How's the Redux?


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Im looking forward to all those states understanding that their new independence will bring poverty, corruption, incompetence and not the Scandinavian standard wealthy democracies. From it, they'll also realise independence is not all it cracked out to be.

And frankly, given no coup, you'd be able to preserve most of the Soviet Union as a Federation. Only the Baltics were a given, but Ukraine & Georgia are likely to me as well.
 
Im looking forward to all those states understanding that their new independence will bring poverty, corruption, incompetence and not the Scandinavian standard wealthy democracies. From it, they'll also realise independence is not all it cracked out to be.

And frankly, given no coup, you'd be able to preserve most of the Soviet Union as a Federation. Only the Baltics were a given, but Ukraine & Georgia are likely to me as well.
The Pod for this timeline is actually after the coup
 
I want to say I love this TL as much as the original Russian Resurgence. And also love the details being put into it.

Once again, Chechnya. Russia will do well to learnt its lessons from the conflict much better than OTL, hopefully.
 
Interesting update but I have some considerations that I want to point out:
  1. Really liked how you avoided the war between Moldovia and Transnistria but I think that the latter sooner or later will be annexed by Russia. Moldova instead will be more pro-EU and I think that could apply for membership and maybe even try to join NATO (although very unlikely in the short term). Also what about Alexander Lebed? Will he became popular after TTL Chechen war or will he remain an unknown general in the Russian Army?
  2. With Russia being better off economically and politically speaking in TTL I think that it isn't that implausible to see the second Kuznetsov-class aircraft carrier Varyag and the fourth Slava-class cruiser Admiral Flota Lobov (today Ukayina) be commissioned in the Russian Navy in the late 1990s (the fist most likely in the Pacific Fleet while the latter in the Northern Fleet). Also, no Kursk disaster thanks to better financing or maybe because in TTL the Navy isn't as corrupt as in OTL and rejects the high-test peroxide torpedo (it's not that implausible as in OTL the Kurk was Russia's most modern submarine and that older Oscar II-class submarines didn't experience any other major disaster). If you really want to you could also have the Ulyanovsk (or what else will be called) enter service in the early 2000s but it's very unlikely. The Severodvinsk will also be most likely commissioned around 2003 and not in 2013 as in OTL.
  3. Regarding the Russian Air Force, they could proceed to put into service the Su-37 Terminator (the evolution of OTL Su-27M program but never mass-produced) and keep developing the MiG 1.44 program (maybe going very slow at first and being on the verge of cancellation before being reworked as a joint Sino-Russian Project?). I don't really see the Su-47 Berkut be mass-produced because apart from only being intended as a technology demonstrator it was a very maintenance-intensive machine that had a severe cracking issue with its wings.
  4. The Yugoslavian Wars could also be different with Russia getting more involved than in OTL but apart from avoiding the Kosovo War, I don't see any big change.
 
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Regarding with Yugoslavia, if there is a small ASB reason that the war can be avoided and instead a more peaceful breakup E.G Croatia and Slovenia break away without Serbia acting up with perhaps Russia forcing them to agree to it?
 
