Zhirinovsky's Russian Empire

This quote tells you all you need to know about the Duma of today.
His death was finally confirmed by parliament speaker Vyacheslav Volodin on Wednesday, after two reports earlier this year had been discounted.
Zhirinovsky was, he said, always in the thick of things: "A man who deeply understood how the world works and foresaw a lot."
I mostly remember the genocide in Afghanistan. Bucha doesn't rise to that level in raw numbers, but there are plenty of parallels to be found with reality. Though Zhirinovsky was more competent in this story than Putin in real life I believe.

People’s Republic of Azerbaijan declares independence as UIS attempts to force unpopular “Liberation Clause” on new nation


Much of Baku remains damaged since 1991 (WP)

By Mary Josipovic
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, October 31, 2004; 8:28 PM

MOSCOW, UIS -- Thirteen years after the capitulation of the short lived independent Republic of Azerbaijan, the former UIS Republic of Azerbaijan has declared independence in a move that appears to be initiated by the UIS itself.

UIS President Alexander Lebed immediately announced that Azerbaijan’s membership in the UIS was revoked and that the government of “The People’s Republic of Azerbaijan” has agreed to the “Liberation Clause”, which would see oil revenues from Azerbaijan turned over to the UIS for the next 100 years to cover the cost of “liberating the country from terrorists”. The move is widely reviled by most Azerbaijanis, however Azerbaijani President Suleyman Akbarov caved in to UIS demands and signed the Liberation Clause, the final stumbling block to Azerbaijani independence.

“It is a difficult path forward,” Akbarov said in a press release, “but we are now free and can move forward as a free and democratic nation.”

CNN interview with Dick Gephardt, Former House Majority Leader

July 26, 2010

CNN: Congressman, the announcement that President George W. Bush would, under no circumstances, invade Dominica, seemed at first to be quite popular, but in many ways it became the catalyst for the eventual election of John Engler.

Gephardt: Yes. In many ways it became a reverse image of the Digital Summer of Love. Bush made it clear that the United States and its allies would put tremendous economic pressure on Dominica, but would not invade. Lazio was opposed by his campaign fizzed. Ironically, the entire Republican field agreed with President Bush. In fact, Tom Tancredo and Ron Paul were opposed to any action against Dominica, including sanctions. Governor Brownback was also opposed to an invasion, but did call for arming Dominican “Contras” despite the fact that, up to that point, there were not an actual armed insurgency in Dominica. The one exception was Governor Engler. So this was where John Kerry could have really slammed the Republicans in general and attacked their soft opposition to a fascist dictatorship popping up in the middle of the Caribbean. Instead he elected to call for Dominicans to handle the situation themselves peacefully, and “through the ballot box.” Well, the election had just happened. He was basically saying to live with it and vote the Russians out in a few years.

CNN: It was a quote that Engler pounced on during the campaign.

Gephardt: It was a poorly worded statement that alienated his base. Particularly since, in the eyes of many Democrats, the Republic of Dominica had declared war on former President Kerrey when they issued an arrest warrant for him.

CNN: His immigration comment was also problematic.

Gephardt: Yes, it was. He tried to backpedal from it. But when he attacked “unrestricted immigration” in regards to Dominica, it became a sound bite in almost every attack ad against him during the general election. His views on immigration, which were very sensible, suddenly came off as hypocritical.

CNN: Even with these setbacks, he was still in the lead as late as second debate. What, in your opinion, turned the tide in October?

Gephardt: I know a lot of folks think it’s his disastrous “line in the sand” comment. But what really won the election for John Engler was the sudden emergence of a simple letter…Z.

“A Dream for Tomorrow- By former Russian Prime Minister Gennady Burbulis”
Published by Colorado State University Press, © 2014


I could see President Lebed was nervous as he looked out the window. Protest had brought Russia to a halt, and everywhere was a message to the President. A message that was clear and frightening. Across the country one letter in English that had become a rallying cry for fascist. One letter had been spray painted on every government building, on every train station. And, outside the Duma, it was spray painted on the tanks that were protecting us.

“They must know there was no way we could keep Azerbaijan,” Lebed mumbled softly. “It would have turned into Chechnya times a thousand.”

I said nothing. After all, I was the biggest proponent of letting Azerbaijan go its own way. I wanted us to wash our hands of it entirely, but I was overruled by Prime Minister Svyatoslav Petrushko, who insisted that we get them to sign the Liberation Clause. I knew that the Liberation Clause would come back to haunt us, although I assumed it would be the first day of Azerbaijani independence.

