|Flag of the Russian Republic|
The Russian Republic, more commonly known as Russia, is a constitutional democracy located in Eurasia, stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean. In Europe, it borders Finland, the United Baltic Duchy, White Ruthenia, Ukraine, and the Don-Kuban Union. In Central Asia, it borders the Alash Autonomy and Mongolia. In the Far East, it borders the Fengtian Republic and Transamur, and shares a maritime boundary with the US though Alaska.
Russia entered the Weltkrieg to protect its ally, Serbia, from Austro-Hungarian annexation in 1914 and subsequently fought a war across three fronts while isolated from its allies in the Entente for three years. Neither the people nor the Tsar wanted any sort of war, but both also felt that the only alternative to the intervention was the total domination of Europe by Germany. Although the Imperial Army was far from defeated in 1916, the already existing public distrust of the autocratic regime was deepened by the mounting casualties, war debts, and accusations of corruption and treasonous acts in high places - which would lead to the outbreak of the Russian Revolution in 1917.
Disillusioned by the grinding attrition of war and now facing near-starvation conditions in the cities, 1917 began with massive anti-government and anti-war demonstrations in many of Russia's urban centers. Morale in the army had likewise plummeted in the face of rising casualties and diminishing territory, and desertion had become an epidemic. The final spark was a strike by the workers of the Putilov factory in Petrograd, which soon rapidly escalated into demonstrations that paralyzed the capital. Tsar Nicholas II ultimately relented and abdicated the throne, but only after strong urging from his desperate generals.
The February Revolution overthrew the Russian Monarchy, which was soon replaced by a shaky coalition of political parties that declared the "Provisional Government." However, with defeats at the front and economic collapse not abating, the Provisional Government's shaky legitimacy was soon seriously challenged by its "partner" in government, the Petrograd Soviet. Frequent street fighting and an (alleged) attempted coup by General Lavr Kornilov only proved to be preludes for the Bolshevik Party's eventual coup d'état in October/November. With the Soviets soon seizing control of much of Russia, anti-Bolshevik forces dispersed to regroup. The stage was set for civil war.
The Russian Civil War
See Main Article: The Russian Civil War
Though the Bolsheviks controlled much of Russia, their enemies were far from defeated completely in 1917. The "White Movement" which arose to oppose them was a loose coalition of conservatives, liberals, ardent tsarists, and anti-Bolshevik socialists. Nevertheless, White opposition soon arose across much of Russia's periphery. The signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk proved to be the catalyst for an immense outpouring of anti-Bolshevik outrage, and not only were the Whites' ranks soon swelled, but many of the newly-created, German-backed states were themselves far from friendly towards Soviet power.
Disaster struck the Bolsheviks in the summer of 1918, for not only did many Socialist Revolutionaries abandon the Bolsheviks after Brest-Litovsk, but Lenin himself was assassinated by a disgruntled SR. This catastrophe was compounded by the fact that, by late 1918, White armies had established themselves across much of southern Russia, Ukraine, Siberia, the Baltics, and the Far East. These disparate factions had nominally united under the Provisional All-Russian Government. However, it would not be until the spring of 1919 that the White armies began defeating Bolshevik forces in earnest. Successive White campaigns continued into the summer, culminating with the capture of Ufa. The Congress of Ufa unified the White Movement in fact as well as in name, with Admiral Aleksandr Kolchak being named supreme commander, on the condition that all White factions repudiate any remaining ties with the Entente.
The end of 1919 saw the most decisive period of the Civil War, with the White armies capturing first Petrograd, then seizing much of the Russian heartland, before finally capturing Moscow and accepting the Bolshevik surrender on January 22nd, 1920. Though victorious against the Reds, the Whites had little choice but ratify the Brest-Litovsk Treaty, an onerous task that was ultimately left to the returned Alexander Kerensky, who assumed the presidency of the fledgling Republic out of respect for his status as the last pre-Civil War Head of State.