  1. Really liked how you avoided the war between Moldovia and Transnistria but I think that the latter sooner or later will be annexed by Russia. Moldova instead will be more pro-EU and I think that could apply for membership and maybe even try to join NATO (although very unlikely in the short term). Also what about Alexander Lebed? Will he became popular after TTL Chechen war or will he remain an unknown general in the Russian Army?
The War in Moldova hasn't started yet because Moldova doesn't have an army yet. They will not let their regions go without a fight. Lebed will feature prominently in this tl don't worry
  1. With Russia being better off economically and politically speaking in TTL I think that it isn't that implausible to see the second Kuznetsov-class aircraft carrier Varyag and the fourth Slava-class cruiser Admiral Flota Lobov (today Ukayina) be commissioned in the Russian Navy in the late 1990s (the fist most likely in the Pacific Fleet while the latter in the Northern Fleet). Also, no Kursk disaster thanks to better financing or maybe because in TTL the Navy isn't as corrupt as in OTL and rejects the high-test peroxide torpedo (it's not that implausible as in OTL the Kurk was Russia's most modern submarine and that older Oscar II-class submarines didn't experience any other major disaster). If you really want to you could also have the Ulyanovsk (or what else will be called) enter service in the early 2000s but it's very unlikely. The Severodvinsk will also be most likely commissioned around 2003 and not in 2013 as in OTL.
  2. Regarding the Russian Air Force, they could proceed to put into service the Su-37 Terminator (the evolution of OTL Su-27M program but never mass-produced) and keep developing the MiG 1.44 program (maybe going very slow at first and being on the verge of cancellation before being reworked as a joint Sino-Russian Project?). I don't really see the Su-47 Berkut be mass-produced because apart from only being intended as a technology demonstrator it was a very maintenance-intensive machine that had a severe cracking issue with its wings.
Russian military projects will be interesting, to say the least. Will take your advice in account
The Yugoslavian Wars could also be different with Russia getting more involved than in OTL but apart from avoiding the Kosovo War, I don't see any big change.
Russia will stay in the ex-ussr for the moment yes. They're still consolidating after all
 
Regarding with Yugoslavia, if there is a small ASB reason that the war can be avoided and instead a more peaceful breakup E.G Croatia and Slovenia break away without Serbia acting up with perhaps Russia forcing them to agree to it?
After 1990, war was kinda inevitable. The Bosniaks and Kosovars as well as Macedonians want to leave, and desperately.
 
After 1990, war was kinda inevitable. The Bosniaks and Kosovars as well as Macedonians want to leave, and desperately.
Basically after 1990, none of the ethnicities outside of the Serbs (and maybe the Montenegrins) wanted to be a part of Yugoslavia. A fact made worse that a lot of the leadership in the final days of SFR Yugoslavia and most of the history of FR Yugoslavia (prior to becoming the State Union) were predominantly led by Serbian nationalists who sought to (at the very least) transform Yugoslavia into Greater Serbia.
 
I would like to hear about relations of Belarus and Crimea with Russia? What do they have in common, what is separate?

Also, while I understand tha Belarus might want ( and Russia might accept ) confederal ties with Russia, I really don't see why: a) Crimea would like to be an equal to Russia ( in opposite to just being one of autonomous federal republics of Russia- like Checheny or Tatarstan ) and b) why would Russia agree to that?
 
I think with the soviet uniom surviving in another form ie the commonwealth of independence states, the defense cut that happened in western nation after it fall’s probably wouldn’t be as bad as otl,
 
Chapter 3: This War is My War!
Chapter 3: This War is My War!

***

Chapter 26 of The War in Chechnya: The People Denied Their Freedom by George MacLeod

On January 3, 1992, the Russian government convened a session in Moscow, to deal with the Chechen separatists once and for all. Many in the government asked for restraint from the Russian military since the Russian government was backing Gagauzian and Transnistrian independence, and committing such heavy-handed moves against the Chechens would be hypocritical of Russia on the international world stage. However, the Russian cabinet led by Alexander Rutskoy was not in a mood to lose more land and people than what was absolutely necessary and Chechnya was an integral part of Russia, as it lay on the important mineral mines and oil pipelines of the Russian Northern Caucasus, losing which would see Russia lose billions in monetary resources. Something, considering the state of the Russian economy at the time, was simply not acceptable.

Yevgeny Shaposhnikov, the Minister of Defense told the cabinet that the 40th Guard Army under the command of Major General Alexander Lebed would be seeking to capture Grozny as fast as possible and capture the city and major holdouts of the Chechen separatists. Capturing Grozny would force the Separatists into the middle to low-level intensity warfare against the Russian state which would be far more sustainable for the Russian economy monetarily wise. Despite the pleas of Foreign Minister Kozyrev who was not willing to make such diplomatic blunders, the Russian President gave the go-ahead for the plan to have the 40,000 men, 300 tanks and 720 AFVs enter Chechnya under the command of General Lebed.

