chechens. Despite their bravado in front of the Russians, the Third Battle of Grozny was the last chance the Chechens had, and the entire war was now lost. Chechnya was now under official Russian administration. Aslan Mashkadov was kept under house arrest in St. Petersburg with an annotation to release him in 2015.

The Chechen War, had made the Russian Army and the military the laughing stock of the world, with it’s only saving grace being better coordination at the end, which led to a very successful battle at Grozny. However the Refugee Crisis of Chechnya also erupted soon after as the refugee camps were insufficient to aid the Chechen civilians and the government was forced to start a quick reconstruction program amid insurgent strikes from Chechen guerilla cells.

Meanwhile as the crisis died down officially by August 25th in mere two weeks after the election of Yavlinsky, the man’s popularity in Russia grew, along with the communists, and the last vestiges of Yeltsin’s power began to drown. Yavlinsky himself had been opposed to a military solution to Chechnya bit had seen it necessary to bring Chechnya back into the fold. However proposals for Chechen autonomy and its full privileges were brought up for the Duma and were in discussions.

On August 30th, the Duma of the Russian Federation convened to discuss a new economic plan proposed by Yavlinsky and the cabinet.

Yavlinsky in 1991 had proposed a plan named the ‘500 Day Plan’ to make the transition into the privatized economy, which had been rejected by the then president Yeltsin. A new plan called the 720 Day Plan had been proposed and was authored by Yavlisky, Andre Vavilov, Mikhail Zadarnov, Boris Fyodorov, and Yevgeny Yasin. The 720 Day Plan called for backtracking the rapid and uncontrolled privatization of the economy under Yeltsin, and the plan called for supervised, and gradual privatization. The plan also called for the GOSPLAN of the Soviet Union to be re-opened so that a good amount of industries vital to the nation would be kept under state ownership; though they would be in the minority.

The Russian Duma began the vote for the 720 program on September 1st and the plan passed with votes of 272-178. The 720 Plan would come into implementation from October 1st 1996 and end in October 1st 1998.

Meanwhile as the starting of the 720 Days Programs was being put into the foundations, on September 3rd the United States launched Operation Desert Strike against Iraq launching multiple missiles against Iraqi anti-air defenses in Southern Iraq after the Iraqi offensive during the Kurdish Civil War. Russian cabinet members reacted with slight disdain as President Yavlinsky commented that “America is only currently heightening tensions in the area without thought for the ordinary Kurdish and Iraqi people in the area.”


USS Shiloh launching a tomahawk missile during Operation Desert Strike.

Meanwhile the Duma was now starting to get ready for the 720 Days Programs where the Duma would oversee the privatization of the Russian Economy in a more planned and supervised manner. Meanwhile the Russian Oligarchs who had formed the Davos Pact including Boris Berezovsky, Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Vladimir Gusinky, had supported Yeltsin in the 1996 election and having the person who had made them grow into Oligarchs had been a huge blow to them. Legally there wasn’t much Yavlinsky could do against the Oligarchs, considering official proof regarding their fraudulent crimes did not exist. However Yavlinsky was now very committed to stop any encroachment of the Russian economy from Oligarchs. In September 10th he gave the ‘Speech of Russia’ speech.

Russia has been a glorious nation with a glorious history. We cannot allow internal corruption to tear this nation, and its healing populace to shreds for only their satisfaction and only their pockets. This nation must heal and must be able to create a better atmosphere for all, in all regards of development of the nation.”


Boris Berezovsky

Of course too basically everyone, it was clear who Yavlinsky was talking about; the Oligarchs, and most notably the Davos Trio. They suddenly found their investment funds into new private companies suddenly blocked, their legal transactions under heavy scrutiny etc. This was of course a huge blow to the Oligarchs and they continued to fund Yeltsin who by this point was still trying to make a comeback to popularity by giving speeches etc, which Yavlinsky under his ‘Free Media’ cooperative had allowed to do so, though the channels broadcasting his speeches would usually be lower on the list of channels.

However on October 1st Yavlinsky announced the starting of the 720 Days Programs without a hitch and privatization in a more orderly manner began to take place. The GOSPLAN had been opened once more in September 25th for the overseeing of the new privatization process.

