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Chapter 1: A New Hope
1936. January 1st.

Russia stands diminished, shrunken since the glories of the Tsarist era, the nation comprises 4/5ths of the territory it previously held. The Weltkrieg and then the chaos that the Russians call the Great Civil War, tore the nation apart. When the dust settled, in part due to Kerensky's amnesty, the over-ambitious Kolchak made his grab for power. Wrangel and his cadre of officers at STAVKA refused to aide the Admiral, and he was forced to flee east to the ends of the earth, to make himself a kingdom across the Amur as troops loyal to Alexander Kerensky, President of the First Russian Republic marched on Moscow. The loss of Vladivostok was an irritation, but Kerensky's government was so fragile that the nation had to suffer the loss.

In the years between 1925 and 1936, Russia has become almost a mafiya state, with various power blocs feuding for what they view as 'their' rights. The streets foment with dissent, like a pot about to boil over in some places. The government is barely in control of Moscow and St. Petersburg, as Kerensky walks a thin line between corrupt generals, those in the Duma who have dreams of Bolshevism, and the Aristocratic classes who survived the War, all whilst pushing his own agenda of a democratic Russia.

The military is understaffed, understrength, and most of them using weapons from the Weltkrieg or the Civil War. The officer corps is grossly bloated, and generals engage in more politics than they do war in these dark times for Russia...



The state of the nation, as weak armies stand on borders against those states who would nibble at the edges of glorious Mother Russia

January 3rd. The Kreml. Moscow.

As President Kerensky left the Kreml through the Iverskiye Gates at 9am on his way to the beginning of the days session at the State Duma in Tverskoy District , he was shot in the chest twice as he crossed the Krásnaya plóshchad. The assassin broke through the Special Presidential Guards, and screaming revenge for Lev Chernyj, infamous Black Guard anarchist. He then fired his pistol, a Smith and Wesson .44 calibred for Russian rounds. The President did not survive for more than 3 minutes after he was shot, as one bullet collapsed his lung, whilst the other pierced his heart.


The Iverskiye Gate, Kitai-gorod district, Moscow. The scene of a great loss

Following this, the Duma was informed. Within a short time, Kerensky's Kadet and Social Revolutionary Coalition fell, as Pavel Milyukov failed to successfully convince the two factions to remain together. At the same time Viktor Chernov mobilised the Leftists in the Duma, and formed a majority government with several platforms including Social Revolutionaries, Mensheviks and Bolshevik groups. The Aristocrats within the Duma, along with the Kadets and the Right-Wing Social Revolutionaries, could only sit and watch, as a new government was forged in a specially extended session of the Duma.

By midnight January 4th, the State Duma had it's government, and the people were fully aware of the situation.
Right wing protestors took to the streets in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Omsk, Voronezh and Tsaritsyn. They were met by left wing militias, police and several army divisions. With relatively little bloodshed the streets were quietened, and the outpouring of grief over the death of Kerensky overshadowed the anger some felt toward his inheritors.
 