Under Petrushko’s plan, the UIS would install a puppet government and the country would be independent in name only. But after one day our self appointed President of the new People’s Republic of Azerbaijan was ousted in a popular uprising. President Lebed elected to put in an old Communist official who was as corrupt as he was incompetent, assuming he wouldn’t challenge Moscow. Well, he didn’t. President Suleyman Akbarov didn’t challenge anyone. He just went to the Bank of Baku and emptied out the nascent nation’s treasury before hopping on a plane to Dubai. As soon as he was gone the protest took over Baku, and by the end of the day all of Azerbaijan. There were immediate calls to liberate the occupied territory in the West and to take back control of Azeri oil. But the worst was yet to come for us.

I recognized him the moment he walked up the stairs to the Government Building to the Azerbaijan Republic. We all did. After all, the most wanted criminal in the country was now taunting us from the new Azeri capital.

“This can’t be,” Prime Minister Petrushko stammered as he saw the middle aged man wave to the crowd. “I was assured that he was dead. I was told by Vladimir Putin himself that we killed him.”

“What a surprise,” President Lebed said sternly, “the KGB lied to you.”

UIS Presidential Candidate Vladimir Putin in an interview with the BBC on February 2, 2017.

Discussing the early days of the Lebed Presidency.

BBC: Mr. Putin, do you wish to comment on by Prime Minister Svyatoslav Petrushko allegation that you lied to the government of the UIS in regards to-

Putin: This is absurd.

BBC: Sir, can we finish the question-

Putin: The KGB was not some sort of mafia death squad. If I killed the most wanted man in the UIS I would have taken credit for it.

BBC: Prime Minister Petrushko claims this lie led to your meteoric rise in UDR and UIS politics.

Putin: And what if it had been discovered that he was still alive? Then where would my political career be? Why would I risk everything like that? The fact of the matter is that I told the Marshal Lebed and President Zhirinovsky that it was our assumption that he was dead. Not that we killed him. Corporal Vahid Hasinov, the assassin of Boris Yeltsin, simply was able to avoid detection until he felt safe enough to come out of his gutter.
It's so surprising to see this latest update, I had been fearful of someone necroing the thread and leading to it getting blocked; really thought we'd never see an update again. Such a pleasant surprise to find while reading this marvelous TL for my 3rd/4th time.
Villainous portrayals of the Russians in the Zhirinovskyverse are even more common than OTL what with the UIS' genocidal actions in Europe. It would also effect the portrayal of heroic Russian characters in fiction. For instance, the MCU Black Widow's backstory would be much darker in TTL since she would reluctantly take part in the extermination of the Chechens and her defection to SHIELD would happen in Sarajevo instead of Budapest. Heck, she might be left out of the Avengers founding lineup with Hawkeye by Marvel execs to distance themselves from Russia/UIS.
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So glad that this TL is still alive (unlike Zhirinovsky. Ba dum tish).

A question I’ve always had: how has the James Bond franchise fared ITTL? I’ve always wondered especially about Goldeneye, which was all about the fall of the Soviet Union and the New Russia OTL.
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I'd be interested in how Clancy has viewed this whole shitshow, possibly with soul searching into how conservatives fawned over a monster as big as Stalin.

Hasinov becoming President of Azerbaijan is like pouring gasoline on the fires of Russian nationalist conspiracy.
It would be interesting on where the OP takes his timeline. The fact that one user's post had a BBC News article announcing the death of Vladimir Zhirinovsky in OTL led to Pellegrino posting his first chapter in five years makes us guess as to what he will do next.
Thanks all! I won’t lie, Life sort of happened and I just didn’t revisit this site in awhile. But I always knew I wanted to come back to this timeline.

But with that being said, it is tough to pick up where I left off. After almost ten years a lot of the internal stories that I wrote have become jumbled in my head. I don’t want to do this timeline a disservice and have nonsensical events that run contrary to establish canon. So I will also have to reread this thread, which is ok since after ten years I can. Catch some typos that slipped by and I can also finish thread-marking the 150 chapters of the original timeline.
The guy they sent to arrest Zhirinovsky is also the one who shot Yeltsin? That's one plot twist I didn't expect.
Maybe. But he was blamed for it and was made the fall guy. What is interesting is with him emerging it could force that convenient storyline (an Azeri terrorist shot him) to fall apart. We could we find out if someone else ordered the shooting, and that could be a bombshell for the UIS if it turns out it is someone tied into the current government.