Meanwhile however as the beginning of the 720 Days Program began to take place, the government of Yavlinsky also had other problems to contend with. The Total Fertility rate of the country at the time being was 1.6, which was horrendously low, and the country was in demographic decline, which in hindsight had been obvious since the early 1980s. To combat the population decline on October 15th the Duma reconvened to speak about potential measures to stop the decline of the Russian populace. The debate in the Duma lasted for days on the end until October 19th when the Duma using the aid of demographic experts brought from Europe and North America decided upon the main reasons behind the demographic decline:-

  • The huge amount of deaths between 1925-45.
  • The disuse of contraceptives etc in RSFR in the USSR which led to increased use of abortion.
  • Over-alcoholism
  • Poor Family Planning system
  • Poor Governmental care to the Demographic situation in the country.
The government decided that committing to the demographic decline at the moment was Russia’s second highest priority after the economic policies being implemented in Russia. First new tentative measures were passed in the Duma to control the demographic decline in the state. Some of them were:-

  • De-monopolization of contraceptive industries in the Russian Federation.
  • Creation of better state and private co-run Family Planning System.
  • Increased tariffs on wine and alcohol production to make alcohol a weekend or once in a while food beverage. This part was hard as alcohol culture was a huge part of the Russian culture, however, with slow and steady progress, the people believed it was possible.
  • Increased psychiatrist medicinal privileges in hospitals to be allowed and created in the nation, to allow the people dying through suicides, which was high in the nation, to decrease.
The de-monopolization on the contraceptive industry had been something that Yeltsin had partially done as well, but not fully, and the de-monopolization took place in full terms as prices for contraceptives fell and availability of the these items became more common and cheap for the Russian populace. The first tariffs on alcohol amounting to 0.5% were introduced with the end goal of making it rise till 3% - 4% depending on how the situation developed. A few family planning companies mostly hired western family planners were employed by the government started to open up proper family planning doctoral sites in cities like Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk etc. Yavlinsky carefully said “It will be a long and arduous process. However if we contribute our efforts into this, with meticulous processing, I believe we can overturn our problems.”

Abortion prices were also raised to discourage the people of Russia from seeking abortions. Psychiatrists were given more stress in studying sectors and veterans were sent to the Psychiatrists on compulsory routine to make them ease in a much better manner.

Meanwhile the talks between Yeltsin and Lukashenko about closer ties between the Russian Federation and the Belarusian Republic, started to become resumed as Yavlinsky was particularly interested in integrating Belarus for many reasons. First and foremost was expanding the border of Russia, second was to shorten the distance between Russia and Kalinigrad, third was to increase the population pool of the country to allow the population policies to become better rooted in the country.

The new economic policies of the Yabloko and Yavlinsky were currently bearing good amount of fruit as the public debt of the Russian Federation showed a noticeable decline by the end of the year.


Alexander Lukashenko.

Talks with Belarus over a union state was increasing as Lukashenko expressing willingness to join the Belarusian republic in the Russian state if special privileges unlike the other Russian republics were given. Talks continued and slow yet gradual privatization took place in the Russian Federation.


Author's Note:-
The TL runs on exactly 3 PoDs.
(1) - The 1993 Constitutional Crisis makes Yeltsin's popularity plunge even worse than OTL
(2) and (3) - The election of 1996 was rigged. This is not the case in ITTL. This makes Yavlinsky keep his second poll lead and win.

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Technically it's all wrong. You ignore the real legal procedure of the Russian presidential elections.
A winner must get 50%+1 vote. 44% is not enough. If no one gets majority, there's a second round, between two top candidates.
Presidential elections in 1996 were held on June 16. There was no winner, so the second round was held on July 3.
Technically it's all wrong. You ignore the real legal procedure of the Russian presidential elections.
A winner must get 50%+1 vote. 44% is not enough. If no one gets majority, there's a second round, between two top candidates.
Presidential elections in 1996 were held on June 16. There was no winner, so the second round was held on July 3.
Ah right, that is slightly wrong on my part; will edit that part; thank's for the info, the Russian electorate system is pretty complicated. Thanks, what are your thoughts so far?
I remember your thread asking questions on this topic. Nice read, watched!

How will Lap, Mandala,Longboats and Norsemen, A Better Decade and This TL's updates be scheduled? One week for two, one for three?
I remember your thread asking questions on this topic. Nice read, watched!

