How's the Redux?


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Good update so far. I wonder what are your sources for the 1992 reduction of funds in transportation and health versus education. Anything would be very welcome please as I'm keen to learn more about this.
The Piratization of Russia: Russian Reform Goes Awry by Marshal Goldmann goes into heavy detail how mis-allocation of funds such as the one i mentioned in the chapter led to some portion of the reform failing
What are the borders of Nagorno Karabagh TTL? The same one as OTL but with the whole of Shahumyan province including areas like the Lachin corridor, Kalbajar etc?
Pretty much
If so the Armenians are in a much stronger position than OTL.
Yes they are. Azerbaijan is rapidly unstable due to their new dictatorship.
The lack of euro will have mixed effects on Europe overall. On one hand, competition between European currencies will be a good thing and it will prevent the debt crises that Southern European countries suffered OTL. There may also be more investment in industrial sectors as opposed to constructions as seen OTL. On the other hand, currency devaluations can be used to avoid deep rooted social and structural reforms TTL. This would weaken Southern Europe compared to OTL over the course of decades. Germany will be fine but may find it somewhat more challenging to export in southern Europe TTL as their products may not be as competitive.
A single currency isn't needed to have a single economic market. It is of course helpful and reduces transaction costs. But transaction costs will inevitably go down with digitisation and eventually fintech.
Yes, the butterfly effects of this will be large
An interesting side effect of this timeline is that the United Kingdom may become a far stronger proponent of European integration than TTL. It has essentially won and its vision of a European Economic union triumphed over the vision of political union.
I wouldn't be surprised if allowing clearing of European currencies in London becomes a potential battlefield between the UK and its European partners.
I wouldn't say Integration would be popular, because even the Left in UK are wary of any sort of political integration in Europe, but certainly, it will be very very pro-EU ittl.
 
Also is there a chance of russia ever joining the eu?
Extremely unlikely. Even without the euro, Russia would still have the problem of "they are a country that has twice the population and 50 times more territory than any of us."

Even assuming that TTL Europe doesn't have the same "bigger partners fight for leadership" problems, I doubt anyone has an interest in bringing such a monster into the EU, in case it ends up dominating it and turning it into "Russia and its European satellites" .

Even if Russia has no such intentions, many people will believe it.
 
will you focus on development of a Russian silicon valley? Also is there a chance of russia ever joining the eu?
They just slashed the education budget. How are you going to grow a Silicon Valley?

"Far from being an obstacle to entrepreneurial success, a college education arms a person with the suite of skills necessary to capitalize on a great idea. At their best, colleges and universities are themselves hothouses of innovation, a natural site and climate for translating ideas into application. It is no coincidence that some of the practical ideas that have most changed our world, such as the Internet, came directly out of universities and colleges. Nor is it a coincidence that communities of entrepreneurs, Silicon Valley included, grow up around great universities." [Source]

Extremely unlikely. Even without the euro, Russia would still have the problem of "they are a country that has twice the population and 50 times more territory than any of us."

Even assuming that TTL Europe doesn't have the same "bigger partners fight for leadership" problems, I doubt anyone has an interest in bringing such a monster into the EU, in case it ends up dominating it and turning it into "Russia and its European satellites" .

Even if Russia has no such intentions, many people will believe it.
Russia at this point in the story should have around 150 million people, while the EC12 have around 340 million, roughly. With Russia having 7 times (again, roughly) as much area as the EC12.
That said, I agree with it being extremely unlikely.
 
They just slashed the education budget. How are you going to grow a Silicon Valley?
I think that is temporary. Eventually after the crisis is over, there will be a significant amount left over for education. Not to mention the Soviet engineers and scientists that are in Russia and without proper incentives from the government would lead to brain drain.
 
Russia at this point in the story should have around 150 million people, while the EC12 have around 340 million, roughly. With Russia having 7 times (again, roughly) as much area as the EC12.
That said, I agree with it being extremely unlikely.
When I spoke of population, I meant that each individual country is ridiculously outnumbered by Russia, hence "any of us." Even considering the joint figures, it would mean that between 1/4 and 1/3 of the total population of the EU + Russia would be concentrated in a single country. Which would be unacceptable from what I already mentioned about Russia being ridiculous huge.
 
