How's the Redux?


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Regarding the military at the moment apart from finishing some warships and building some new fighter aircraft, I don't really see the Russian investing in any major military project; even more so in TTL where the Russian Army had shown itself to be moderately competent and the T-80 hasn't shown its weaknesses.
I would also suggest scrapping all of the outdated military equipment to save money
 
Well, I have done some research and I have found out that it wasn't so implausible for Milosevich to fall shortly after the Dayton Accords: just have the 1996-1997 protests in Serbia receive better support from abroad (here Russia can give a hand) and the situation can quickly evolve in a similar manner as to what happened in 2000 and lead to the overthrow Slobo. These protests weren't some minor thing as in OTL there were more than 500.000 protestors in Belgrade alone and about 150.000 in Nis.
The death of Predrag Starčević, an anti-Misolevich protestor, on December 24, 1996, could also have quickly snowballed into a revolution similar to the one in Georgia in 2003 or Ukraine in 2014.

From Wikipedia:
Richard Holbrooke commented on the issue in his memoirs, recalling that the Americans were not able to support the protests due to the transitional period to the Clinton II Administration:

"A remarkable challenge to Milošević unfolded in the street of Belgrade in December [1996], led by three politicians who banded together in a movement called Zajedno, or the Together Movement. For weeks, hundreds of thousands of Belgrade citizens braved subfreezing weather to call for democracy. But Washington missed a chance to affect events; except for one ineffectual trip to Washington, Zajedno had no contact with senior American government officials, and the Administrations sent no senior officials to Belgrade for fear that their visits would be used by Milošević to show support. For the first time in eighteen months, Milošević felt no significant American pressure, and turned back towards the extreme nationalists, including Karadžić, for support. His tactical skills saved him again, and within weeks, the Together Movement was together no more, as its leaders split among themselves."
 
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i would rather think that only a death of his through a mishap would be the only way to *dethrone* him so to speak without belgrade being levelled to the ground

Not exactly. Even with the horrendous economic decisions of otl, plus the expenses of the chechen wars, the Russian economy rebounded in 1995 and 1996 growing at a much faster pace than before. Considering the rather idiotic voucher privatization has happened, and the ruble has been stabilized and the artificial fixed rate has been negated, according to the law of supply and demand, the Russian economy will be able to grow at a healthy rate of 2% to 4.8% for the next 5 to 6 years before a new economic boom can be achieved, which is still extremely better than the otl growth rate. The creative destruction also allows the government to create more employment that adds to the monetary flow in the market. And Despite the stigma of losing shares otl, and with the presence of a very instable government, the government was successful in selling of minority shares to the people and companies. With a more stable and economically friendly government, the distribution of shares would be much much more easier and successful.
About Milošević- no, the loss of Kosovo is enough ( bombing of Belgrade is not so important if he can keep Kosovo ). But, these two things are going together.

Yes, after 1995 Russia should have some growth. But from 1991 to 1995 I really don't see any growth- just fall. In OTL, GDP fall was from 1993: 8%, 12%, 4% and 3,6%. Now, the ITTL GDP fall will probably be smaller than OTL, but I think that the growth after that will be slower too than OTL.
 
I mean, it makes sense, Kosovo is basically part of the Serbian National consciousness, its loss basically doomed him.


Yep. He was shaken by the loss of Krajina and defeats in Bosnia, but Kosovo and bombing finished him.

But, if you are asking for a more moderate leader, leaders of the protests against Milošević in 1996- i'm not so sure about them. Some of them yes, but not all of them.
 
Chapter 4: The Caucasian Mountains are a right mess!
Chapter 4: The Caucasian Mountains are a right mess!

***

Chapter 17 of the Chechen War for Independence: How Russia brought Chechnya into Line

After the Battle of Grozny conventional warfare and conventional fighting against the Russians on part of the Chechens largely died out. They couldn’t fight a conventional war against the Russian state when it was clear which side had the manpower, aerial, and material superiority, and it was not the Chechens. The Russian Army restored Russian rule to most Chechen cities by the end of April 1992 and declared that Chechen secession was illegitimate and without a democratic process, i.e. a referendum, unlike what had happened in Transnistria and Gagauzia. This was largely a statement to deflect any accusations of hypocrisy against the Russian government.