How will Lap, Mandala,Longboats and Norsemen, A Better Decade and This TL's updates be scheduled? One week for two, one for three?
Norsemen - cancelled
Mandala - as its going on for a month
Lap - 1 month hiatus, after i have written them all, it's gonna come like a sledgehammer, been writing this TL for months now.
Run-off rules have already been covered; perhaps works best with Yeltsin marginally in third place in the first round, leading to a straightforward "forward or back" second round campaign. Lebed may be a better candidate for a timeline as he had less clearly defined economic position, while Yavlinsky was clearly viewed as a Western-liberal.

If you want to de-power oligarchs then you need to address this: Yeltsin,business moguls about banking issues.
The announcement of this was a defining moment in Russia.
The new economic policies of the Yabloko and Yavlinsky were currently bearing good amount of fruit as the public debt of the Russian Federation showed a noticeable decline by the end of the year.
Haven't checked the numbers but I think this unlikely - IIRC the Russian government was running a large current spending deficit which it dealt with by printing money (inflation and devaluation), simply not paying (especially pensions), issuing GKOs (although the market was small and domestic only in 1996), and privatisation revenues. If the privatisation profile changes then there will need to be alternative plans for funding the government.
Haven't checked the numbers but I think this unlikely - IIRC the Russian government was running a large current spending deficit which it dealt with by printing money (inflation and devaluation), simply not paying (especially pensions), issuing GKOs (although the market was small and domestic only in 1996), and privatisation revenues. If the privatisation profile changes then there will need to be alternative plans for funding the government.
slightly yes.
Where is Zyuganov? He seems to be doing nothing, just sitting there. Real Uncle Zyu intended to renationalize large enterprises. I can't see any possibility of compromise with Yavlinsky's ecomomic policy.
Where is Zyuganov? He seems to be doing nothing, just sitting there. Real Uncle Zyu intended to renationalize large enterprises. I can't see any possibility of compromise with Yavlinsky's ecomomic policy.
He is coming next chapter. Also the 500 Days Program was supported by Zyuganov, so I doubt the very same thing, just made longer would not be supported by Zyuganov.
Chapter 2




The new year began for the Russians with nary much anything happening in the nation barring the new economic plan and the demographic plan which was being implemented by the government.

Meanwhile in Chechnya, while official movements and direct confrontation had ended, insurgency movements were continuing to happen across Chechnya and to a lesser degree in Dagestan and northern Ossetia. However still, federal troops and heavy armament were withdrawn by the government and only anti-terror units were kept in place in Chechnya with a curfew being announced for 2 years from 9 PM in the night till 6 AM in the morning in Chechnya. Any movement required in these times would have to file their case in the Russian Federal Police to receive special permission to move around at night.


The reconstruction of Grozny was a successful affair.

Meanwhile despite a few insurgency movements in Chechnya, in order to increase the productivity of the new Russian Economy, Yavlisnky ordered reconstruction in Chechnya and Grozny to start and the reconstruction began, with the Federal Government based in Moscow using this opportunity by opening up new businesses in Chechnya and providing entrepreneurs with incentives to build and construct new industries in Chechnya. This plan for the increased productivity of the Chechen region in Russia was a mixed success. A good amount of businessmen were attracted towards the opportunity business they could profit from in Chechnya, but there was always that lingering threat of the Chechen insurgents, however despite that, many set up businesses and industrial sectors in the newly rebuilt Grozny. However it wasn’t in any amount of numbers necessary to show a change in the national federal economy of Russia, however did succeed in making the new Chechen regional economy strong, which was deemed to be a success. Thus the reconstruction of Chechnya is considered a mixed success. It was enough to create a better national economy, however had been enough to create a stronger regional economic base.

Meanwhile the government decided to keep the remaining industries as state owned corporations:-

  • Aeroflot (50% owned)
  • All Russia State Television and Media (100%)
  • Almaz-Antey (75%)
  • ALROSA (40%)
  • Arkhaim (25%)
  • Atomflot (40%)
  • Bazalt (75%)
  • Channel One Russia (25%)
  • DIAR (100%)
  • EZAN (90%)
  • FGC UES (75%)
  • Gazprom (55%)
  • Gazprom Neft (55%)
  • Inter Rao (75%)
  • Kamaz (60%)
  • Krasnaya nuclear state enterprise (100%)
  • Russian Metro (100%)
  • Oboronpom (50%)
  • ROATOM Nuclear Agency (100%)
  • Rossiya Airlines (50%)
  • Rostec (90%)
  • United Aircraft Organization (70%)
  • VTB Bank (50%)
  • United Shipbuilding Organization (50%)
  • Sovcomflot (50%)
There were lots more, however these were the most important ones. Many defense agencies were held at 2/3 state ownership to create more competition between the private owned portions of the agencies to create more innovation sectors into the Russian Defense Industry as well. Zyuganov himself led many of the renationalization processes encouraged by himself and the Communist Party, with many vital industries renationalized by the government itself, because of a need to make the new market transition of the Russian economy better and more well worked out.