Dunois said:
What are the borders of Nagorno Karabagh TTL? The same one as OTL but with the whole of Shahumyan province including areas like the Lachin corridor, Kalbajar etc?
Pretty much
So the situation on the ground in the Caucasus is something like this:
Screenshot (5).png
 
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Hi. I love post-Soviet PoDs and have some post-Soviet TLs in Russian. I understand that I'm late for this but I want to make a few critical comments.
Chapter 1
1. Although there were very few CPSU supporters in post-GKChP Moscow, It is elegant PoD
2. It's too early for Crimean independence. IOTL Crimean Supreme Council declared Crimea sovereign (some difference between means of words "sovereignty" and "independence" existed in 1991 USSR) republic only in September 4. Bagrov didn't want full break up with Ukraine and Meshkov didn't nave many influence in Crimean legislature in 1991. Crimea could to declare independence if it had support in Moscow but time was needful for this
3. Change of republican borders is dangerous precedent for RF too but Rutskoi and majority in Supreme Council could do not understand this
4. 1 November 1991 is impossible date for referendums in USSR. Sunday is election day in the USSR and post-Soviet states like Russia and Ukraine. Also date of Ukrainian referendum determined by Ukrainian election law between 24/11 and 24/12 1991. UOTL referendum was appointed on 1 December because it was date of presidential election.
5. Exchange Crimea to Ukrainian independence was difficult in the end of 1991 even with functional Soviet government and would make a lot of problems for Kravchuk and Russo-Ukrainian relationships
6. Belarus didn't planned referendum. If Russia created New Union they would be joined to it
7. Stans (exclude Azerbaijan that just wanted Soviet troops in Karabakh) were main supporters of Soviet Federation because they were main recipients of subsidies from Russian taxes. Gorbachev wanted all of them in New Union and exception of one of them from New Union project is conflict between Rutskoi and Gorbachev. Kazakhstan that has large European population could join to New Union without problems if Rutskoi would interest Nazarbayev
8. "Union of Russia" is very bad name for New Union. Firstly, only way for use word "Russia" without another subjects of Union is dissolution of RSFSR and joining of post-Russian republics as subjects of Union but Rutskoi would not destroy base of his power. Secondly, it doesn't match Russian grammar rules. "Russian Union" or "Union of Russian States" is more correct names
9. Yeltsin despite its flaws was the best Russian politician in the first half of 1990s. At least it's my position
10. Sobchak is realistic figure for VP that would gave support of Yeltsinites before dissolution of Yeltsin's coalition after liberalisation

Chapter 2
11. Although Yavlinsky was born in Lviv, he lived in Moscow in the beginning of 1990s and didn't have any relation to Ukraine
12. Yavlinsky was logical figure for Union premier but he would be resigned earlier than Gaidar IOTL
13. Soviet enterprises always must to pay for materials that they received by government order and took credits in bank if they didn't have money. The payment crisis, in addition to general problems of production efficiency, was caused by the fact that the enterprises's money inevitably burned out due to inflation, and the printing of new money increased inflation.
14. The most part of OTL Gaidar's policy was caused by economic necessary
15. 7 roubles per dollar was market exchange rate in 1991. In the beginning of 1991 it was 30 ₽/$ and 150₽/$ in the end. It was temporary stabilized only after price liberalisation
16. Kozyrev with his pro-west idealism would be quickly resigned
17. Russian parliament was called Suprime Council (Soviet is council in Russian). Council of the Republic was one of two houses of SC. Under 1989 constitution russian parliamentary structure was complicated with Congress of People's Deputies as main organ of power in Russia and SC as its permanent committee
18. IOTL with the same figures, nuclear question solved only in 1994. ITTL Ukraine wouldn't believe to Russia after Crimea
19. Tactical nuclear weapons left Ukraine only in 1992 IOTL. Also Ukraine explored the possibility of reprogramming of nukes and had heedful specialists
20. "Ukraine", not "Republic of Ukraine" is official name of Ukrainian state since 24 August 1991
21. Transnistria first wanted to join to Ukraine after August coup but Ukraine didn't want to make precedent of changing of republican borders. ITTL Transnistria would be the important place of Russo-Ukrainian conflict
22. IOTL Russian Supreme Council didn't confirm emergency state in Chechnya. Why they did it ITTL?
23. Without three years of strengthening Ichkeria, the Chechen war will be easier for Russia

To be continued
 
Hi. I love post-Soviet PoDs and have some post-Soviet TLs in Russian. I understand that I'm late for this but I want to make a few critical comments.
Chapter 1
1. Although there were very few CPSU supporters in post-GKChP Moscow, It is elegant PoD
2. It's too early for Crimean independence. IOTL Crimean Supreme Council declared Crimea sovereign (some difference between means of words "sovereignty" and "independence" existed in 1991 USSR) republic only in September 4. Bagrov didn't want full break up with Ukraine and Meshkov didn't nave many influence in Crimean legislature in 1991. Crimea could to declare independence if it had support in Moscow but time was needful for this
3. Change of republican borders is dangerous precedent for RF too but Rutskoi and majority in Supreme Council could do not understand this
4. 1 November 1991 is impossible date for referendums in USSR. Sunday is election day in the USSR and post-Soviet states like Russia and Ukraine. Also date of Ukrainian referendum determined by Ukrainian election law between 24/11 and 24/12 1991. UOTL referendum was appointed on 1 December because it was date of presidential election.
5. Exchange Crimea to Ukrainian independence was difficult in the end of 1991 even with functional Soviet government and would make a lot of problems for Kravchuk and Russo-Ukrainian relationships
6. Belarus didn't planned referendum. If Russia created New Union they would be joined to it
7. Stans (exclude Azerbaijan that just wanted Soviet troops in Karabakh) were main supporters of Soviet Federation because they were main recipients of subsidies from Russian taxes. Gorbachev wanted all of them in New Union and exception of one of them from New Union project is conflict between Rutskoi and Gorbachev. Kazakhstan that has large European population could join to New Union without problems if Rutskoi would interest Nazarbayev
8. "Union of Russia" is very bad name for New Union. Firstly, only way for use word "Russia" without another subjects of Union is dissolution of RSFSR and joining of post-Russian republics as subjects of Union but Rutskoi would not destroy base of his power. Secondly, it doesn't match Russian grammar rules. "Russian Union" or "Union of Russian States" is more correct names
9. Yeltsin despite its flaws was the best Russian politician in the first half of 1990s. At least it's my position
10. Sobchak is realistic figure for VP that would gave support of Yeltsinites before dissolution of Yeltsin's coalition after liberalisation