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Shamil Busayev

However the guerilla war against the Russian government continued, and the mountains and hills in Chechnya were not safe as around ~8,000 Chechen separatist guerillas were estimated to have been fighting against the Russian government, hidden in the woods and in plain sight. The first major guerilla activity came on May 15, 1992 when the Grozny Hospital Crisis took place until the 19th of May, 1992, when a group of around 80 militant Chechen separatists led by Shamil Basayev entered Grozny hospital, which was tending to the wounds of the soldiers and civilians who had been affected by the Battle of Grozny.

Basayev’s men crossed into the city from the northern Caucasus hidden like normal men and wearing disguises to blend in with the populace, and at noon on the 14th of May, 1992, they stormed a small Russian depot and raised the Chechen flags over the depot. After several hours and in the face of Russian reinforcements, the Chechens retreated into the residential districts and regrouped in the city hospital in Grozny. There they took around 4000 patients hostage, most of them civilians including 400 children and a number of pregnant women. On their way to the hospital, the Chechens shot around 60 civilians who refused to cooperate and 8 governmental officials present in the hospital.

Busayev then issued an ultimatum through a radio, threatening to kill the hostages unless his demands were met. These included the re-establishment of a de-facto independent Chechen republic, and direct negotiations between Russian and Chechen representatives. Also Busayev demanded that the Russian authorities bring reporters to the scene and to allow them to see the entire thing go on live. President Rutskoy took personal charge of the attack, and spoke with Busayev on the phone, telling him, and I quote from Russian governmental records, “Leave the people be! What have they done to you? There are children there, and pregnant women! By God man, do you want to have the blood of innocents on your hands? Leave the hospital, and you will be allowed to walk away freely. Unless that is done then the Special Operational units will arrive soon enough.”

In response to this call, Busayev killed a 7 year old boy in the hospital, and announced it to the world, with panic seizing in the Russian capital. Yavlinsky wanted to negotiate with the Rebels, and at the same time see them captured, however, Rutskoy refused any notion of even false negotiations, and sent in the Internal Troops, who were basically armed police in the early Russian Federation, and the Spetznaz from the Federal Security Service along with the elite Alpha Group. The strike force attacked the Hospital on May 18, and met fierce resistance. The Russian Prime Minister, Yavlinsky went live on television and told the Russian nation that the rebels would not receive mercy, as they had broken a rule of war.

A second Russian attack on the hospital also failed, largely in part due to the fact that Chechens were using Russian hostages as human shields. Sergey Kovalyov, a Russian human rights activist who was present in the scene described it as, “In the half an hour after the government assaulted the hospital, the hospital burned, and I saw with my own eyes, as the militants came out, growling, carrying poor crying women with them, using them as shields. The Spetznaz were caught in a terrible position. Attack and see the hostages killed, or don’t attack and see their own positions become untenable. With the fires, the soot, and the pieces of human flesh stuck onto the walls and the ceiling, along with so many lifeless children and elderly, this was a scene akin to a horror movie of the worst kind…..”

Finally on May 19, Russian Alpha Group members flanked Chechen positions within the hospital and attacked the militants from their behinds, killing the vast majority of them, and their leader, Shamil Busayev was taken prisoner by the Russian Alpha Group. However in the chaos, Chechen militants had killed several hostages as well, and that led to several tragic losses of life.


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the hospital burning after the final assault.

According to official figures, 229 civilians were killed during the hostage crisis and around 415 were injured, of which 18 would die of their wounds later on. At least 11 Russian police officers and 14 soldiers were killed as well. Almost all of the Russian militants were killed and their leader was captured. It may have been a victory for the Russians, but it tasted bland as a victory after the deaths of so many Russian civilians. The military aftermath after the hostage crisis was damning. The Spetznaz and Internal Troops had been unable to properly coordinate their assaults which led to more loss of life, and their incapability of properly executing anti-terrorist activities had delayed the crisis by a huge period of time. Russian President Rutskoy also took a massive fall in prestige due to the fact that he had been the one unwilling to even open dialogue which had led to the massive loss of life in the Chechen capital. Alexander Lebed, the Chief General in Chechnya, fired more than 20 Spetznaz Generals and Internal Commanders, in retaliation for the crisis and the demanded a new military commission report every single week so that the military could be reformed after this disaster. However this would be simply one among several military disasters for the Russians during the Chechen War’s guerilla phase.