On January 20th Bill Clinton was sworn in for a second term as the President of the United States of America. He was congratulated over the phone by president Yavlinsky. Meanwhile however, Zyuganov in the cabinet was advocating for greater development for the absolute empty lands in Siberia, whose potential he believed was being neglected.

In accordance with the ongoing 3rd Industrial Revolution which saw the rise of partial automation, memory programmable tools, controls, computerization, and partial robotization, the government announced a plan to create a state funded automobile industry for the nation near Novosibirsk named ‘Domobli’. Construction of this factory began in January 29th. The government announced that after the construction was completed half of the new industrial venture would be sold to private ventures of the private market.

However there was another problem that Yavlisnky and his reforms were facing. The Black Market. Under Yeltsin, the Black Market had flourished in Russia, and mafia and criminal lords linked to Oligarchs had become very powerful without much check for them in place. Whilst Yavlinsky wished to eradicate them properly all at once, needling issues such as the ongoing upliftment of the healthcare system was much more a concern. However despite this by the mid of February the government enacted the ‘Shadow Scheme’ which advocated for a check and balance system in the new market economy of the Russian Federation, and that the check and balance system should come under the supervision of the GOSPLAN which had been permanently reopened as a supervisory governmental economic sanctioned organization. The government also announced a buyback scheme from private companies which were once state owned enterprises which had hit extremely bad times due to the incoherent economic policy of Yeltsin. The buyback scheme from Yavlinsky proved to be the success the country needed, as lines of private owners came and sold their ownership of some ground hit enterprises back to the government throughout the month of February and till the middle of March. Using the newly gained funds and money Yavlinsky declared that many of the industries would be rationalized and merged and then given to the private markets under careful and slow privatization once again. Some industries which rose up due to this buyback scheme and merger scheme were:-

  • All-Russia Black Sea Port Port Company (Novorossiyk, Sochi Port Companies)
  • Smolensk Industries and Co. (Sliznevo Corporation, Katyn Corporation, Lubnya Corporation)
  • Saratov Automobiles (Merger of previous Saratov Automobile industries)
  • Volga Maritime Facilities (Merging all bought back maritime facilities of the Volga River, making it one of the largest maritime facilities in the world)
  • Baikal Industries and Corporation. (Merger of industries in the Baikal area)
  • Far East Corporations
  • Siberian Banking Corporation and Finances (Merger of Siberian bank shares bought back)
There were of course multiple others, however these were the main ones and the government announced the buyback scheme to be valid until the end of the year, making the buyback scheme to be an ongoing process in Russia as time went on.

In addition to the lowering deficits due to the ongoing economic reforms, Zyuganov got what he wanted and the Cabinet passed the bill in March 14th to start construction of an extension to the Trans-Siberian Railway Line all the way to Yakutsk and Anadyr. This project was made open to public shares and investment and unemployed construction workers started to become employed as this construction through the Siberian wilderness would require a lot of hands. Zyuganov’s plan for the extension of the Trans-Siberian Railway was seen as a success, as the economic problems of the Far-East usually overlooked for the west, were now being highlighted and righted as productivity from investments, shares and employment for this extension grew. Whilst private investments and shares were largely allowed in this new extension to the Trans-Siberian Railway, the property was still largely nationalized by the Russian government; as part of Zyuganov’s agenda on nationalizing much of the bigger Russian industries.


The Trans-Siberian Railway.

Meanwhile however in March 18, a Russian AN-24 plane flying to Turkey carrying passengers on board broke apart mid-flight killing all 44 of its passengers and all 5 of its crew members. This was a horrible aerial disaster for the Russians and the government was forced to look into the matter and much to their horrification, found that aerial safety and supervision laws in Russia had grown lax and old, and new safety laws and reforms were forcefully pushed through the Duma by Yavlisnky.

