Romanov Ascendant: What if the Soviet Union survived?

Speaking of Africa, do you have any plans on what is going to happen in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe?
 
Chapter Two: Trees and Nighthawks
I hope everyone had a great Christmas/Holiday!
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Trees and Nighthawks
Despite support for Soviet containment, and general revulsion for Iraqi aggression in the middle east, a question began to be raised in many right wing circles as well as entering open conversation in the United States. Why should American soldiers die for Saudi Arabia or Kuwait of all places? President Bush Sr knew that any long intervention or full on invasion would immediately draw comparisons with the Vietnam war. Most people in Europe or America barely knew of Kuwait before this war. However, by keeping the American intervention short and decisive, Bush managed to keep a political veneer on it similar to Reagan's brief confrontations with Libya. Necessary acts to ensure that the American national interest was defended while also avoiding costly entanglements. The Americans suffered 379 KIA and 680 casualties overall, but this burden was shouldered by a volunteer force, not draftees. The results were tangible and easily understood. By breaking the Iraqi lines south of Kuwait city, the US opened the door for the Saudis and Egyptians to flood into the city proper. The Iraqi Airforce had suffered severe attrition at this point, and could only offer piecemeal resistance to coalition efforts. The fight within the city itself degenerated into destructive, violent urban warfare. Tanks fired at each other in the streets, shortly before being blown to pieces by infantry AT weapons. Only after two weeks of fighting, by May 15th, the coalition offensive managed liberate the city after constant air strikes and artillery bombardment. The city, one of the richer and finer of the middle east, was reduced to a OTL Grozny esque ruin. This wasn't helped as Iraqi scuds constantly bombarded it, in an effort to scorch the earth and create as many casualties as possible.

These scuds caused even more destruction of infrastructure, and a few lucky strikes killed hundreds of coalition soldiers and some civilians. On the fateful day of May 17th, at 3:32 AM, three F-117s and an EF-111A Raven departed from King Abdulaziz Air Base in Saudi Arabia. The F-117s flew at high altitude, but the EF-111A experienced mechanical trouble and had to return to base. The F-117s were already in middle of the sortie, and at 3:58AM, it was decided that they would proceed, and an F-18 would be dispatched from the carrier Theodore Roosevelt. Two sorties of the exact same configuration were completed in the last few days and two scud launchers were destroyed, along with an 9K33M2 Osa which had attempted to engage them. One of the F-117s was piloted by USAF Major Jordan Campbell. Intelligence had previously identified a warehouse which was being used to hide scud TEL and support vehicles. A 9М38 Buk and it's supporting radar vehicle had read a passive signature, and managed to get an active lock when the bomb bay doors had opened. Campbell tried his best to evade the missile, but despite the dispersion of chaff and active EW measures, the missile continued on it's trajectory. He ejected above enemy territory literally seconds before the F-117 was struck by the missile, which blasted it into two pieces. The other F-117s immediately disengaged. The F-18 attempted to conduct SEAD, but the radar immediately deactivated. Soviet advisors had grown suspicious of precise raids into Iraqi territory that they weren't even picking up on radar, the GRU concluded that the US may be using stealth aircraft. The 9M38 Buk was one of the best SAMs in Iraq's arsenal, and assisted by soviet advisors was an incredibly potent weapon.

Major, Jordan Campbell, USAF, 415th Tactical Fighter Squadron
I was in shock, this was supposed to be a routine mission. Now that I think back on it, we were probably growing complacent. I can't blame it on fatigue either, we were sleeping in the day to operate at night. The attack run was lined up, I dropping two GPS guided bombs directly on target, and a second after my bomb bay doors opened up, alarms started going off. I was receiving warnings, I still got the word out to my squadron mates. The ejection was something else, blasting into the sky, I saw my own plane get hit. I took some shrapnel too, but nothing life threatening.