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Since you responded so quickly, I'll do another update (yes I am that crazy. Yes I am literally playing it as I write the posts. Check out mah Skillz.)
I had a nice mishmash of the - numbers from Finns, Mongols, Fengtien, Transamur and Japan, but messed up on the save, so you'll just have to suffer the picture lite edition!
~~~

1936. January 7th. 0600 GMT, 0900 Moscow time.

Viktor Chernov sat at the head of the table in a cloistered room within the Duma, and looked at the nine faces who were looking back at him for a moment before he let his eyes drift.. The furnishings were sparse even in here, the move of the Capital to Moscow since the chaos in St. Petersburg seemed to long ago, and yet it's affects were still felt in some places like they had happened just yesterday. For a moment, he was that slightly uncertain forty-something man, Minister of Agriculture in the Provisional Government in St. Petersburg, looking down the table, unsure that anything he said would ever be listened to. His stomach fluttered slightly at the thought of it again. He took a sip of boiled water from his glass, his glass just like those that each committee member had, the austere trappings of the Cabinet room a hangover from a regime that ended 3 days ago.

To his right sat Iraklij Tseretiliy, Viktor considered the Georgian a competent administrator full of enthusiasm for his cause, Chernov suspected that Tseretiliy still believed in a wholly Menshevik world, Viktor just hoped that he'd be able to survive the internecine politics of being in power in this country...

After Tseretiliy sat Sukharov, another one of the Mensheviks in Chernov's new cabinet, and one who Viktor had spent a significant portion of his political life battling against, rather than with, Sukhanov had been part of the Petrograd Soviet nearly 20 years ago, and the fact that he was here today made Viktor marvel at the man who had once slandered him so rudely... still, they should pull together, no matter what was said. Russia needed them, Viktor reminded himself.

After Sukhanov was Krestinsky, a Bolshevik who knew his way around a glass of vodka, or at least in selling it to the country. Apart from the post at the ministry of Armaments, Krestinsky was currently in charge of the propaganda division. The Duma needed to sell themselves to the people, so they would no longer have to rely on the will of the Generals.

The final man on the right hand side was Alexei Rykov, who Viktor had never found fascinating at all. Despite this, he managed to come up with the odd interesting tidbit of information on a fairly regular basis. Yurij Rosenfeld had contacted Chernov about the position, but had be politely declined for the time being. Rykov may remain useful yet.

At the far end of the table sat Maria Spiridonova, a woman Viktor knew well. Of his own party, she managed to simultaneously terrify and motivate all of the men around her, with her sharp wit and harsh tongue. She would be useful in her own way, Viktor felt, if only to keep people's mind on task. The rightwing press however had already nicknamed her 'Nagging Mother Russia', and she was currently smouldering with suppressed irritation at the fact.

To his left sat the military men... Field Marshall Romanovsky, Chief of Staff closest, then the venerable Field Marshall von Blücher as the Chief as the Army, Grand Admiral Von Wirén of Navy and finally Air Marshall Koronev. Viktor was silently amused to see that the Air Marshall had shuffled his chair as far away from Spiridonova as he could. Leaning back in the seat and scratching beneath his chin he cleared his throat softly.

"Ladies and Gentlemen. Thank you for meeting me here today. In the past three days there has been much grief, and turmoil. With the burial of President Kerensky and my official swearing in, I feel that it is time to take a look at the reports that have been gathered for us." Viktor turned to Krestinsky, looking down the table. "If you could give us the report on our economic status please, Nikolai?"

Krestinsky stood, and walked around the table, giving each minister a folder in which copies of various papers were printed.

A note of the initial assessment of the state of affairs.

"As you can see, there is a serious deficiency in troop numbers it will take years for us to remove, as well as the main issue with equipment being out of date. However, do note that several factories are actually working on projects which are being adequately fulfilled by other companies."

Grand Admiral Von Wirén cleared his throat. "That is, the two submarines and destroyer in production at St. Petersburg Shipyards?"
Krestinsky nodded, and then continued. "They will proceed to completion. The defense contracters have been contacted to start manufacturing new airoplanes to replace our current aging airforce instead." Air Marshall Koronev nodded in satisfaction.

Chief of Staff Romanovsky's expression darkened as he kept reading, and interrupted loudly. "Why are you cutting supplies to the armed forces?" Suddenly the room was staring at Krestinsky who responded calmly. "I've recommended that the production of materiel is reduced, in favour of new weapons, and uniforms. The recruitment campaign for the reinforcement of our armed forces will roll out next week should the Cabinet find in favour." Romanovsky prodded the paper for a moment. "It says here you're going to increase the production of consumer goods." Krestinsky smiled in reply. "I thought you may desire tea from India, or Coffee from Columbia with our next meeting."

Foreign Minister Sukhanov looked at Krestinsky thoughtfully a moment. "I'll see to it. This boiled water is making me feel flat and lifeless. If this is all Kerensky drank... well no wonder the country has struggled." After a moment Viktor looked at von Blücher who had been unusually quiet, but the Field Marshall was sat, doodling on the corner of his paper, with a half smile on his lips.

Krestinsky looked around the room and then clapped his hands together. "So, is that it?"

The finalised changes were quickly put into effect

A quick ripple of nods, and then Chernov spoke once again. "Make the projected changes. Now Rykov, perhaps you could keep us up to date with the current technological leaps that Russia is surely making?"

Rykov had the decency to look embarrassed, and spoke as Krestinsky returned to his seat. "None sir..."
Chernov stared a moment. "Pardon?"
Rykov stood up. "We currently have no military defense research contracts out. President Kerensky, according to my notes, had them cancelled in 1932 after the first attempt at economic restructuring. Most of the firms are still interested and I can make some calls if you desire."
The room nodded as one, and Maria scowled at Rykov long and hard as he sat down.

The contracts were quickly made, and Rykov sent the list of current research topics and the firms contracted along to President Chernov shortly after the events

Chernov once spoke. "Minister Sukhanov, what of our relations with the world outside Russia?"
Sukhanov stood up and smiled politely to Chernov before commencing his report, handing out several pieces of paper. "We seem to get on well enough with the big players, as well as those on our immediate borders. Those who we have poor relationships are listed here."
Sukhanov passed around the papers quickly
"We get on along with most of those on our borders, and with an exception of the Finns, the problems start at Mongolia and go as far as the Pacific. Of course, it is obvious that two warlord states would oppose us, and the traitor Kolchak is firmly in Japanese influence, and so they poison each other against us. Our relations with Canada, Germany and the Internationale are all cordial, but warmer as opposed to the Siberian Ice that we get in response to our overtures east."

Chernov nodded, and looked to Maria, sat at the end of the table. "And our relations with the world within Russia?" He smiled wryly.

Security Minister Spiridonova stood up, and spoke. "It is estimated a quarter of the population is currently dissatisfied to the point that they will protest this government. Still, we've inherited some from the Kerensky government, and naturally overtime, the people will come to view us as their saviours rather than a continuation of the compromise politics of Kerensky..." She paused a moment thoughtfully. "The import of goods such as coffee and tea will help, however the assignation of several factories to production of goods for sale internally and abroad by minister Krestinsky will also help to placate the masses."


One of the factories turned to produce civilian goods. In this case, textiles.

Chernov nodded. Looks like he's got his work cut out, he thinks to himself. "Meeting adjourned. We will speak again soon. A good day to you."


A portrait of Kerensky that was erected over the Iverskoye Gate by Left S-R party activists during the small hours of the morning on January 6th.