Chapter 2
11. Although Yavlinsky was born in Lviv, he lived in Moscow in the beginning of 1990s and didn't have any relation to Ukraine
12. Yavlinsky was logical figure for Union premier but he would be resigned earlier than Gaidar IOTL
13. Soviet enterprises always must to pay for materials that they received by government order and took credits in bank if they didn't have money. The payment crisis, in addition to general problems of production efficiency, was caused by the fact that the enterprises's money inevitably burned out due to inflation, and the printing of new money increased inflation.
14. The most part of OTL Gaidar's policy was caused by economic necessary
15. 7 roubles per dollar was market exchange rate in 1991. In the beginning of 1991 it was 30 ₽/$ and 150₽/$ in the end. It was temporary stabilized only after price liberalisation
16. Kozyrev with his pro-west idealism would be quickly resigned
17. Russian parliament was called Suprime Council (Soviet is council in Russian). Council of the Republic was one of two houses of SC. Under 1989 constitution russian parliamentary structure was complicated with Congress of People's Deputies as main organ of power in Russia and SC as its permanent committee
18. IOTL with the same figures, nuclear question solved only in 1994. ITTL Ukraine wouldn't believe to Russia after Crimea
19. Tactical nuclear weapons left Ukraine only in 1992 IOTL. Also Ukraine explored the possibility of reprogramming of nukes and had heedful specialists
20. "Ukraine", not "Republic of Ukraine" is official name of Ukrainian state since 24 August 1991
21. Transnistria first wanted to join to Ukraine after August coup but Ukraine didn't want to make precedent of changing of republican borders. ITTL Transnistria would be the important place of Russo-Ukrainian conflict
22. IOTL Russian Supreme Council didn't confirm emergency state in Chechnya. Why they did it ITTL?
23. Without three years of strengthening Ichkeria, the Chechen war will be easier for Russia

To be continued
Thanks! High, usually for long winded posts like these, i would appreciate PMs, because it allows me to answer more specifically. But to answer in general, most of the answers for these are going to be given slowly in the upcoming chapters. This TL is mostly going to be a slow burn timeline that is more detailed than my first version of this.
 
will you focus on development of a Russian silicon valley? Also is there a chance of russia ever joining the eu?
They just slashed the education budget. How are you going to grow a Silicon Valley?

"Far from being an obstacle to entrepreneurial success, a college education arms a person with the suite of skills necessary to capitalize on a great idea. At their best, colleges and universities are themselves hothouses of innovation, a natural site and climate for translating ideas into application. It is no coincidence that some of the practical ideas that have most changed our world, such as the Internet, came directly out of universities and colleges. Nor is it a coincidence that communities of entrepreneurs, Silicon Valley included, grow up around great universities." [Source]


Russia at this point in the story should have around 150 million people, while the EC12 have around 340 million, roughly. With Russia having 7 times (again, roughly) as much area as the EC12.
That said, I agree with it being extremely unlikely.
Yes any idea of a silicon valley is a decade and half too early for Russia right now. They need to at least get back on their feet in GDP terms to think about a silicon valley prestige project.
 
Extremely unlikely. Even without the euro, Russia would still have the problem of "they are a country that has twice the population and 50 times more territory than any of us."

Even assuming that TTL Europe doesn't have the same "bigger partners fight for leadership" problems, I doubt anyone has an interest in bringing such a monster into the EU, in case it ends up dominating it and turning it into "Russia and its European satellites" .

Even if Russia has no such intentions, many people will believe it.
When I spoke of population, I meant that each individual country is ridiculously outnumbered by Russia, hence "any of us." Even considering the joint figures, it would mean that between 1/4 and 1/3 of the total population of the EU + Russia would be concentrated in a single country. Which would be unacceptable from what I already mentioned about Russia being ridiculous huge.
Russia will not join the EU.
First, the Russians do have an ego, and do see the EU as bowing to the demands of Paris, Berlin and London, no matter how flawed that view is.
Second, the Russians are more interested in the former USSR as a trading block than the EU.
Also, the Europeans, especially Poland, Romania, and the Benelux would be extremely opposed to any Russian entrance in the EU.
Though, that said the EU and Russia will have much better relations ittl with one another.
 