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Russians paying tribute to the fallen of the Hostage crisis.

The international reaction to the crisis also backfired on the Chechens spectacularly. Many had looked at the Chechen plight with sympathetic eyes as many believed (rightfully so) that the Russians were being quite hypocritical regarding their stance for an independent Gagauzia and Transnistria whilst denying Chechnya the same privilege. However the hospital crisis killed any and all sympathy that the western nations may have harbored in regards to the issue of Chechen independence. Many believed rightfully so that the Chechens were becoming more and more Islamic in nature, and even the Chechen president in exile Dzokhar Dudayev denounced the attack, which opened up a leadership struggle within the Chechen government in exile between the islamist and secular factions of the government.

***

From Chapter 19 of The Nagarno-Karabakh War: How Armenia and Azerbaijan Forged Their Modern World

The election of Pan-Turkish, Pan-Turanist and pan-Islamist Abulfaz Elchibey as the President of Azerbaijan on June 6, 1992 immediately led to several shakeups in the Russo-Azeri tensions that were forming ever since the fall of the Soviet Union. His policies were openly anti-Russians, and he was noted for using an interpreter when speaking with Russian personnel, despite being fluent in the Russian language as he was educated in the RSFSR, which was considered to be a diplomatic slight against the Russian government. He also made controversial statements such as praising the Tatars for having once subjugated the Russian peoples. He also alienated a Russian ally, Iran through his extremely anti-Iranian policies, endorsing the unification of Azerbaijan and Iranian Azerbaijan alienating Tehran.


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Abulfaz Elchibey

On June 12, the Azeris launched Operation Goranboy, which was a massive large scale military offensive aimed at taking complete control of the entire territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and putting a decisive end to the secessionist Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Just five days after Elchibey was elected president, the Azerbaijani military launched a large scale diversionary attack on the eastern section of the frontlines, in the direction of the Askeran region at the center of Nagorno-Karabakh. The Azerbaijanis however launched attacks to the positions north and south of Askeran and captured several settlements such as Nakhichevanik, Dovsanli, Pirjamal, Dahraz and Agbulaq.

On 13 June 1992, Azerbaijan launched the main large-scale three-day offensive against the region of Goranboy (the territory of the former Shahumyan rayon of Azerbaijan SSR) located north of Nagorno-Karabakh, which was defended by the Armenian voluntary detachments. This offensive, code-named Operation Goranboy (named after the rayon that lies to the north of former NKAO) and headed by Suret Huseynov. As many as 4 tank battalions and 2 mechanized infantry battalions of the 23rd Division of the former Soviet Union Army, as well as 4 additional battalions of the Azerbaijan Army and various brigades from the neighboring regions, were joined in this operation. After 15 hours of fierce fighting against the Azerbaijani forces, the two Armenian detachments withdrew. Azerbaijan managed to capture several dozen villages in the Goranboy region originally held by the Armenian forces, and the entire Armenian civilian population of this region fled. According to the report of the Memorial human rights society which sent its mission to Goranboy in the aftermath of the operation, there were no civilian casualties, as Armenians had fled the region before the Azerbaijani troops approached them. The population of the neighboring Azerbaijani and Russian villages remained unaffected.

This state of affairs was untenable for Armenia, and the scale of the Azerbaijani offensive which had captured around 48% of all territory in Nagorno-Karabakh prompted the Armenian government to openly threaten Azerbaijan with direct intervention to assist the separatists fighting in Karabakh. On 19 June, 1992, the Russian government finally intervened in the conflict and presented a ceasefire agreement. However the ceasefire agreement was deemed far too late and far too little by the Azerbaijani government, and the Azerbaijani government ignored the ceasefire broker agreement and continued to push into Nagorno-Karabakh territory.

The Russian government was already increasingly put off by the new Azeri regime and by that point in time, the fighting in the Caucasus was starting to spill over into Russian territory and the Russian government decided to use force if the Azeris were unwilling to listen to reason with Russian demands. Russian armaments, including massive quantities of T-72 tanks flooded into the Armenian black market, and were sold to the Armenian government through the black market. Ammunition, and supervisors from Russia found their way into Yerevan, and the Russian government also began to send economic support to Yerevan to ease the pressure of the Armenian Energy Crisis of 1990 – 93. The energy crisis in particular hampered the Armenian economy from responding to the Azeri threat properly and on June 27, 1992, the Russian government’s ‘supervisors’ officially told President Ter-Petrosyan of Armenia that the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant Unit 2 would have to be reconstituted if the energy crisis was to be ended. Funded by the Russians, the Unit 2 was brought back into service by July 4, ending the energy crisis by and large. The Russians had funded the re-opening of the plant, however it was not for free, as the Armenians now held several amount of monetary assets in debt for Russia, however the reopening of energy allowed the Armenians to bounce back in the war.