Although the new Russian Republic had to face many threats after its establishment, it managed to survive. Thanks to German mediation, the East Karelian national revolt was quelled with the signing of the Treaty of Tartu, which awarded the Parishes of Repola and Porajärvi to the Kingdom of Finland, but prevented a full-scale war and kept East Karelia under Russian rule. Thanks to Kerensky's diplomatic efforts, Russia managed to establish good relations with most of the new countries that emerged from the Civil War. However, they had to bear the loss of easternmost Siberia, including the vital port of Vladivostok, to the Japanese and their puppet, the former White General Semyonov.
In 1924, the shadows of another civil war threatened the country when a coalition of capitalists, disgruntled officers, the Cossacks, and the remnants of the Czechoslovak Legion tried to overthrow the government and seize power in the Kolchak Putsch. However, the coup failed and the majority of conspirators were either killed or arrested. Although a few plotters, including their figurehead Kolchak, managed to escape to Transamur, and the southern Cossack hosts secured a state of quasi-independence under German support for a "Don-Kuban Union". Since then, the government has enforced its grip on the country and struggled to improve the economy, devastated by the Civil War. For the past fifteen years the leading parties, the Socialist Revolutionaries and Kadets, have governed in an uneasy coalition under Kerensky, maintaining their power through electoral manipulation and a lack of serious political opposition or awareness from the populace. However, the worsening of the global economy has yet again eroded the trust of the people and, in the case of a resuming of internal conflict, unknown forces could attempt to remove Kerensky from power and seize control of Russia.
President: Alexander Fyodorovich Kerensky (Center Socialist Revolutionary, born 4 May 1881)
Prime Minister: Pavel Nikolayevich Milyukov (Kadet, born 27 January 1859)
Minister of Foreign Affairs: Pyotr Berngardovich Struve (Kadet, born 26 January 1870)
Minister of Finance: Nikolai Alexeyevich Maklakov (independent monarchist, born 9 September 1871)
Minister of Interior: Andrei Ivanovich Shingarev (Kadet, born 30 August 1869)
Director of the Okhrana: Sergey Fyodorovich Oldenburg (Kadet, born 26 September 1863)
Chief of the General Staff: Field Marshal Anton Ivanovich Denikin (born 16 December 1872)
Chief of the Armed Forces: Field Marshal Lavr Georgiyevich Kornilov (born 30 August 1870)
Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy: Grand Admiral Vasily Alexandrovich Kanin (born 11 June 1862)
Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Air Force: Major General Anton Vasilevich Turkul (born 24 December 1892)
The President of the Russian Republic is the Head of State, who is chosen by the Senate (3/5 majority required) and elected for a term of 6 years.
- appoints Supreme Commander-in-Chief
- has legislative initiative
- represents the country abroad
- cooperates with the government (minister for foreign affairs) when it comes to the foreign policy
- has the right of veto (Duma may override it)
- appoints Chairman of the Council of Ministers chosen by the Duma and ministers chosen by Chairman
- may announce referenda with Senate's and Duma's consent
- may issue decrees and appoint a presidential government in cases of state of emergency
Senate of the Russian Republic (from 1919 to 1926 State Council of the Russian Republic) is the Upper House of the Russian Parliament. There are 150 seats: 50 Senators are chosen by regional legislatures, 50 Senators are appointed by the President (after he gets elected/reelected), 50 Senators are chosen by the people with sufficient age (30 years) and education (higher education) or social status (former aristocracy) or personal wealth, for a term of office of 6 years. The Senate can trigger a new Presidential election, if the President loses the support of the House.
- chooses Speaker of the Senate (50% of votes + 1 required)
- chooses President
- may propose changes to the bills passed by the State Duma
- exercises supervision over President.
Speaker of the Senate (de facto vice president of Russian Republic) chosen by the Senate (has to be a senator) and can be at any time replaced. The current Speaker of Senate is Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich Romanov.