On January 4, Lebed began Operation Golovin, named after one of the more famous Russian Generals from the 19th century who had led the Russian conquest of the Caucasus. The 40,000 troops of the Russian 40th Guard Army was divided into 2 divisions, the 87th Motor Rifle Division and the 88th Armored Division and the two divisions were both moving in from different sides of Chechnya. At first, the resistance of the Chechens north of the Terek River was non-existent as the areas were clogged up with ethnic Ukrainian and Russians still trying to flee the area as conflict seemed likely. However the Russian forces soon encountered massive resistance in and around of the crossing area of the Terek River, where the 87th Motor Rifle Division came under heavy artillery and gunfire from Chechen militia across the river. Lebed called in for a massive artillery barrage and aerial bombardment to dislodge the enemy Chechens who were entrenched on the other side of the river led by popular general and guerilla fighter Shamil Basayev.

The aerial bombardment led by three squadrons of Mig-29s managed to dislodge the Chechens with their missile attacks, and the Russians crossed the Terek River, officially starting the Battle of Grozny, the only real conventional battle of the entirety of the Chechen War. The Russian troops began to enter the city. General Lebed in his memoirs writes, “And then all hell was let loose. The artillery corps stood silent before they launched shells after shells at the Chechen positions, and the air was rife with bombardment from the air. The GRU and Spetznaz hurled themselves at the enemies and fought them first with first at times, and blood ran red like that of a river in the outskirts of the city. Grozny……..What a terrible fate it was for over 1200 soldiers, and around 4000 Chechens……”

The Russian armored columns invaded Grozny on January 8 and using blunt firepower, the armored columns consisting of T-80s and T-72s entered the city. However all armored and mechanized units were under staffed and under trained. As such on one occasion an anti-Air unit, whose anti-air batteries were being used to mow down Chechen militias opened fire on mistake to a squadron of Su-27s over the city resulting in the loss of 1 Su-27 through friendly fire. The conscripts had thought that the Chechens had somehow gotten their hands on a squadrons of warplanes and were utilizing them against their attack.

Meanwhile the Chechen command followed through with their plan and concentrated most of their regular forces against the Russian main assault force commanded by Brigadier General Anatoly Kvashin. Kvashin commanded the 88th Armored Division’s 131st Mechanized Brigade. The first casualty for the Russians was a single T-80 tank that was blown up along Pervomaiskaya Street as the Tanks and armored columns entered the city. The barrage of RPG fire from hidden militiamen destroyed the tank. Small fire attack from hidden militiamen from inside the walls of the buildings saw one of the reconnaissance vehicles disabled.


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Pervomaiskaya Street after the Battle of Grozny

A group of 7 AFVs in front of Pervomaiskaya School on the street were attacked by a cadre of RPG soldiers, and destroyed the Russian AFVs, resulting in the deaths of 38 servicemen immediately as their vehicles blew apart in front of them. As a new reconnaissance platoon retreated into the column, the troopers were confused because they were followed by what seemed to be a Russian army truck, and they were hesitant to open fire on the truck. However by the time the soldiers decided to fire on the suspicious truck following them, the truck had sped ahead into their midst, and a huge detonation took place indicating that it was a suicide truck bomb.

At 2 pm, January 8, 1992, Lebed decided to stop the offensive into the city due to mounting losses, and instead told the men to settle in for a slog, telling them to entrench themselves in the fight. A Russian conscript of the battle, Alexei Yevgeny described to me the neo-trench war that the Russians fought on Pervomaiskaya street.

Everywhere we looked fire and destruction reigned supreme as we hid behind hastily built defenses and shot back. The artillery and planes could not aid us so deep inside the city and all that we could do was to fire back every time we were attacked. By the 13th of January both of us were exhausted beyond our limits, and my sector, having eaten nothing but biscuits to sustain ourselves, found ourselves becoming increasingly lethargic. Finally a T-72 squadron arrived on the 14th and drove the Chechens away from the street. When it was announced to us that the street had been cleared, all of slumped down in relief, hoping to never see a firefight ever again in our lives.”