Back home however the talks with Belarus over unification had hit stone cold into a wall. Yavlinsky wanted Belarus to join Russia as a normal republic like the Sakha Republic or the Chechen Republic, however Lukashenko was adamant in his position that some sort of special privilege be made for the Belarusians. This adamant stance of Lukashenko had made the talks stall for around 3 months before Zyuganov, Lukashenko, and Yavlisnky met each other and sat down for a series of talks in Smolensk beginning from April 5th to April 15th called as the Smolensk Summit.

During the Smolensk Summit, after 7 years of stalling, and impossible demands, Yavlinsky, Lukashenko and Zyuganov managed to reach an accord. The following points were agreed during the Smolensk Summit.:-

  • A UN overseen referendum in Belarus regarding joining Russia.
  • Belarus to become a devolved state in Russia with the title – First President given to the President of Belarus.
  • The Russian Federal Government to retain powers of the military, state economy and foreign policy in Belarus.
  • Belarus’s National Assembly to be reorganized into the Belarus Duma with highest seats being integrated into the Russian Duma.
  • Belarus’s First President having the ability to veto any decisions regarding Belarus not within the spheres of Foreign policy, state economy and military if it does not have support of 80% of the Russian Duma. If 80% of the Russian Duma agree to it, however the Belarusian First President must agree to enact it.
  • Belarusian language, culture and traditions to be given importance in the state constitution of the Russian Federation.
  • The fist First President of Belarus to be Lukashenko and the next elections to take place in 2002 to coincide with the Russian General Elections of 2002 and to follow the same term limit (6 years).
Both Lukashenko and Yavlinsky returned to their respective capitals and announced the Smolensk Summit to be a testament to both country’s diplomatic skills and that the resolution for a UN sponsored referendum would be put forward to the United Nations General Assembly in September 17th, when they would meet in New York.

The declaration of the points of the Smolensk Summit was met with mixed responses from the international community. UN General Secretary Kofi Annan replied by saying “It is a great day for the international community to be working together for the continued betterment of their people. If the proposal shall be put forward in the UN General Assembly, then the full weight of the United Nations shall be put behind it, to put a peaceful resolution to this issue raised in Smolensk. This organization would also like to compliment the Belarusian and Russian governments for their transparent work in Smolensk so that the public and the international community was aware of it beforehand so that we can commit ourselves into it with better efficiency and with much more background foundations.”


Kofi Annan announcing the reaction to the Belarus-Russian Reunification talks held in the Smolensk Summit

President Brazauskas of Lithuania disagreed. “Having Russia at our border brings problems the Lithuanian people and government can only ill afford and such a move would highly change Lithuanian interests, politics and international entanglements as well as international communal works.”

Latvian President Guntis Ulmanis shared the view of his Lithuanian counterpart as he spoke on April 19th. “This government had no wish to be a neighbor to a neighbor that have oppressed us for centuries. This government would like to point out to the United Nations, that proper measures must be taken, and Belarus must remain an independent nation; regardless of what the masses would think.”


Guntis Ulmanis.

This of course led to a huge backlash for Ulmanis as he basically said that ‘Democracy was useless’ and his popularity dwindled, especially among the Russian and Belarusian minority in Latvia, which made up a significant group of Minorities.

US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said “It is the position of this administration to remain handsoff regarding the new declaration made by the Belarusians and Russians. If the United Nations can guarantee a full free and fair referendum without any fraudulent activities, then this government shall support the referendum and any democratic process in any nation anywhere on this planet.”


Madeleine Albright

Jamie Shea, the Spokesperson of NATO however had a different view. “The annexation of Belarus would mean greater coordination for the Russian state to show its muscles in the international stage, and potential take the lost glory it has lost once more into its grasp. NATO and all its members must take this matter seriously along with all that it entails.”

Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma supported the move. “A democratic vote by which the country unifying with another is proof that Belarus and Russia have both moved passed their authoritarian past. Ukraine shall support the decision if the referendum is held in a free and fair manner.”


Leonid Kuchma

As such the response from the international community was mixed. However Yavlinsky and Zyuganov, both were pretty enthusiastic about the entire ordeal, as their popularity in Russia had grown after the Smolensk Summit from a 68% approval rate to a very high 86% approval rate. Combined with the ongoing economic reforms which were proving to be successful, as well as the restructuring of the Russian Health System and the new demographic laws which were already showing good results, the government was very popular.