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An abandoned Armenian AFV in Artsakh.

On July 5, 1992, Russian warplanes entered Azeri airspace in a clear warning to the regime that the Russian government would act unless Azerbaijan didn’t stand down. The presence of Chechen guerillas in the Azeri forces had also galvanized the Russian populace, as pro-Armenian demonstrations broke out all over the Russian Union, angered at what seemed to be Azeri support for the Chechens.

However despite this clear warning the Russians would not directly intervene, and the Azeri government was unwilling to let go of what they deemed to be a massive victory for Baku. The constant Russian needling and prickling on behalf of the Armenian government and the rest of the Commonwealth of Independent States simply made the Azeri government more willing to sacrifice more and more men to the meat grinder to defeat the separatist Armenians. Unlike the Russians who had defeated the Chechens on the conventional platform, the Azeris were still stuck fighting the Armenians on a conventional platform, let alone forcing them into a small low intensity guerilla war.

However the Winter Offensive of the Armenians from 1992 – 93 would throw the Azeri government into absolute chaos as the Armenians not only defeated the Azeris and threw them out of Nagorno-Karabakh but also took several strongpoints in Azeri territory itself.

***

From Chapter 27 of Russian Political History: The Post-Soviet Consensus

As the economy improved through 1992 after the devastating recession of 1991 and early 1992, and inflation finally withdrew below 200% thanks to the efforts of both Prime Minister Yavlinsky as well as Economics Minister Petr Aven, the question of the Russian referendums about to be held in Russia also took extreme precedence in Russian internal politics.

The electoral system of the future Russian elections would basically determine the political scene of the future, and as a result, cases for and against Parallel Voting and Mixed-Member Proportional System took place throughout the Russian Union funded and led by several political parties and leaders.

A major argument for parallel voting was that it allows smaller parties that cannot win individual elections to secure some representation in the legislature; however, unlike in a proportional system they will have a substantially smaller delegation than their share of the total vote. It is also argued that parallel voting does not lead to the degree of fragmentation found in party systems under pure forms of proportional representation.

A criticism of proportional electoral systems especially that of parallel voting is that the largest parties need to rely on the support of smaller ones in order to form a government. However, smaller parties are still disadvantaged as the larger parties still predominate. In countries where there is one dominant party and a divided opposition, the proportional seats may be essential for allowing an effective opposition.

Because the vote is split between constituencies and a list, there is a chance that two classes of representatives will emerge under an SM system: with one class beholden to their electorate seat, and the other concerned only with their party.

The major critique of parallel systems was also that they cannot and could not guarantee overall proportionality.

One of the major criticisms that took place during the public debate with the Mixed-Member Proportional System was that of its tendency at times to create Overhang seats. When a party wins more constituency seats than it would be entitled to from its proportion of (party list) votes, some systems allow for overhang seats then to be added. Overhang seats add to the normal number of seats for the duration of the electoral period. As a result many anti-Mixed Leaders attacked the system.

Other debates also took place regarding the situation in regards to the second point referendum that would be taking place between the question of a Presidential Republic or Parliamentary Republic. Supporters of a Presidential system owed their claims based on four factors. The first was that of direct elections. According to many supporters, in a presidential system the president would be elected directly by the people making their legitimacy greater than that of an indirectly elected leader. Pro-Presidential leaders also based their argument on the basis of the separation of powers. In a presidential system, the presidency and legislature would be two parallel structures, thus allowing the two to check one another. Speed and decisiveness of decision making was also emphasized by many as an argument in favor of the Presidential system. Finally, the stability of having a president for a fixed term was emphasized to be a greater stabilizing factor than a prime minister who could be dismissed at any time.