After the main street had fallen, the Russians waited for special operation troops of the GRU and Spetznaz to disperse into the city as the Rebels were culled one by one. Every block had to be fought for, however by January 16, the Battle of Grozny was effectively over, and ended in Russian victory. Dudayev and other Chechen leaders such Busayev were forced into an underground guerilla war and the Russians exerted control over the cities in Chechnya. However the battle had been costly. Around 1,200 Russian servicemen were killed in the ferocious battle, and around ~4,200 Chechens were killed in the battle as well. An unknown amount of troops on both sides were wounded as well.


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Red lines depict Russian army movement whilst blue lines depict Russian Airforce movement for the Battle of Grozny

Despite the victory in the Battle of Grozny however, an intense guerilla war continued and the Chechen War did not end with the fall of Grozny as many hoped. The Chechen War was only getting started.

***

From Chapter 12 of The Purple Restoration: How the Fall of Communism Restored 5 Monarchies

The Russian government ever since the 1987 reforms had been finding one new headache one after the other regarding the question of a monarchy. The question of monarchism had always been strong in Russia, even among many communists, though the left tended towards Christian communism when talking about the monarchy and as a result, the Soviet Government did not allow Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich of Russia to enter Russian territory on April 18, 1988, when he formally asked permission to do so. Gorbachev had been extremely scared about the probability of a pro-monarchist democratic movement in Russia who would be united under the banner of the old Grand Duke, and as a result, despite the democratization of the Soviet Union, the old Grand Duke wasn’t allowed to enter Russian territory. It had also helped the old Duke’s repute that he had been against communism but also had been against the Nazis in World War 2. During the war, he had made a comment against the Soviets, at first seemingly supporting the German invasion, however as soon as the worst excesses of the Germans had been leaked the man had withdrawn his support, and had found himself locked up in a Concentration Camp due to that. Many anti-communists in the USSR as a result sympathized with the old duke, and arguments from the CPSU led him to stay outside of Russian borders. However after the August Coup, on August 30, 1991, he was finally given permission return to Russian soil after 73 years of exile.


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The Grand Duke.

In November 21, he returned to Russia amidst a great crowd [1] and was greeted personally by Vice-President Anatoly Sobchack in St. Petersburg where he toured the city and met with prominent Russian politicians, including President Rutskoy, Prime Minister Yavlinsky etc. There, he was bluntly asked by Rutskoy, who was never known for his subtlety regarding the question of restoration.

He was blunt and extremely so, especially when the fact registers that he was speaking with a man who had grown up during times when orderly conduct was supreme.” Sobchack writes in his memoirs. “The President simply asked the Grand Duke whether or not he had any intentions to restoring the Russian monarchy, alluding the fact that many Russian citizens at the airport had cried out ‘We Want the Czar’ when he had arrived. The Grand Duke seemed mildly offended by the blunt question but regained his senses and said that while he wouldn’t be opposed to the idea, he would not force it through either. President Rutskoy’s regime was extremely unpopular, as many believed that he had been the one to lose the union between Russia and Ukraine, unalienable since 1643. It was at that moment that we understood, as in me and Mr. Yavlinsky, that Rutskoy was subtly asking if a restoration of the monarchy was possible with the old Duke.”

The monarchy, as the Russians desperately tried to solve their economic problems, came to the highlight once again. Under Yavlinsky, the government was conducting needed economic reforms, however Rutskoy’s stubbornness and anti-Yavlinsky streaks led to severe hampering of the implementation of the reforms at some times, which led many to contemplate the idea of a return to monarchism. Soviet Era Jokes such as ‘An Old Woman asks her granddaughter, “Granddaughter, please explain communism to me. How do people live under it? They probably teach you all about it in school!” “Of course granny. When we reach communism, the shops will be full – there will be butter, meat and sausage……you will be able to go and buy anything you want….” “Ah!” exclaimed the old woman joyfully “Just like under the Tsar!”’ ran rampant in Russian society, especially with the failures of communism being so recent and the Communist Party of Russia effectively disbanded by Gorbachev.