On May 28th the Ukrainian and Russian governments signed the Partition Treaty on the Status and Conditions of the Black Sea Fleet. This agreement partitioned the Soviet Black Sea Fleet between Russia and Ukraine with Russia receiving 82% of the black sea fleet and Ukraine receiving 18% of it. Russia maintained the use of the Port of Sevastopol for the Black Sea Fleet and had the right to maintain 25,000 troops, 24 artillery systems, 132 armored vehicles, and 22 military planes in the Crimean Peninsula as per the Treaty.


The signing of the Partition Treaty of the Black Sea Fleet.

Meanwhile back home in Russia, the buyback scheme and the merger schemes continued to gain traction as more and more industries were created and constructed providing more productivity to the Russian economy. Meanwhile finally the government of Russia passed the ‘Anti-Corruption Bill’ which introduced severe consequences for the Oligarchs of Russia. This bill brought to light many of the Oligarch’s fraudulent activities such as Tax Evasion, Nepotism, corruption etc. The Oligarchs quickly came under fire. Heavy charges were made especially against the Davos Pact members, and all three had to flee Russia into Turkmenistan to escape legality jurisdictions. All of their assets in Russia were seized and taken by the Russian government. With the destruction of the Davos Pact in Russia, the support base for Yeltsin evaporated with the last vestiges gone. The Oligarchy in Russia which had been simmering in Russia for a long time reached an extreme low point as the corruption, nepotism schemes, ta evasions etc were made public by the government which made the people of Russia enraged enough to have public lynching and public defaming etc of these Oligarchs. The government did nothing to stop them.

Meanwhile, with the money and finances being slightly tight for the Russian government, the old Loans for Shares Scheme made by Yeltsin for the Russian Oligarchs was reintroduced as well; though largely in a more finer manner. The old Oligarchic holdings were sold to the public, and the shares auctions this time weren’t rigged at all like the previous times, and the competitive auctions made the Russian coffers fill up, as foreign investors bought the shares from the auction with their hands full. The return of companies such as Mechel, Lukoil, Yukol etc were pretty good for the Russian economy as well as deficit spending was now lowering and stabilizing in the Russian economy.

In July 2nd however crisis gripped the nation and the world as Thailand floated the Baht into the international market triggering a severe financial crisis. Every nation in Asia was directly affected by it, and since Russia was an Eurasian state with a good portion of their economic holdings in Asia, the crisis affected Russia as well. Russia’s Ruble had a high fixed exchange rate and was affected by the crisis as exports and imports from South East Asia. 15% of Russia’s exports went to Asia and 12% of the Russian imports came from Asia. This forced the government of Yavlinsky to announce that a new economic currency plan was to be adopted by the nation and immediate anti-inflationary laws were passed to stop the rise of inflation as the risk of it grew during the crisis. On July 17th as the crisis worsened, the government of Yavlinsky passed the ‘Mixed Law’ which mixed floatation of currency and fixed exchange rate into together. It provided a range for the currency to float officially adopting the Managed Currency System. It gave a range of 4.0 to 5.5 for the Ruble to float under the supervision of the government. The Ruble was allowed to float under this scheme and it settled down at 4.8 thus alleviating a lot of Russia’s economic problems it faced within the first two weeks of the crisis. Yavlinsky however decided to use the current crisis in Asia to Russia’s advantage as well. Russia’s economy which was now healing and starting to grow, paying of the debts, started to allow loans to be given. Considering Russia’s economy was still healing, the advantage Russia could reap was limited, however no matter how much limited it would be, it would be able to accelerate the Russian economy. Yavlinsky announced a medium scale and limited loan offer scheme to the Asian nations hit by the Crisis. Malaysia became the first nation to take Yavlisnky’s offer and purchased a $3 Billion Loan. South Korea became the second nation to take the offer and bought a $5 Billion loan from Russia. Indonesia followed suit and took a $4 Billion loan scheme and Thailand became the last nation to take the offer up and it took a $3 Billion dollar loan from Russia. All in all Yavlinsky had been willing to give away $18 Billion in loans and had been able to reach $15 Billion, which was acceptable and did allow the Russian Foreign Reserves grow by a good margin. Russian investment into these nations grew, and noticing the Russian success, investors from nations such as China, Japan and Canada started to invest into the Russian Far East and Siberian Development Program which had been opened to investment.