- the Presiding Officer of the Senate
- becomes Acting-President, should the president become unable to serve for any reason. The new President is elected only after the term of office of the elected president comes to end, either through the Senate calling an election, or a natural fulfillment of the term
- serves as the Acting-President in the case that the Senate doesn't manage to reelect/elect a President, until one can be decided, or a new election is called/held
- may represent President in Ceremonial Duties
- The Spokesman for Senate's interests
The State Duma is the Lower House of the Russian Parliament. There are 550 seats (electoral system - proportional representation). Duma Members are chosen by the people (universal suffrage for all citizens of Republic aged 20 or older), for a term of office of 5 years.
- the legislature of the Russian Republic
- has legislative initiative
- chooses Chairman of the Council of Ministers and accepts (or disagrees with) proposed Cabinet
- may pass a vote of no confidence resulting in Chairman's dismissal
- exercises supervision over the government
- may announce referenda with Senate's consent
- may change the constitution (with Senate's consent) - 2/3 majority required
Politics in Russia are highly unstable at the present, and there are signs that Kerensky's shaky unified coalition is beginning to fall apart. This has resulted in a largely dichotomous "left/right" divide within the nation.
The Socialist Revolutionaries were one of the most powerful factions of the Civil War, and continue to exert influence in the State Duma. Due to differences over economic matters, the party is often divided into left-wing and right-wing factions, headed by Victor Chernov and Alexander Kerensky, respectively.
The Mensheviks are the most radical group in the Duma, and consist of members of the splinter faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party who didn't flee to Georgia or elsewhere after the October Revolution failed. They currently maintain ties with the left-wing factions of the Socialist-Revolutionaries. The group also includes Bolsheviks who remained in Russia after the Civil War, most notably Nikolai Bukharin.
The Constitutional Democrats, or Kadets as they are more commonly known, are a liberal party favouring a mixed economy and a social liberal constitutional republic, led by Pavel Milyukov. They are the weakest of the “major” parties vying for control within the Duma, and the country itself.
There also exists a coalition of conservative aristocrats and wealthy landowners, who favour a return to the monarchy. They are supported by the Russian Orthodox Church and members of the old Russian aristocracy. They do not possess much power in the Duma, but retain control of much of the Senate, which observers speculate might actually let them name a President in the event of a vacancy of the position.
The Russian military is extraordinarily obsolete. While it maintains a steady presence along the entire border, the military lacks competent commanders and discipline, and there are significant disagreements in the General Staff on how the military should be developed.
The current political situation in Russia reflects extremely onto the military, and particularly the Army, with former Red and White Army soldiers beginning to raise their voices once again. The equipment of the Army is obsolete, of practically Weltkrieg-era age or even older, lacking the most basic of modern equipment like mobile tanks and transport vehicles. The Russian Army consists of 85 Infantry Divisions and 2 Calvary DIvisions.
The Russian Navy maintains a strong presence in the Baltic Sea and a nominal presence in the Arctic and Pacific, but has lost its presence entirely in the Black Sea after the secession of the Ukraine and Don-Kuban Union during the Civil War and subsequent political chaos.
The small Russian Flying Corps is the aerial arm of the Russian Military, and has a small presence in Western Russia, fielding three wings of aircraft, as well as one wing in the Far East.
Friendly relations exist with historical friends like Serbia, as well as Bulgaria, Bohemia, Hungary, and Romania.
Unfriendly relations exist with the Far Eastern states of Mongolia, Japan, and the situation in Transamur.
The culture of Russia is an old one, in existence in its present form for at least a thousand years, traditionally said to have “started” with the settling of today's northwestern Russia by the Viking King Rurik, in the 9th century. Over the centuries, it has developed and spread its heritage over half a continent. While the majority of Russians live in the current Russian state, there are hundreds of thousands - or even millions - of Russians living as minority populations in most former areas of the Russian Empire, particularly in or around the Don-Kuban Union and Ukraine.