Several high profile members of Russian society such as Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow, Zhanna Bichevskaya the popular singer, Nikita Mikhailov, the popular film producer, Alexander Krutov the popular Russian journalist and Soviet Dissident, Andrey Savelyev, popular Muscovite Deputy, Boris Nemtsov, popular governor of Novgorod, all supported the idea of restoring the monarchy. However, whilst an American poll conducted in January to February, 1992 found that around 54% of Russians would be in favor of restoring the monarchy, with 38% opposed, and 8% unsure, [2], the real question came in regards to succession. Grand Duke Vladimir had not followed Romanov dynasty rules when he married a princess from a ‘lesser’ aristocratic family, through an allegedly morganatic marriage, and his daughter would thus not be eligible for any restoration of the throne, the rest of the dynasty argued. Coupled with the morganatic marriage and the Pauline Laws which forbid a female monarch in Russia, the question of succession to Grand Duke Vladimir opened up schisms in the Russian political spectrum.


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Boris Nemtsov was the fiercest proponent of a limited monarchical restoration in Russia.

On January 27, the Russian Grand Duke received a Russian passport, and Rutskoy, who was beginning to be called the ‘Cheap Yeltsin Imitator’ by many in Russia, began to tacitly support the idea of a restored Russian monarchy, in order to shore up support from the rest of the Russian conservative and anti-communist spectrum. Grand Duke Vladimir opposed this however, and a letter from the man to Prime Minister Yavlinsky dated to February 27, 1992, reads,

……..Therefore, I thank the government for their restoration of Yaroslav Mansion for my family. On the subject of the prior monarchical institutions of 1917 and their restoration, I must protest at President Rutskoy’s heavy handed manner in supporting such a restoration. Prime Minister Yavlinsky, both you and I know that Russia right now needs economic stability, and that should be the focus of the country rather than silly political debates. Let the issue of the monarchy and aristocracy be decided by the people…….

The question of restoring the monarchy would rear its terrible head multiple times in Russian political history in the 1990s, and it would only be the Albanian and Romanian restorations that would seriously make the proposal an important event once more.

***

Chapter 12 of the Moldavian War

By January 1992, the Moldavian government under the leadership of Mircea Snegur had managed to recruit 30,000 soldiers into the Armed Forces of Moldavia, intending to fight against the separatist regions of Gagauzia and Transnistria. The trigger came on January 19, when the results of the January 17 Gagauz Independence Referendum became known. With a turnout of around 87%, 71% of the populace had voted in favor of independence and separation from the Republic of Moldova.

Snegur declared this referendum illegitimate whilst the Ukrainian and Russian governments supported the referendum and recognized its results. In addition to recruiting troops and inheriting Soviet weaponry, Moldova also obtained arms and weapons from Romania. Romania also sent military advisors and volunteers during the beginning stages of the conflict. The 14th Guards Army of Russia, which was based in and around Tiraspol, the capital of Transnistria, commanded by General Yuri Netkachev was the effective counter to the Moldovan military threat, and the Transnistrian Armed Forces also recruited some 10,000 men to their forces amplifying the defense of the region.


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Stepan Topal declaring the independence of Gagauzia.

At the same time, the Gagauz Republic had formed the Armed Forces of Gagauzia, and had recruited and armed 20,000 men to fight against what was considered to be an inevitable war between Moldova and Gagauzia. Stepan Topal, the President of Gagauzia gave a speech in Comrat, the capital of the new republic, stating, “I like many of us here believe, that an amicable divorce is needed. Just because the Gagauz people want independence, that doesn’t mean that we are anti-Moldovan and we wish to retain the good relations that the Gagauz people and Moldovan peoples have shared ever since 1812. However if war is the answer that Mr. Snegur has turned to, then war it is that he will be receiving.”

On January 28, 1992, the Moldavian War broke out as Moldovan troops enter Gagauz and Transnistrian territory.