After I ditched the chair and started parachuting, I activated my emergency radio as I glided down to the earth. There weren't many places to hide in what was almost a completely barren desert. There were some hovels to the north so I drifted to land there. My landing was hard and I strained my ankle. But I was so fucking happy to be alive I didn't care. I got out my M1911 and proceeded to the clay houses. I didn't see anyone there, but I wasn't going to take any risks. I snuck into a wooden shed, laid down and managed to radio AWACS my coordinates, but my transmission strength was weak at best. It was a waiting game, whether they could get rangers or SEALs in to recover me in time or if the Iraqis would find me. Every minute felt like an hour and every hour an eternity.


At 6:38 AM, an Iraqi squad of regular soldiers and a few civilians had came across Jordan Campbell. The civilians and a few soldiers tried to beat him, but their officer restrained them immediately. The officer and a few other soldiers helped him up and brought him into their truck. He would be the first and only American POW of the Gulf War.
 
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Speaking of Africa, do you have any plans on what is going to happen in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe?
My thoughts are that generally the Soviets would continue their support for the socialist regime in Ethiopia, while disengaging from allies of lesser value as a further emphasis on resource and realist/pragmatic diplomatic efforts. In the 80's, their economic problems made Romanov conclude that not every battle in Africa was worth fighting. Hawadle Madar maintained his control in Somalia, collapse was avoided. The Ethiopian civil war proceeded mostly as OTL, as it was considered worth fighting for by the Soviet leadership. The Soviets provided some food aid along with the UN to help avoid a complete humanitarian disaster, but most of it was just food that was only just recently considered too rotten or spoiled for domestic or warsaw pact consumption. The Soviets never really made an effort with Zimbabwe, and only ended up supporting the ANC in South Africa by word only.
 
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Chapter Two: Division of Kuwait
The Division of Kuwait
Kuwait had existed relatively stably as a petro-monarchy for decades after the evacuation of the British, from former important colonial outpost. Regardless of the aggressiveness of the actions of Iraq, it was true that Kuwait had attempted to exploit both natural resources on their border, and impeded the Iraqi economy from recovering from the Iran-Iraq war. The Soviet Union was in no place to shoulder that burden either, as it was still committing it's resources to it's own development and stymying the increasing unrest in it's puppet states and even it's own autonomous republics. The few victories Saddam had gained at the later stages of the Iran-Iraq war, which came at the cost of increasing Soviet domination within his state, and his own upcoming forced reconciliation with Hafez Al Assad. Both sides were heavily battered by the war, the Iraqis having lost a consummate third of their airforce and some of their best pilots, along with heavy losses of both man and material. The situation on the coalition's side had not fared better. Egypt was entering a state of civil unrest, that was beginning to attract the attention of the KGB. Israel was under heavy pressure, and began making more overt references to the so called Samson option. The Saudi Arabians simply did not have the will or means to continue the war with Iraq, especially considering the fault lines growing within Egypt. Instead, the Soviets and Americans managed to broker a ceasefire, much to the chagrin of Saddam, who was becoming increasingly irritated with being told how to run his nation. Rather than a complete and total conventional destruction of Saddam's army as in OTL, the Gulf War played by an older rulebook, amounting to a cold war proxy battle and a testing ground for new weapons systems. Iraq's relatively experienced and somewhat competent army demonstrated that Soviet weapons could hold their own in many respects, opening the door for increased exports. The power of the F-15C was also indisputable. The Americans managed to get a few crashed MiG-29s in relatively good condition for analysis. But more importantly, several more damaged F-16s and F-15s, which were shot down and recovered. Most of them were immediately destroyed by F-117 raids, but a few were recovered and sent back to the Soviet Union, along with the wrecked F-117. Fortunately for the US, they also managed to recover an Mi-28, but this was of lesser value than to the Soviets with their burgeoning but slowly progressing stealth program. The Iraqis pretended to institute an "Arab republic" in Kuwait, but months later annexed it as an autonomous region. The Saudis latter accepted Kuwaiti as a principality within the Kingdom, "for the time being".