In the Asian Financial Crisis, the economic productivity fell largely.

The Asian Economic Crisis was used to Russia's advantage as well. The loans were given through private channels, and largely not through direct governmental intervention. Coupled with this, the Russian government knew that an economic crisis in the future was likely, and that the crippling debt that Russia had was not sustainable to the government at all. Russia defaulted their Soviet debts in the international market. The international Monetary Fund only showed suspicions of foul play however, the Russians had been canny in their use of the crisis to stop the debt accumulation of the Russian economy. A slight inflationatory period entered the Russian economy as a result of the default, however the anti-inflation measures taken by the previous laws were largely successful in keeping them at bay and reducing their effects. The Russo Default of 1997 is largely seen as a subtle move towards economic productivity in a cunning manner; a move that could only be done by someone with extreme economic knowledge........someone like Yavlinsky. However despite this pretty long sighted view for the economy, the default created a short three week long inflation crisis in Russia which was stabilized by the inflation measures, however his approval went down as a result; despite arguably making the economy largely stronger and in a freer manner.

On July 22nd NATO announced that Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary would be joining NATO in 1999. This raised alarm rings in Moscow and the Kremlin as Yavlinsky gave a neutral, slightly leaned reply. “The Eastern Europeans have just now managed to grow and recover. Starting to interfere in the region with military affairs can only compound economic problems and the UN and NATO must create a better atmosphere for growth of all nations involved.”

This was of course Russia’s polite manner of saying, they didn’t approve of it. However for the time being there was little Russia could do. However, investment was also given with a specific quota to the Defense Industries of the nation. Speaking about Defense, Yavlinsky, ever the economist lobbied for a cutting on the nuclear stockpile that Russia had. Currently Russia had 12,000 Nuclear Warheads. Yavlinsky argued cutting it down to 6000. At this point the conservatives of the Russian Duma had to put their foot down and specifically said no. They replied that they would be amenable to a reduction, but cutting it down by half was something that they would not even entertain. However Yavlinsky managed to wriggle out the number to be lowered to 10,000 and to be maintained at such with no increase in it, thus lowering 1/6 of the money spent to upkeep and maintain the nuclear warheads as they were slowly disposed of. And as such Russian ease of economy grew.

On September 17 during the UN General Assembly, two topics were the hottest in the assembly. The Iraqi Disarmament Crisis and the Russo-Belarusian Unification. The Iraqi Disarmament Crisis went over……pretty not well as the Iraqi government denounced the crisis and declared it would not allow any sort of foreign intervention in its disarmament raising tensions between the Middle Eastern Nation and the Western Powers including NATO. For the second topic, the debates lasted for a good few hours before Kofi Anan declared that UN Peacekeeping Forces and UN Agencies would take control of a referendum to be held on the 15th of November in Belarus. As such, UN agencies started to flood both Russia and Belarus for the event, as preparations for the referendum in Belarus took place.

The common slogan during this 1 and a half month time for the referendum was – “Do your nation a favor and vote! It’s for your future!”

On November 15th, the Referendum took place all over Belarus. The voter turnout for the referendum was a staggering 89% of the voting age populace. The UN’s and state government had encouraged the people to vote and it had clearly been effective. On November 20th the referendum was declared over and on November 25th the results were announced by Kofi Anan.

  • Do you support Belarusian Unification with Russia under the guidance of the Smolensk Summit? – (72.7%)
  • Do you not support the Belarusian Unification proposal under the guidance of the Smolensk Summit? – (22.3%)
  • Invalid votes – (5%)
This was a huge win for the government of both Yavlinsky and Lukashenko and that evening Yavlinsky announced that Belarus would join the Russian Federation on December 31st, 1997.

And true to his word, on 12:00 AM, Russian GMT, Belarus announced its annexation into the Russian Federation under the Smolensk Summit Plan. On 12:10 Russia announced that it had received the offer and had accepted thus unifying both nations once more with Lukashenko as the First President of the Republic of Belarus within the Russian Federation.


Lukashenko officially signing and stating the reunification of Russia and Belarus.

Despite this clear democratic process however, countries like Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Finland and Romania boycotted the referendum stating that the error of the referendum was there for all to see. However they remained temporary and medium scaled hiccups as the world largely recognized the unification of Belarus into the Russian Federation.