The first area of military action was on the eastern shore of the Dniester river, from north to south, the villages of Molovata Nouă, Cocieri (approx 6,000 inhabitants), Corjova and the city of Dubăsari (approx 30,000 inhabitants), together forming a contiguous mainly inhabited area 10–12 km along the shore. The only connection to the western bank from the three villages is either a ferry, or two bridges in Dubăsari in and around Transnistria as the Transnistrians and Moldovans opened fire at one another.

In response, the Cossacks who came from Rostov-on-Don to support the PMR (Transnistrian Forces) side stormed the police precinct in Dubăsari during the night. Moldovan policemen loyal to Chișinău from the Dubăsari raion (district), instead of returning to work in the occupied precinct in Dubăsari, now a milice precinct, gathered in Cocieri.

On 2 February 1992, locals from Cocieri, after hearing about the situation in Dubăsari, broke into the small local arms depot to arm themselves against the PMR side. Three locals (Alexandru Luchianov from Cocieri, Alexandru Gazea from Molovata and Mihai Nour from Roghi) were killed, but the military unit from Cocieri was defeated by the Moldovans. The officers and their families were forced to leave the village. More policemen were ferried the following days from the western bank of the Dniester. They organized a defense line around the three villages, while PMR forces retained control of Dubăsari. In the following weeks both PMR and Moldovan forces amassed large numbers in the area and fought a trench war, with intermittent ceasefires.


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Gagauz Paramilitary men.

The Moldovans also entered Gagauzia, and on February 13, the Battle of Gura-Galbenei broke out as 3,000 Moldovan troops supported by 68 Romanian volunteers attacked around 2,000 entrenched Gagauz militiamen in and around the small town of Gura-Galbenei. The Gagauz were attacked and they defended ferociously, using hit and run tactics to wear the Moldovans down and they also received constant supplies from Comrat on behalf of their government.

Leonid Kravchuk, the Ukrainian President held an emergency meeting with President Rutskoy on February 15, during the Battle of Gura-Galbenei when he asked the president on whether or not the Russians would support the Gagauz. “Mr. President, both you and I know that neither of our countries want the Romanians on our doorstep and the Transnistrian and Gagauz cause is similar to the cause of Kiev and Moscow. Will you support the Gagauz people in their bid for independence? Whether or not Russia intercedes, Ukraine will have to.”

Rutskoy answered that Russia would support the Gagauz populace, and on February 16, the dispatch of supplies to Transnistria and Gagauzia was legalized. Ukraine aided the sending of supplies as well, and added their own increasing the amount of supplies that the Transnistrians had with them alongside the Gagauz. The Gagauz troops defeated the Moldovans on February 19, when the Gagauz used captured anti-air batteries to destroy Moldovan bridgeheads into their country.

On February 27, 1992, Ukraine and Russia interceded in the Moldovan War, and the Ceasefire of Odessa was signed between Moldova, Ukraine and Russia. The official document was signed by President Rutskoy, President Snegur and President Kravchuk and established the Joint Control Commission with 3 Russian Battalions, 2 Ukrainian and Moldovan Battalions, 1 Transnistrian/Gagauz Battalion to oversee the military neutrality of the borders of Moldova, Gagauzia and Transnistria.

It is estimated that around 2800 people lost their lives in the Moldovan War, with the number of the wounded reaching 8000. A high number for sure, but unlike other post-Soviet wars and conflicts, the Moldovans had a largely low amount of internally displaced persons. The short 1 month long Moldovan War would end in a frozen conflict as Gagauzia and Transnistria won de-facto independence though de-jure they were still a part of Moldova.

***

From British Electoral Politics: Post Cold-War

The Conservatives had been elected by a landslide in the 1987 General Elections under the leadership of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, but her popularity sharply declined by 1989 and 1990 due to the Early 1990s Recession and the Internal divisions within her own party as well as the highly unpopular Poll Tax. Labour began to lead the conservatives in the polls once again however the resignation of Thatcher in 1990 and the ascension of John Major as Prime Minister saw the lead from the Labour Party stifled. As 1992 dawned, the recession had deepened and the election loomed, and most opinion polls suggested that the Labour party were the favorites to win the election, although their lead in the polls had shortened. On 11 March, Major called for the new elections to take place On the 9th of April.