High, usually for long winded posts like these, i would appreciate PMs, because it allows me to answer more specifically.
As it is convenient for you.

This TL is mostly going to be a slow burn timeline that is more detailed than my first version of this.
I can't get you to reply to comments if the answer is a spoiler. It's your right and I prefer answers about already written text

Continue
24. I forget that Rutskoi thought about stans IOTL in 1991. It's needful for understanding of his policy in Soviet Asia


Chapter 3
25
Operation Golovin
It is not typical name for post-WW2 military operation in Russia but at least it's better than "Yermolov operation".

26. ITTL Chechen war would be closer to police operation and counterinsurgency than IOTL. Sovier operations in Karabakh in 1988-1991 and Russian operation on Ossetia-Ingushetia in 1992 is good examples

27. I totally sure that restoration in Georgia is very likely, maybe Romania, Montenegro and Bulgaria but Russia must go very long way to restoration of Romanovs. I like this idea but for this the coin must come up eagle a very large number of times. I don't know an influential party that seriously supports this idea IOTL 1990s

28.
Boris Nemtsov was the fiercest proponent of a limited monarchical restoration in Russia
Did he sympathize with the monarchy in order to move to monarchist positions? And Rutskoy, for that matter

29.
Gallup poll from 1992. See Russian Politics and Society by Richard Sakwa for more information.
This book is fine addition to my collection but I don't find information about this poll. Can you say me chapter where is this information

They just slashed the education budget. How are you going to grow a Silicon Valley?
IOTL Russia has strong IT industry with giants like Yandex, Kaspersky and Vkontakte
 
Chapter 6: Healing a Nation
Russia Resurgent: The Redux!

***

Chapter 6: Healing a Nation


***

From How Chechnya Was Robbed of its Freedom by William Walker

The Chechen War had in 1993, been raging on for over a year by January 1993, and for most Russians, they were quite sick of the war. Already suffering through a recession due to the collapse of the Soviet Union, the war in Chechnya was also taking up funds that could be used to revitalize the economy and make the general situation of the country far better than what it once was. Despite the fact that the Battle of the Terek River and the Battle of Grozny, which had destroyed the conventional fighting capability of the Chechen separatists, the mountains and isolated valleys in the northern Caucasus remained in the hands of the separatists and they conducted several guerilla campaigns against the Russian governmental forces in the region.


1624532919883.png

Aslan Mashkadov.

By this point, a split had developed in the Chechen government. The main government, led by Dzokhar Dudayev was of the ideology that a secular government that would secure the rights the ethnic minorities of Chechnya, most especially the Russians, Ukrainians and Georgia, whilst the growing Islamic faction coalesced around Aslan Mashkadov, who whilst being a moderate islamist, was the most powerful Islamist in the Chechen government, thus why he became their de-facto leader. Dudayev was extremely angered by the hospital siege conducted the Chechen separatists in 1992 and had even threatened to cut all ties with the Chechen state and defect back over to the Russians if the Chechen’s didn’t stop on their Islamic course.

1624532954408.png

Emir Khattab

Soon enough, the situation and state of affairs within the Chechen holdouts was no longer tenable. Dudayev was becoming more and more irritated by the Islamic demands, and the blatant pandering to Islamic Terrorists. On the 17th of January, 1993, the last straw arrived for the man, when well-known Islamic Radical Emir Khattab landed in one of the Chechen bases in the Caucasus Mountains. Dudayev barged into the meeting that was created to welcome the Emir and his mercenary army in the region and demanded that Khattab return back home or else he would give Khattab to the International Court of Justice and the Russian government himself. Mashkadov refused to listen to this and pragmatically pointed out that despite the fact that Khattab was extremely unsavory, the thousands he would bring would be especially important in keeping the Russian Armed Forces out of Chechen lands.

Dudayev blew up in anger. His eldest son had already been killed in a Russian airstrike early that year, and he was extremely angered by the fact that the Chechens were now taking help from known radicals who wanted nothing but to ‘purge’ the non-Chechens of Chechnya. Dudayev supported the rights of every Chechen in the country, and he is stated to have said, “I will not support this Aslan! I will not! The Emir is a threat to our stability, our cause and our nation. Those Russians and Ukrainians that you so hate have lived in Grozny for two hundred years! By Allah! Those people are as Chechen as you or I. We cannot strip them of their rights! Nor can we impose on them to leave the lands that they have known for the past two hundred years!”