~~~
January the 9th, 1936, 1800 Moscow Time, 0000 January 10th, Urga Time.

Chernov had been sitting down to dinner in the Kreml when Sukhanov had rang him, and as the hearty meal of Borscht cooled in the dish before him, President Chernov had gritted his teeth and began to rattle his cutlery against the table, as the Foreign Minister informed him of the goings on in Mongolia. After the brief conversation, the phone was put down, and then Feliks Romanovsky, chief of Staff, and Vasily von Blücher, Head of Army were called.

The subject of the heated discussion between Sukhanov and Chernov

At 2000 hours, Chernov was just finally finishing his soup when the two men came in together, and sat at the table in the Kreml. Chernov spoke immediately, pointing with his spoon at Romanovsky. "That lunatic Ungern Von Sternburg, thinks that we are not watching, and has laid claim to a substantial chunk of Qing territory. Whilst that bandit occupies the Trans-Siberian Railroad, the current garrisons are not a sufficient deterrent. I want troops sent to the border with Mongolia post-haste. Who do you recommend for this?"

Head of Army von Blücher shifted slightly on the spot, before speaking. "That depends on how many troops you want sending, sir."

Chernov looked at von Blücher thoughtfully. "Triple the garrisons, even if it means pulling troops from elsewhere. I want that petty warlord to look North and wish he'd kept his mouth shut!"

Romanovsky appeared to be in great thought before finally replying. "As you will."