The 50th parliament of the United Kingdom sat last on Monday 16 March, being dissolved on the same day. Under the leadership of Neil Kinnock the Labour party had undergone further developments and alterations since its 1987 election defeat. Labour entered the campaign confident, with most opinion polls showing a slight Labour lead that if maintained suggested a hung parliament, with no single party having an overall majority, which would give way to political coalitions within the House of Commons.

The parties campaigned on the familiar grounds of taxation and health care. Major became known for delivering his speeches while standing on an upturned soapbox during public meetings. Immigration was also an issue, with Home Secretary Kenneth Baker making a controversial speech stating that, under Labour, the floodgates would be opened for immigrants from developing countries. Some speculated that this was a bid by the Conservatives to shore up its support amongst its white working-class supporters. The Conservatives also pounded the Labour Party over the issue of taxation, producing a memorable poster entitled "Labour's Double-Whammy", showing a boxer wearing gloves marked "tax rises" and "inflation".

An early setback for Labour came in the form of the "War of Jennifer's Ear" controversy, which questioned the truthfulness of a Labour party election broadcast concerning National Health Service (NHS) waiting lists.

Labour seemingly recovered from the NHS controversy, and opinion polls on 1 April (dubbed "Red Wednesday") showed a clear Labour lead. But the lead fell considerably in the following day's polls. Observers blamed the decline on the Labour Party's triumphalist "Sheffield Rally", an enthusiastic American-style political convention at the Sheffield Arena, where Neil Kinnock famously cried out "We're all right!" three times. However some analysts and participants in the campaign believed it actually had little effect, with the event only receiving widespread attention after the election.

This was the first general election for the newly formed Liberal Democrats, a party formed by the formal merger of the SDP-Liberal Alliance. Its formation had not been without its problems, but under the strong leadership of Paddy Ashdown, who proved to be a likeable and candid figure, the party went into the election ready. They focused on education throughout the campaign, as well as a promise on reforming the voting system.


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The weather was largely dull for most of the campaign but sunny conditions on 9 April may have been a factor in the high turnout. The turnout of the elections was around 77%, the highest turnout in any British election since 1974, and there was an overall Labour swing of around 2.2% to 3.6%. The Conservatives won a massive amount of popular vote and won 14 million votes for which they won 337 seats in the Parliament receiving overall majority, though reduced than before. The Labour Party managed to win 271 seats as well, receiving nearly 12 million votes in the election as well. The First Past the Post system of British politics ensured that the Liberal Democrats despite their high amount of votes (~6 million) only won 28 seats, however it was still a victory as the Liberal Democrats received 6 extra seats in Parliament. Among the minor parties, the Scottish Nationalist Party won 3 seats in Scotland, and failed to meet their goal of a major plurality in the Scottish designated seats. The Ulster Unionist Party won the overall majority of Northern Irish Seats with the Social Democratic Labour Party and Democratic Unionist Party trailing behind. The Welsh nationalists under Plaid Cymru saw no seat gained either. Sinn Fein lost their only seat on parliament to Joe Hendrom of the Social Democratic and Labour Party as well.

Major’s second premiership would be an unstable one, despite his moderate views and the largely favorable views the public held towards him, as the Maastricht Treaty Referendums throughout Europe loomed.

***

Chapter 29 of Post-Soviet Russian Politics

On March 12, 1992, the Russian cabinet and the Supreme Soviet of Russia finally voted in the legislation required to change the legislative assembly of Russia. The Supreme Soviet of Russia was abolished and the Russian State Duma was re-established as the Lower Legislative Chamber and the Russian State Council was re-established as the Higher Legislative Chamber. It was determined that the State Duma would have 575 members and the State Council would have 175 members.

The question of the electoral political system however arose within the Russian Parliament, and it was decided that a constitutional referendum would be held within the Russian Union to determine the electoral system of the Russian government for elections to the Duma. Two system – Parallel voting and Mixed-Member Proportional System were proposed.