Dudayev had enough. On the 19th of January, 1993 he secretly contacted Lieutenant General Alexander Lebed, who was in charge of the region, and asked him for peace terms. This was however discovered by Dudayev’s servant, who had Islamic tendencies, and he told Mashkadov about this. In a coup, Mashkadov led the Chechen guerillas against their once venerated leader, and imprisoned him. Mashkadov took the mantle of Leader and President of the Chechens after a special vote in the Chechen Congress. Dudayev’s wife, who had tried to resist the coup was killed, and Dudayev’s last remaining younger son was imprisoned alongside his father.

Lebed, who did not receive any further calls from Dudayev was suspicious immediately and he began to concentrate the Russian Armed Forces in the region for one last attack. Lebed, had in the past few years been instrumental in the creation of a semi-professional armed force in the region, which was distinctively lacking in the Russian Army.


1624532993367.png

A Soviet trooper being brutalized as a part of the Dedovshchina tradition.

A particularly toxic legacy of Soviet times was dedovshchina – “grandfatherism” – a distinctive and brutal Russian seniority-based hazing culture that led to hundreds of deaths among conscripts every year. No army is immune to bullying and abuse, but in the Soviet military the cycle of spring and fall call-ups for soldiers to fulfill their two-year national service obligation meant that at any given time the conscripts were divided into four six-monthly cohorts. This generated an unofficial progression through stages of military life: a newly arrived molodoy (“youngster”) could expect to be lorded over by the dedy (“grandfathers”) who were more than half way through their service, and by the dembely (from “demobilizing”) who were serving their last hundred days. Newer recruits were forced to serve the older ones – to perform their duties, hand over food (especially that sent from home), and even go through the ritual of the “hundred days,” putting a cigarette under the pillow of a dembel every night until the end of his service.

This culture was enforced by often brutal means, including everything from humiliations to beatings. In Soviet and even early post-Soviet times dedovshchina was officially decried but unofficially tolerated, because it was believed to offer an alternative form of discipline. For a relatively small and often under-trained junior officer corps, without adequate numbers of seasoned NCOs on whom to rely, the senior conscripts offered a means to keep the rest in line, in return for the officers turning a blind eye to their bullying. Yet dedovshchina was dangerously corrosive of morale and counter-productive in combat, when squads must stick together, and it also made military service extremely unappealing, contributing to widespread draft-dodging and making it hard to attract volunteers.

Lebed had other ideas. With the 40,000 to 50,000 troops that he had been assigned to pacify Chechnya, he clamped down on this corrosive tradition hard and fast. Any acts of brutality in enforcing this tradition found themselves dishonorably discharged and in prison, whilst every night, the bunkers were checked by Lebed’s men to see to it that no cigarettes were below the pillows to enforce the tradition. It had taken Lebed over a year to make the tradition disappear (mostly), but he had succeeded by early 1993, and his army was a well-oiled professional force that had fought together for one and a half year of brutal guerilla warfare and were now comrades in arms.

Lebed decided that the sudden cutting off of communications between him and Dudayev had foul play somewhere, and as a former KGB trained general, he immediately believed that some kind of power redistribution had happened. He contacted Prime Minister Yavlinsky and Rutskoi immediately to confer on the situation. We do not know the entirety of their conversation but in 1999, a partial transcript was released.


[…..]
LEBED: I was in contact with Dudayev. He wanted to ask for terms. All he wanted was safety for his family. He even agreed to go to jail.
RUTSKOI: That is something to behold I guess. What happened afterwards?
LEBED: Communications were cut. I believe Mr. President, that the Chechen radicals found out about their leader’s double dealing and ousted him.
YAVLINSKY: Are you sure? We cannot jump to situations in such matters of the state.
LEBED: I grew up in the KGB during the Cold War Mr. Prime Minister. Yes, I am absolutely sure. Every direction of investigation points in favor of it.
RUTSKOI: What would you advise General?
LEBED: We end this. I have pinpointed the last strongholds. We storm them, and release Dudayev….if he is still alive. And then end the Chechen threat.
YAVLINSKY: Is this wise? We are already looking bad in the international arena, due to the brutal suppression of the Chechens during Martial Law.
LEBED: Prime Minister, the law will be lifted immediately when the war is over. Surely ending the war earlier is imperative to end the martial law?
YAVLINSKY: …..Yes, yes you’re right. Very well. Mr. President?
RUTSKOI: Do it
[…]

Whatever the case may be in the political backdoor situation, Lebed got the permission he needed and on the 28th of January, airstrikes bombarded the isolated hills and mountains of Chechnya. Elements of the 27th Motorized Division attacked the village of Gukhoy and took the village in a series of heavy fighting. During the fighting, prominent Chechen General Vakha Arsanov himself was killed in the fighting. The Chechens immediately redeployed to meet this renewed threat, and the guerillas took up positions however this proved to be a decoy from Lebed, and with the Guerillas surging forward to meet this threat, the Russian 88th Infantry Division based in Ingushetia marched in and encircled the western flank of the Chechens in the Northern Caucasus. Similarly, the 87th Airborne Brigade entered the Northern Caucasus from Dagestan and flanked their eastern approach as well. The Chechens were surrounded and they fell back to their last stronghold of Kiri of the Reka Sharoargun River. The Russians attacked from three sides. In the ensuing chaos Ruslan Gelayev, another prominent Chechen General was killed in a missile strike, before the Chechens were routed in the Battle of Kiri.