Criticism of the Presidential system was also made in abundance. The Soviet Union had a de-facto presidential system and everyone knew how that worked out. The rather poor showing of President Rutskoy during the Grozny Hospital Hostage Crisis also added fuel to the fire for critics. Critics based their main criticisms of the presidential system on the basis of its tendency towards authoritarianism; presidential systems raised the stakes of elections, exacerbating their polarization which could potentially lead to authoritarian rule. The separation of the presidency and legislature also frequently led to political gridlock when the two were openly against the other’s policies and was used as a major argument against the system. A new criticism was also applied specifically to nations with a proportionally elected legislature and a presidency. Where the voters are virtually all represented by their votes in the proportional outcome, the presidency is elected on a winner-take-all basis. Two different electoral systems are therefore in play, potentially leading to conflicts that are based on the natural differences of the systems.


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Finally on June 25, 1992, the day for the referendum came forward. On July 29, the results of the referendum were released to the public. With a turnout of 77%, the 56.87% of all Russians voted in favor of a Mixed-Member Proportional System, whilst 52.41% of all Russians voted to become a Parliamentary Republic. Immediately, the Russian Electoral Commission published a new report, deeming the Mixed-Member Proportional Regional Lists to be implemented in the following regions: Kaliningrad, Belarus, Crimea, Northern Caucasus, Volga Basin, Central Russia, Northern Russia, Ural Region, Western Siberia, Eastern Siberia, Amur Region, Far East Russia. A total of ten seats would be allocated each for every single region, making 120 seats out of 575 in the Russian State Duma electable through the regional list. This system would soon be implemented for the 1993 Russian Parliamentary Elections.

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The Flag of the Russian Union adopted after the Referendums of 1992

President Rutskoy agreed to the results of the referendum and told the public that the new constitution of Russia which was being written down would factor in the results of the referendum. The referendums also led to the selection of a new Russian flag. After the referendum was declared over, the Russian government slated the first parliamentary elections of the country to be held on March, 1993, and as six months were left for the election more or less, official campaigns were started by the political parties of the Russian Union in regards to the upcoming elections.

***

From Chapter 29 of The Failed Union? The European Dream

The Maastricht Treaty was a treaty concluded on 7 February, 1992 by the 12 founding nations of the European Communities and became the foundation of the European Union. It announced a ‘new stage in the process of European integration, chiefly in provisions for a shared European citizenship, for the eventual introduction of a single currency and for common foreign and security policies.’

However many countries throughout the European Union stated that they would have to hold referendums in order to ratify the treaty, as the individual eursceptic parties in their countries were particularly powerful. Denmark and France was chief among these countries who demanded that a referendum be allowed for the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty. The newly established European Union agreed to allow individual countries to hold referendums regarding the ratification of the treaties if they so wished.

On the 2nd of June, 1992, the Maastricht referendum was held in Denmark and was rejected by 50.7% of the voters with a turnout of around 83.1% of the electorate. The rejection was a huge blow to European integration, although the process continued on subdued as it may have been. With the European Integration Process in Denmark halted, the so called Maastricht Rebels in the British government and Parliament also intensified their attacks on Prime Minister John Major and asked him to conduct a referendum regarding the issue within the United Kingdom as well. Prime Minister Major refused, however stated that opt outs for Britain regarding foreign and security policy as well as the European Fixed Rate Mechanism and the Eurzone would be sought by him, as well as a general opposition to any sort of idea for European federalism. Major was a soft-europhile, and while he was willing to join a European union that was based in economics, he was not willing himself to enter Britain into a federal European state, with his famous June 4, 1992 Parliament speech. “I must agree with some of the so called rebels on some issues……Britain has been a sovereign state, and we cannot allow ourselves to be subsumed into a new federal union based in Brussels. We will stay with Europe, for they are our allies and neighbors, but we will not be a part of a European superstate. Nonetheless, the rebels must relent and come to terms, the treaty will be extraordinarily beneficial for our economy and our social sector……”

On August 22, the French Maastricht Referendum was held. The center left Socialist Party then in power in France as well as the center right Union for French Democracy campaigned in favor of the treaty. Jacques Chirac, the leader of the Gaullist Rally for the Republic also took a pro-European stance despite the party’s overall anti-European stance. On the other side, the Euroskeptic Rally for the Republic, other than their leader, heralded the no vote. Communists also opposed what they largely considered to be an advancement of neo-liberalism. The Front National, led by Jean-Marie Le Pen, and his radical right party also opposed any sort of integration into Europe. The Worker’s Struggle initially wanted to abstain against the referendum, however the Danish referendum had given the party a boost in euroskeptics and Arlette Laguiller finally acquiesced with party demands to campaign for the no vote. Prominent French figures like Emmanuel Todd also argued against European integration in France.