STAVKA, 2145 Moscow Time

Romanovsky and von Blücher were leant over a map of the Mongolian border, along with Field Marshall Vrangel and many other officers. Their voices were low as they spoke, a small argument breaking out over the deployment of General Timoshenko's army, as well as the cavalry divisions currently residing within Tsaritsyn. Finally a decision was made, and orders were telegraphed...

Ukrainian Border/Porkhov Time 2300, Moscow/Tsaritsyn Time 0000, Urga Time 0300


The armies given the orders

++NEW ORDERS ENCLOSED WITHIN. TO BE ENACTED IMMEDIATELY++

ALL UNITS RECIEVING THESE ORDERS TO REPORT TO NEAREST RAIL POINT
FOR REDEPLOYMENT EAST STOP ALL UNITS RECIEVING THESE ORDERS ARE NOW
PART OF GROUP VASSILIEVSKIJ TO BE LEAD BY GENERAL VASSILIEVSKIJ STOP
CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR PROMOTION STOP

FIELD MARSHAL VON BLU:CHER
FIELD MARSHAL ROMANOVSKY
FIELD MARSHAL WRANGEL
++
STAVKA
++
0000 JAN 10 1936


//slider 1 toward interventionism
 
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Nice!
As I always say, I love Kaiserreich AARs.

Will you create a new Soviet Union or will you just be some kind of nice democracy in a world full of Dictators and Syndies?
 

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January 17th, 0900 Moscow Time.

Following extensive discussion in the Duma, the election of the prime minister has become a question of national import, briefly overshadowing the public discussion about the redeployment of several divisions eastward amongst the chattering classes. Three candidates have appeared for the post. The interim Prime Minister, Iraklij Tsereteliy, the previous incumbent, Pavel Milyukov, and the vocal and organised Nicolai Bukharin of the Bolshevik platform. The election would be close, as all three men had followings within the Duma.



Electoral posters distributed around Moscow

Bukharin, for Bolshevism and Justice


Kadet, for Democracy


Menshevik


//And now, my humble reader(s), I'm going to be ambitious, and ask for 'votes' I will tally the votes, and take the decision that the majority make... You've got 24 hours from this post!
Translations:
'Bukharin, For Bolshevism and Justice!'
'Ka' 'Det' 'For Democracy!'
'Menshevik'
Nice!
As I always say, I love Kaiserreich AARs.

Will you create a new Soviet Union or will you just be some kind of nice democracy in a world full of Dictators and Syndies?
Up to you! And even if I end up democratic, I've still played an expansionist democracy, looking after it's 'backyard'
 
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I say either stay with the Mensheviks or compromise. Extremism breeds dissent and disunity and is exactly what has made Russia weak in the past. Only a government which truly represents the people can have both the strength and legitimacy to reunite Russia.
 

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Mensheviks or compromise.
Bukharin is an ugly communist who wears silly hats.
 

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AS much as I love the fact you are participating, I wish you'd choose a name XD. As it is however, just like in real life, you don't get to see the consequences of your democratic vote until it's cast.
 
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Damn, I'll have to pick Iraklij then. Pavel has a pretty nasty template, IIRC.
 

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He does. Though even I don't get to see what I'm choosing with respect to templates... Technically a slider shift afterward can put Iraklij in the hotseat a week after you elect Pavel, but that's sooo gamey, and I've already used up my slider :)
 
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I vote Milyukov. Better dead than red :D

Great start by the way, I'll be following this.
 

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I like to see how the Liberals and the Mensheviks are splitting the anti-bolshevik vote! It's still close though!

Roughly 12 hours have passed!
12 more to go!

Vote today!
 
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Milites

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:eek: Why aren't you using the excellent KR skin for Russia?

But KR AArs are always nice!

And I vote Bukharin.
 

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SKin? What Skin? Anyway, at this rate, it'll be redundant...

Exit polls so far are
4 Bolshevik
1 Menshevik
1 Kadet
1 Kadet/Menshevik, which I'll flip a coin to decide later. (unless KaiserBenjamin specifies)