1624533066633.png

Russian troops during the Battle of Kiri.

3,500 guerillas were captured, and 2000 were killed in the fighting. Aslan Mashkadov was taken prisoner by the Russian Army and Dudayev and his son were found unconscious, and most presumably tortured. They were immediately taken to Grozny for medication and health services. The massive scale of the defeat at the Battle of Kiri ended the Chechen War. Almost all of the remainder of the guerillas were forced to flee in Azerbaijan, which gave refuge to them. Mashkadov would later be sentenced to death for treason by the Russian government whilst Dudayev and his son were given imprisonment. Dudayev received a lifetime imprisonment whilst his younger son received 10 years’ worth of imprisonment.

The Chechen War was over. It had taken the lives of thousands and destroyed billions in property and damage, but normality would soon return to the area as martial law was lifted. Lebed became a national hero. And Yavlinsky’s government got the nationalistic boost that it needed to survive for the 1993 Parliamentary Elections.

***

From Chapter 29 of The Economic Miracle of Russia: the Rise of the Russian Bear by Jason MacLeod

The Russian economy at the beginning of 1993 was in recession. It was a recession that had been handled pretty well, yes, however a recession was a recession, and the country was still undergoing through some tough economic times. Unemployment remained high and the state services of the former USSR, such as healthcare and education tethered on the brink of collapse. Prime Minister Yavlinsky and Economic Minister Petr Aven knew that this was a state of affairs that could not be allowed to last at all.

The two men began planning an elaborate economic policy that would allow Russia to start recovering from the recession, which would allow the health sector and the education sector to breathe a good air of relief, whilst also allowing the privatization to continue in Russia is a measured and balanced manner. In order to get the economy up and running once again, the fact that Russia would go into debt was now a reality that the government had to face.


1624533132628.png

John Maynard Keynes, the founder of Keynesian Economics.

As such, if the country was going into debt as it was, then the government was going to use it to the advantage of Russia. Yavlinsky and Aven as a result, adopted Keynesian Economics as their basic model of recovery for the time being. Keynesians argue that aggregate demand does not equate to the total productive capacity of the national economy. Instead they argue that it is also affected by other factors such as national development and living standards. In particular, the standard answer in Keynesian economics to recession was coordinated policy responses from the government through state intervention and the Central Bank through banking intervention would be able to reverse the course of a recession slowly but surely. In particular, fiscal policy and monetary policy were of the essence in Keynesian economic recovery policies.

In what became known as the Economic Recovery Act of 1993, the legislation presented to the Russian Duma was radical in its contents. It basically called for the following economic measures:-


  • A 25% increase in public spending to cover the costs of the citizens who had lost money during the recession and to compensate them for losses.
  • Considering the consolidation of wealth in the former USSR among the top 1% of the population, the creation of an Alternative Minimum Tax would passed by the government which would be calculated by taking the ordinary income and adding disallowed items and credits. This would broaden the base of taxable items and increase revenue from these top 1% who were already underpaying taxes anyway. It would then give an exemption rate of 26% - 28% which would further incentivize tax and make the revenue system more productive that it already was.
  • The establishment of the Food Voucher System as a governmental program which would provide good purchasing assistance schemes too low to no income earning citizens of the country as a national aid program. It was loosely based on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program of the United States of America, but instead used vouchers instead of stamps to make it work properly.
  • The passage of the Buy Russian Article within the Act which have waivers and discounts for domestically produced Russian products. This would incentivize Russian manufacturing and increase consumer demand in the Russian Economy.
  • The raising of the Healthcare Budget by 10% and the Education budget by 5% to increase the standard of living in the country.
All of this would cost the Russian government $50 billion dollars every year to maintain and would most assuredly mean that the government would have to go into debt. But that was the plan anyways. With the increase in production in the Buy Russian Article, domestic production within the Russian Union increased overdrive, gaining more employers and employees in the process, and the increase in social welfare increased the demand for social welfare workers as well, increasing employment in the country. Privatization also benefitted from the Buy Russian Act, and the Alternate Tax helped the Russian economy raise nearly $5 billion every year. Education and healthcare being increased also allowed the country to increase their standard of living and the voucher system kept several thousand from dying of starvation and gave employment to several unemployed chefs throughout the Union.

1624533282072.png

Russians lining up for Food Vouchers.

It was, like I stated earlier, a radical plan that had never been seen before. One Russian MP in the parliament protested at the radical actions of the government, stating, ‘We are trying to do too much, at the same time!’

However Yavlinsky wasn’t done. He also passed a radical currency reform in the Russian ruble, which absorbed most of the excess monetary supply in the Russian economy, and controlled inflation throughout the Russian Union as a result. The Ruble had money borrowed from the IMF injected into it to stabilize it even further.