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The US political scene was increasingly rocked by a newcomer and independent challenger, Ross Perot. Perot challenged the need to fight these constant battles against the Soviet Union, that the intervention in Kuwait was an egregious waste of American lives and in an oft repeated paraphrasing of Bismarck, "The body of one marine is worth more than the whole of that desert". Despite opinions on gun control that alienated some on the right wing, his support for American natural resources and rhetoric made him popular. Especially as the economy slowed down and President Bush Senior had lied about introducing taxes. Bill Clinton, the democrat party's challenger, also made a strong campaign. But did not publicly support detente, worried that would lead him to the same path as Dukakis. Clinton would famously challenge Bush's foreign policy, saying that while he was playing alliances and games with monarchies and dictatorships in the middle east, he was ignoring the people fighting for freedom in eastern Europe.

Who takes the lead in the 1992 US Presidential Election?​

 
Chapter Two: The Eastern Camp New
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The Eastern Camp
The events of Gulf War, the conflict in Slovenia and the insurrection in Poland had filled headlines, and had captivated both those in the east and the west. The battle lines between NATO and the Warsaw Pact in Europe had been extended to the middle east. But within the Soviet camp, increasing nationalism and desire for democracy within it's client states had been budding, especially since samizdat glorifying the events in G'dansk and Ljublijana had spread. East Germany was the most stable, it had begun to become economically successful, cheap versions of consumer products like cameras, telephones and even computers were exported as the years progressed. The Stasi were increasingly equipped with newer technologies, widening their net of surveillance. Only small cells of pro democratic and liberal activists could operate, many within basements or cellars. In Czechoslovakia, the system was implemented along with Soviet investments allowed by the growing price of oil (another tangible benefit from their intervention in the gulf war) and the increasing of efficiency allowed by computerization. Skoda became a major exporter of cheap vehicles, and weapons to third world countries, and many economic links were created between it and East Germany. Their dissidents, like all those within the Soviet bloc, were becoming more radicalized. During a brief period in the 1980's, it seemed like stagnation and perianal corruption may finally give an opportunity to break from the Soviet yoke. Now it seemed more than ever, that the cold war and current state of being were becoming inevitabilities, rather than a period in history. In the 1980's, western magazines or broadcasts would find themselves in the east, and their advertisements created the image of a better life through capitalism (Which, was for the most part true). However, with the propaganda machine on full blast, and with the increase in material goods and wealth that have found their way to the majority, it started to seem that the communist party members may have actually had some substance to their long winded tirades in the state papers. It was possible to walk down a street in Prague, Dresden or even Budapest and enjoy a coffee at a state restaurant, a film at a cinema and maybe if you were lucky a place the at arcades quickly spreading across the eastern bloc. The Soviet economy has not been miraculously saved, but it's most egregious inefficiencies have been tailored down. As mentioned, public trials for corruption were becoming common, spreading from the Soviet Union, to East Germany, to Czechoslovakia and then finally to Poland, Hungary, and Romania. Romania was the slowest to adapt, but eventually relented in agreeing to implement EGSVT in it's next five year plan.
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The Rough and the Botanists
However, there was another problem brewing. The new generation, the children of those who had grown up in the 1970's and early 1980's were maturing. There many different social groups, but essentially two camps developed. Those who wanted a place in government, with all of the privileges, prestige and (few) chance to implement idealistic change. They worked hard in school, pressed on within the pioneer programs, joined the Komsomol's of their respective countries. Most went to university and some went to military service. Women were increasingly accepted into governing and military roles, as a means of propaganda against the west. These ambitious and driven youth became known in the Soviet Union as Botaniks (Botanists), by the other major and more popular social group.
Despite state repression of western media, rock and roll, and fashion, these rebels with or without a cause became known as zhestkiy (Rough). They were essentially the counterculture of the Soviet Union, they smoked hash (a habit brought back by many of the soldiers from Afghanistan, and central Asians), listened to western or domestic rock music, stayed up to all hours at makeshift parties. Some party officials called them social parasites, but the KGB believed it was better to direct in their eyes, their youthful angst on staying up late and drugs/drinks that made them docile. The KGB did however direct strong efforts against those who dealt in heroin, which essentially carried out purges against it's traffickers. The most radical and politically active zhestkiy, many of them fresh from their mandatory service, in both the client states and the Soviet Union were increasingly drawn into the social circles of the dissidents and religious groups. Islamism was already being fostered, carefully by the CIA in Afghanistan and in some of the central Asian republics. It was brought back by some disgruntled conscripts, and increasingly the notion of both Jihad and revolution for freedom fostered amongst these groups.