Under Parallel voting, which is a semi-proportional representation system, a portion of the seats in the legislature are filled by pluralities in single member constituencies. The remainder are filled with party lists, with party often needing to have polled a certain quota, typically a small percentile, in order to achieve representation.

In Mixed-Member Proportional System, the voter can cast two votes, one for a constituency representative and one for a party. Voters can thus vote for the local person they prefer as the constituent representative regardless of political affiliation, since the partisan makeup of the legislature is made up of the party vote. The constituent winners would be chosen using the first past the post system and the party regional lists would be determined by the use of closed party lists.

There was also the question of whether the presidential republic would be kept or a parliamentary republic would be implemented. Many in the new State Duma favored a parliamentary republic [3] whilst most in the governmental cabinet favored a presidential republic. It was thus decided that the Russian government would hold a referendum on July 25, 1992 to decide the course of the future Russian governments. The Referendum would be a two-point referendum, with the first regarding the electoral system and the second regarding the question of a parliamentary or presidential republic.

The government also announced that the first independent Russian Legislative Elections would take place on February, 1993, with the electoral time duration being 5 years for the Duma period to expire.

At the same time, the first real Russian political parties started to form. The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia was founded on April 9, 1992 as the direct successor of the Liberal Democratic Party of the Soviet Union. Largely attacked by many for its leader, Vladimir Zhirinovsky and his ultra-nationalist views, the party was and is believed to an artificial creation of the CPSU and the KGB during the ending years of the Soviet Union, with the aim of channeling opposition votes. On its creation, KGB General Philip Bobkov was reportedly extremely happy calling it ‘In line with Zubatov’s Ideals’. Vice President Anatoly Sobchack also claimed that the party was created on the orders of the KGB and that Zhirinovsky was a reserve KGB captain. Nonetheless, founding itself on ideals of Russian ultra-nationalism, right wing populism, social conservatism and statism, it was a mildly powerful political party during the 1990s.

With the suspension of the Communist Party of the Russian Soviet Socialist Republic, most members of the party resigned and together with other trade unionists and worker unions of the country formed the National Salvation Front, a political party under the leadership of Gennady Zyuganov and Albert Makashov. It was rebranded as a left-wing nationalist pro-socialist political party. Much like several nationalist parties in Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain, the National Salvation Front depicted itself as a left-wing nationalist party in favor of Russian nationalism, which they branded patriotism.

The Party of Russian Unity and Accord was formed on February 17, 1992 by Sergey Shahkhray. This party broadly referred to simply as the Accord Party is a moderate liberal party, founded on the basis of liberal conservatism, regionalism, federalism and reformism. Shahkhray called the party the ideal opposition party due to its moderate stances.

The fourth major party was formed on February 28, 1992 by Prime Minister Yavlinsky, Minister of Economics, Petr Aven and economist Yury Boldyrev and diplomat Vladimir Lukin was the Russian Social Democratic Party, which was founded on the basis of social democratic, feminist, democratic socialist, and progressivism. This party in particular, alongside the Accord Party would dominate Russian politics for many years to come.

The last major party to be formed was the Russian Ecological Party by Victor Ivanovich Danolov-Danilyan, with its basis in green politics, environmentalism and centrism, with a faction within the party advocating agrarianism and agrarian socialism.

A debate regarding the flag arose as well, as most nationalists deemed the tricolour too close to the Russian Provisional Government and the Russian Empire, which had fallen under the influence of the Communists easily. They wanted a new start and with it a new flag. On April 16, it was declared that three new Flags would be proposed and that the 2-point referendum would become a 3-point referendum regarding the flag as well.


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The three contenders to the Russian flag
(Disclaimer: These flags aren't mine and are taken from Google, reddit and deviantart and wikipedia).

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[1] – otl, when Vladimir returned, around 18,000 people came to greet him in the airport, and an unknown amount outside the airport

[2] – otl Gallup poll from 1992. See Russian Politics and Society by Richard Sakwa for more information.

[3] – Yeltsin basically vetoed the question of creating a referendum for a parliamentary or presidential republic otl. Rutskoy ittl doesn’t.
 
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