It was radical, but it worked.

Price in the Russian Union slowly returned to normal. In January when the act passed, the cost for a bottle of milk was somewhere around 40 Rubles, in February it was 37 Rubles and in March it withdrew to 31 Rubles. The actions of the government was clearly working. This was exemplified by the fact that on the 31st of March, 1993, the Russian Stock Exchange noted that the Russian economy had for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union, grown by 0.9% in the first quarter of 1993. It was a monumental success. Now, Russia could truly recover economically from the collapse of the Soviet Union.

***

From Chapter 33 of Post-Soviet Relations Between the Powers by Vasily Shaposhnikov

President Nursultan Nazarbayev called for a snap legislative elections in 1993 after the authority of his government was called into question when the communists of Kazakhstan decided that they wouldn’t support the government. The Constitution of 1992 in Kazakhstan decreed that the country would have a unicameral structure based around the Supreme Council which was a 360 seat legislative body. Since Kazakhstan was a semi-Presidential Constitutional Republic, the legislative elections would prove to be an important affair. Out of the 200 seats which would be directly contested, there were over 850 candidates throughout the country. Russia was also watching the elections will ill-hidden curiosity. The Kazakhs had promised Russia that the ethnic Slavs of the country would not be discriminated against and the Russians were going to see whether this promise was going to be kept, or thrown away into the dust.

The main opponent of the ruling People’s Union of Kazakh Unity was challenged by the People’s Congress of Kazakhstan, a liberal conservative party and the communists. At the end of the elections, the group of MPs that were in favor of President Nazarbayev won majority of the seats (106 out of the 200 directly contested seats) and the President allowed a new cabinet to form. Thankfully for the Kazakhs and to the relief of the Russians, the ethnic slavs in Russia were not discriminated against and they were allowed to vote as any Kazakh would. Around 45% of the elected body was also filled to the brim with Kazakh Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians, further consolidating the fact that the Kazakhs weren’t going to slight their large Slavic minority.


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Nursultan Nazarbayev

Despite the rocky start that Kazakhstan had with an independent Russia, especially the dispute over nuclear weapons, the Kazakh President wanted to retain good relations with the Russian government and contacted Russia after winning the legislative elections on the 26th of March, 1993 and asked that the two nations begin negotiations to create a joint customs union between themselves. Russia was amenable to such a notion, however the idea would have to be shelved for the moment, as the conflict in Tajikistan grew larger and larger every day.

War had broken out in Tajikistan between the old-guard of Tajik politics and a loosely coordinated alliance of democratic liberals, reformists and radical islamists. This was a surprising alliance, but they were united in their hatred of the government and thus allied with one another. The Opposition largely consisted of men from the Leninabadi region, which was historically an oppressed region in Tajikistan, whilst the government was formed out of the old Tajik Soviet elite, who were almost all of old aristocratic origin from the rich and prosperous Kulob region. Whilst the Leninabadi and Kulob elites managed to get together and reconcile their differences in late 1992 with the aid of Russian and Uzbek intermediation, the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan had retaken up the fight and was now raging an Islamic insurgency all throughout the valleys and hills of Tajikistan, appealing to the Islamic nature of the Tajik people, coercing them through traditionalist ideals, and calling for a return to the pre-Soviet theological system of governance in Tajikistan. [1]


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The State of Tajikistan during the civil war. the Greatest threat was the Islamists - controlling the area in Green.

The fighting between the factions was brutal, and the government of Russia and Kazakhstan watched on with worry about the fighting in the region. Hundreds of thousands of Tajiks were flooding the borders of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan and fleeing into Russia at a time when all of the aforementioned economies weren’t faring properly only adding to the several problems that these governments had. As a result, the Russian government and the Kazakh government finally decided that enough was enough.

On the 31st of March, 1993, the Russian government began to plan an intervention in the Tajikistani Civil War, with the intention of defeating the Islamic Radicals, ending the blatant ethnic cleansing of Pamiris and Garmis, and to restore a democratic coalition government in Tajikistan with the aid of Kazakh troops. The first international intervention of Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union was about to begin.

***

Chapter 48 of Post-Soviet Russian Politics: A Political History by Ruslan Vakarov.

With the referendums of 1992, the Russians were gearing up for the first Parliamentary Elections of the Russian Union after the fall of the Soviet Union. There were five definite political parties and groups in the Russian Union that would be battling it out with one another during the elections.

The Social Democratic Party led by Prime Minister Grigory Yavlinsky was going to be the obvious pro-governmental faction in the coming elections, and the recent end of the Chechen War and the tenacity of Yavlinsky in creating a better economy had allowed the prestige of the party to increase. Communists in the Russian Union had been discredited after the fall of the Soviet Union, however with the rise of Gennady Zyuganov and the establishment of the National Salvation Front, many communists now turned to democratic socialism and democratic communism as their main ideology within the political party.