 
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Chapter Two: Regional Updates New
Did some minor updates and fixed typos in the overall timeline, and now I'm going to do some summaries on what occurred at the end of 1991 and beginning of 1992, before the US presidential election update. I noticed a lot of people voted for Ross Perot, which could be kind of fun, do you want me to count votes for Perot taking the democratic nomination as votes for him winning the presidential election? Is it even conceivable that Perot could win?

Africa
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- Nelson Mandela was assassinated by a member of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging, suspected to have been aided by elements of the SADF. While the assassain was arrested, he was killed when he 'attempted to escape captivity'. The SADF maintained their control of Namibia with the removal of Cuban pressure and had increasingly began to take a wider role in South African politics, especially as it perceived that their country was slipping away from them. Barend du Plessis rather than F. W. de Klerk became president in the wake of Botha's stroke. Mandela's assassination was meant to provoke riots and insurrection, to give the SADF cause to enforce martial law. When the riots came, the military cracked down resulting in heavy casualties. This brought further international condemnation. General Secretary Romanov, ever the pragmatist, arranged covert weapon shipments in exchange for a steady flow of natural resources, facilitated through companies registered in Yugoslavia. He did this while promoting publicly black communist groups to agitate for revolution against the South African government.

South America
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- FARC increases their pressure on the Colombian government, with increasingly bold raids against military outposts and roadblocks, already amid unrest from the drug war. The Cubans were accused of backing terrorist activities, and the US Coast Guard and Navy began actively attempting to prevent shipments of arms from arriving there. Special forces advisory groups, working with the CIA and landowner paramilitaries waged a black war against the communist rebels, to varying degrees of success. Their efforts would become even more complicated with subsequent events.

- In Venezuela, on December 23rd 1991, Hugo Chavez, backed by elements of the Venezuelan military, Cuban intelligence service and the KGB began a coup against the government. With more hard currency given used to bribe officers of high importance, more than 30 percent of the military went along with him. Fighting broke out in the capital late at night, with both the palace and airport being seized by both Chavez loyalists and Cuban commandos. President Pérez attempted to escape, but his car was gunned down with him in it. By the mid morning, heavy fighting for the television station had ceased and the putschists had taken control, making an appeal for a mass leftist uprising. Thousands of people flowed into the streets of Caracas leading to loyalist elements conceding. The CIA's inability to predict yet another socialist uprising became the death knell for President Bush Senior's reelection campaign, provoking a populist element in American politics. The Venezuelan leftist junta became racked with infighting, only able to outwardly present a united front.

Europe
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- The Maastricht Treaty was ratified in all major European countries, despite protests from both the right and left wing. Thatcher was overthrown by John Major and ratification was passed in the United Kingdom as well. Maastricht and the European Union became more popular than OTL, as a means of opposing leftists. It was seen as a major commercial and economic benefit that would keep Europe relevant. The economic ramifications of the German reunification hadn't occurred, causing less stress on currency markets. President of West Germany Helmut Kohl called the creation of the European Union "A shining beacon of a free and prosperous Europe" and only hoped for it's continued expansion.



 
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Chapter Two: The Spring of '92 New
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The Spring of 1992
The year preceded relatively peacefully, despite growing tension and unrest in South Africa. While the Soviets had managed to increase their sphere of influence, the cost was rising to maintain stability in it. Saddam in particular was a contentious ally, continuing his nuclear program inflaming the Israelis. The first of the new generation of technocrats, a professor of computer science Zakhar Morozov was elevated to become first secretary of the central Leningrad party committee, generally considered a fast track position into the Politburo. He had a personal friendship with General Secretary Romanov, and shared the latter's taste for a increasing proclivity for late night bacchanalias in the Kremlin. Boris Yeltsin continued his tendency to dissent, but strictly within the confines of what was considered acceptable conduct in the party. He wasn't openly corrupt and hadn't made himself an enemy of Romanov, and was allowed to continue his activities. By spring, mostly in March, the fighting season returned to Afghanistan, and the relative calm was shattered by a major offensive. Core cadres of Mujahedeen commandos, trained by the Americans and Pakistanis staged lightening raids on border outposts in the Kandahar and Afghan-Pakistan border region. This allowed for the movement of many foreign fighters, including a particular Saudi to make their way into the country. In an extremely well coordinated and planned operation by the CIA, ISI and CENTCOM, many important officers in the Afghan People's Army were killed, or even lynched by their own soldiers who defected to the opposition. The Paktia Province's garrisons in particular defected, looting armories. Some historians would say that this was President Bush's attempt to win one pre-election victory, but others that the overall strategic policy of America dictated the necessity of this operation.