The introduction of a common currency was the most debated aspect of the campaign. The three major right wing figures campaigned against it, Philippe Seguin, Charles Pasqua and Philippe de Villiers, often named Souverainist, argued that it would be a blow to French monetary independence, and as a result, political sovereignty as a whole. Seguin and de Villiers were coming from the top school for senior civil service, the Ecole nationale d’administration, like left wing dissenters such as Jean-Pierre Chevenement. On the eve of the referendum vote, Philippe Seguin and President Francois Mitterand famously faced off in a passionate but nevertheless respectful television debate with one another about the referendum.

Philippe de Villiers who was present during the debate writes in his memoirs De Villiers: The Aristocrat in Republican France, that, “The debate was passionate. Mitterand gave it all he had, arguing in favor of international cooperation, European solidarity and a common currency market. Likewise Seguin argued passionately, pointing out the loss of French monetary independence if a common currency was made, and the overall loss of French decision making on its own if it had to defer to another body to make foreign policy for them. But in the end both men came down from the podiums and shook their hands, and laughed with each other, trading friendly barbs. It was as if the two had never debated with one another during that night.”


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Finally the results came in. The French populace had voted narrowly in favor of not ratifying the European Maastricht Treaty. The Maastricht process was totally thrown into chaos after the French and Danes rejected the Maastricht Treaty. Major is said to have said, “This…..is a disaster of epic proportions.” Which did basically convey the feeling of everyone in Europe. Major stopped the introduction of the treaty in the parliament for fear of rejection of the treaty as well, and throughout Europe alarm spread as the treaty was rejected. Ireland stopped their amendment bill as well for fear of losing a referendum which would vote in favor of not ratifying the treaty, and in Brussels pandemonium rocked the halls of the headquarters of the European Union.

On August 29, President Mitterand announced that the French cabinet and government would be working towards creating an opt-out for the French government within the European Union regarding the Schengen Area, the Monetary Union and Security and justice Area. Similarly the Danish government announced that the Danes would be seeking opt-outs for the free movement area, the monetary union, Security and Defense Policy and Area of Freedom, Security and Justice. Similarly Prime Minister John Major announced that Britain would too be looking for opt outs for the free movement area, the monetary union, the AFSJ and the Charter of Fundamental Rights before the treaty would be brought before the Parliament again.

***

From Russians: A History of the People

The fall of the Soviet Union left approximately 12 to 14 million ethnic Russians within new countries of which they didn’t want to be a part of. Especially in the Baltic and Caucasian republics, the ethnic Russian populace had boycotted the independence movement and now as their homeland turned independent, they found out that they weren’t being welcomed by their new governments. Ethnic bias against ethnic Russians and slavs grew multifold, and anti-Russian and inter-ethnic riots and attacks became commonplace in some countries such as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, and Georgia. As a result, the Russian government was almost inevitably drawn to its massive diaspora that was being affected by unequal laws all throughout the former Soviet Union.


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Ethnic Russians in the USSR in 1989.

Russia’s economy despite the fast movement to control the inevitable economic crash was falling down in the economic graphs, and the Russians needed manpower for the large business corporates that were opening up in Russia, on behalf of the international monetary fund which had increased incentives for businesses to take part in the Russian privatization process. As a result, many Russian politicians saw a massive opportunity that could be utilized for the Russian government in favor of economic development and stymying the economic downfall after the fall of the Soviet Union.

On August 4, 1992, Prime Minister Yavlinsky announced that a repatriation scheme would be introduced by the Russian State Duma to ensure that ethnic Russians who wanted to return home to Russia would be able to do so in a proper manner. Prime Minister Yavlinsky laid out the full points of the Repatriation Plan on August 7, 1992.


1. Intergovernmental effort to make sure that ethnic Russian who wanted to return to Russia would be able to do so in a free and able manner.
2. The creation of new ‘residential cores’ in smaller Russian cities to accommodate the new incoming populace from the former USSR.
3. The creation of a Diaspora Commission to oversee and supervise the repatriation of ethnic Russians from the former Soviet Union.