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Yavlinsky in a televised ad during the campaign.

The SDP was a center-left party whilst the NSF was a left party within the political sphere. The two parties were already allied in Belarus, therefore it was of no great surprise, when Yavlinsky announced on the 4th of February, 1993 that the NSF and SDP had reached an agreement with one another. The two parties had outlined general constituencies that they would not compete against each other and political accords allowed the two parties to stand candidates that would not be contested by the other party. As a result, the two parties agreed to form a pro-governmental alliance with one another.

The emergence of this general alliance between the NSF and the SDP soured political matters on the ground between the Party of Unity and Accord led by Sergey Shahkray and Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, led by Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the two premier center right and right wing parties of Russia. There was also the fact that the 1992 referendum had made the Russian Union into a parliamentary republic, and that meant that after this election, the Prime minister would be the highest executive position, and thus the elections were even more hardly contested as all party leaders were eager to nab the position for themselves. An unspoken rule in the SDP-NSF emerged wherein the leader of the party that got most of the seats would take the mantle of Prime Minister. Meanwhile the Ecological Party of Russia led by Victor Danilov-Danilyan were trying to imitate the German Green Party and were involved in agrarian politics to increase their visibility on the Russian political arena.

There were also more than a dozen minor parties that wished to take part in the elections, however they did not manage to cross the 5% threshold made by the government making their votes in the election, largely invalid.

The campaign for the elections was extremely competitive and something that felt rather surreal for many Russians. Thanks to 2 years of proper economic management the Social Democrats could point at their economic strongpoints. The increase in public spending certainly aided in the growth of their popularity in the country. They faced some criticism from the public regarding the high amount of deaths in the now over Chechen War, however Yavlinsky always had Aven accompany him during campaign speeches which allowed for the economy to remain the central point of the election, though some background criticism continued.

The National Salvation Front found itself campaigning on the premise of a democratic socialist platform. Zyuganov personally led many political campaigns throughout the often neglected Russian Far East promising greater attention to the region under a hypothetical premiership of his and called for an even more conservative privatization of the country. He did disappoint hardline communists when he refused to sanction any idea of returning to a total command economy and instead he stated that the party would have to look towards Eurocommunism and the Market Socialism characteristics of China as its future in Russia.

Unity and Accord campaigned on the grounds of social changes. They applauded the government’s attention to economic affairs, and even supported them on it, however blasted the ignorance of the government on social affairs. Shahkray in particular pointed out the social welfare pensions of the USSR were now suspended and promised to reinstitute that particular system within Russia as well. He also pandered to the regionalist feelings of many minorities in the Russian Union and promised added autonomy to Belarus, Bashkiristan, Ingushetia, Dagestan etc, to increase the coverage of his voting.

Zhirinovsky and the LPDR campaigned on nationalistic ideals. They demanded that all irredentist lands claimed by Russian nationalists, like northern Kazakhstan, Donbass in Ukraine, Abkhazia and North Ossetia in Georgia be handed over to the Russian government and state. The party also evidently disliked the already large autonomy of the autonomous regions of the Union, and pandered to the nationalists stating that they would decrease the autonomies of many regions and increase central power.

The Ecological Party instead pandered to the civil rights movement that was growing in Russia. Despite the constitution of Russia, the issue of LGBTs in Russia was still decidedly controversial and the issue of the Russian ecological problems came at the forefront of the party’s issues. Agrarian partisanship also became a part of the party when the party vowed to increase farming budgets throughout the Russian union. It was a good plan that would ensure a stable supply of rural supporters. More importantly, instead of focusing on the constituencies, the Ecological Party focused on the seats that would be assigned to the Duma from the List system, and increased their prominence in the proportional representation of the government and electorate.

Due to the rather personal nature of the fact that every leader in the elections knew each other rather well (other than Zhirinovsky) and were largely allied with one another in the coalition government of 1991, they refrained from personal attacks against one another. However, attacks were levelled against Zhirinovsky as he showed that he would not refrain from personal attacks. He called Yavlinsky a pro-Western panderer and called Zyuganov a traitor to the USSR. He also levelled severe accusations against Shahkray. As a result, Yavlinsky openly called Zhirinovsky to have been a former USSR agent to create a rubber stamp opposition party and Zyuganov criticized the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party as a neo-fascist. Shahkray echoed this sentiment throughout the elections.


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At the end of the elections, the Pro-Governmental Alliance had secured a total of 331 seats in the Duma. The Pro-Government side won the majority of the seats in the elections, though the Ecological Party made a surprisingly good show winning 33 of their 40 seats from the List System, showing an adept understanding of it. After some negotiations, the SDP and NSF formed a coalition and took the reins with Yavlinsky retaining the position of Prime minister. Special Presidential Elections for the now largely ceremonial position were slated to take place on the 25th of June that year.

***

[1] – During the Russian Empire, the Tajik Oblasts kept their old theocratic system of governance in most areas.
 
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