The bill passed in the State Duma with near unanimity as 561 members of the Duma voted in favor of the bill, whilst around 9 voted against and 5 abstained from voting in the process.

Many ethnic Russians living outside of Russia received the news with warmth and were eager to return back to Russia. Vladislavs Rafalskis, a Russian Latvian writes in his memoirs, ‘We ethnic Russians in Latvia have to bear so much humiliations……We have to take a Latvian language test, a test on Latvian history, a test on Latvian culture. I have lived my entire life here, of course I know its history, culture and language. I had to pledge loyalty to the government and if I protest against unjust laws that to an extent aims at discriminating Latvia’s Russophone population, then I am declared disloyal.’

On August 16, 1992, the Russian government began to negotiate with the former Soviet Republics to repatriate Russians back to Russia. Negotiations would continue deep into late 1992, however overall the policy was partially successful. From 1992 to 2010, around 4 million ethnic Russians would migrate back to Russia due to the repatriation scheme that was made by Prime Minister Yavlinsky.

***
 
The new Russian flag is kinda weird not gonna lie

Things look... not exactly good so far, but Russia is, how do I say, advancing.
They are good in comparison to OTL, they got Belarus and Crimea with wasting their prestige and blood, but the ITTL Russians don't know about this, so I understand they have reasons to be upset.
 
I have one question, OTL Ukraine was very integrated with the Russian economy before 2014, but ITTL Russia has both Belarus and Crimea without the war to make Kiev grow distant from Moscow. Furthermore, the EU is going to be much weaker in this world. With all those things in mind, it's safe to say Ukraine is going to be much more economically dependent on Russia, being surrounded and all.

Does this mean Ukraine will be even more close to being a Russian puppet state than pre-2014 OTL's Ukraine? Or maybe all this influence will make things fall apart quicker?

Will Russia try to create the situation for a re-anexation some decades down the road?

I believe making Russia a monarchy is going to help with the Ukranian issue, most of the grievances the Ukranians have with Russia have to do with Stalin's genocide. If Russia becomes a monarchy again they can claim to also be victims. And if they can keep being a democracy, then the chances become even better in the long run.
 
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They are good in comparison to OTL, they got Belarus and Crimea with wasting their prestige and blood, but the ITTL Russians don't know about this, so I understand they have reasons to be upset.
yeah ITTL Russians don't know it, but they are in a better position than otl
I have one question, OTL Ukraine was very integrated with the Russian economy before 2014, but ITTL Russia has both Belarus and Crimea without the war to make Kiev grow distant from Moscow. Furthermore, the EU is going to be much weaker in this world. With all those things in mind, it's safe to say Ukraine is going to be much more economically dependent on Russia, being surrounded and all.

Does this mean Ukraine will be even more close to being a Russian puppet state than pre-2014 OTL's Ukraine? Or maybe all this influence will make things fall apart quicker?
Partially. The otl Russo-Kazakh relations would be a good comparison. Basically a Moscow puppet, but still independent enough to do their own things and Russia doesn't intervene in their internal affairs as long as they don't do anything against russia
Will Russia try to create the situation for a re-anexation some decades down the road?

I believe making Russia a monarchy is going to help with the Ukranian issue, most of the grievances the Ukranians have with Russia have to do with Stalin's genocide. If Russia becomes a monarchy again they can claim to also be victims. And if they can keep being a democracy, then the chances become even better in the long run.
I mean it's possible but unlikely. Ukrainian Nationalism is solidified in Ukrainian national consensus by the 1980s
 
My only thought for now is how perplexed the Americans are by the year 2000 when the Russians fully recover and rebound from the ruins of USSR
 
EU looks like...its not going to be in strong place whatever happens next. Weirdly enough given how much many independence movements round Europe all have one thing in common of joining the EU and single currency in which without that here, thing will look different for many.
 
EU looks like...its not going to be in strong place whatever happens next. Weirdly enough given how much many independence movements round Europe all have one thing in common of joining the EU and single currency in which without that here, thing will look different for many.
the common currency is still there, however more countries such as France and Ireland are taking opt outs due to the fears of referenda rejection ittl. Which means the Franc and Irish Pound will be retained ittl as the French and Irish currencies. Other nations may keep their currencies as well instead of opting for the euro. The Monetary Union of the EU will be weakened ittl that's for sure.
 
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