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The response was swift, but ultimately predictable. New Stinger FIM-92Cs, upgraded from the older models that were once the bane of Soviet aircraft. Many transport and attack helicopters were destroyed, and even several APA SU-25s were brought down. Fighting raged as it did in the early 80's, many APA and some Soviet advisory and spetsnaz units were put under siege. The city of Gardez was stormed by the Mujahedeen commando brigades, and the APA garrison collapsed. What occurred was a massacre, communist functionaries were castrated, beheaded, mutilated and killed. While the rape and pillage was brought to heel by the more organized, disciplined, CIA trained groups, many Soviet hostages were executed before they could be secured for extraction for more strategic exchanges. However powerful Islamist propaganda was made out of the ravaging of Soviet offices, burning of their flags and parahelia.

Gardez became a symbol of what the Jihad could achieve against Godless communism, when righteous warriors made their stand against it. By May 7th the city was back under control by the APA after a relentless offensive, rigidly planned and coordinated by the Soviet Army. Massive airpower and artillery was used that nearly leveled the city, killing the few civilians who were left. But the damage was done, and the fires of the insurgency was stoked.

These military efforts were planned in conjunction with a massive political campaign. Liberal, Islamist, Royalist and even Islamic Maoist (A relatively recently developed ideology) political opposition in Kabul made an uneasy alliance and demonstrated en masse. Splitting the APA and Soviet efforts between maintaining military control while keeping the capital secure. The military emergencies depleted the better and more loyal APA units, leaving only police, party militia, conscripts and some Soviet soldiers to keep control of the city. Additional rapid response Soviet VDV units were flown in, along with whatever APA units could be scrounged up, but the numbers came up short in the time being. The city was gripped by riots and mass protests, and on May 1st an attempt to storm the Soviet embassy was defeated by Spetsnaz commandos and it's guards. This created a fear that spread among the security forces, resulting in the Kabul massacre of May 5th, 1992. Accounts differ as to who fired the first shot, be it a bullet or Molotov cocktail, but when some government militia started firing into the crowd, chaos broke out. Soviet soldiers stopped differentiating, destroying entire buildings with RPO thermobaric launchers when they believed they were fired upon. By the 6th, some estimates suggest at least 1800 civilians were killed, along with 280 militants. The capital, once a picture of serenity and peacefulness, as well the technological and infrastructural development brought by the Soviets, was clearly no longer immune. The increasingly wounded and killed were given battle honors, but no mention of the overall action took place in state media.

 
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Did some minor updates and fixed typos in the overall timeline, and now I'm going to do some summaries on what occurred at the end of 1991 and beginning of 1992, before the US presidential election update. I noticed a lot of people voted for Ross Perot, which could be kind of fun, do you want me to count votes for Perot taking the democratic nomination as votes for him winning the presidential election? Is it even conceivable that Perot could win?
Honestly, I'm in favor of this ! President Perot will certainly be a interesting scenario.
 
Watching this TL with interest. What is going on in India ITTL? Has Rajiv Gandhi still been assassinated?
India is important to the Eastern Bloc's economic and trade interests, but it's relationship has to be balanced with the desire for friendly relations with China. I could see Rajiv's assassination as not occuring or going down the way it did OTL. I'm going to include a lot more on India, Pakistan and South Asia in general in the next update.
 
Chapter Two: The Great Game New
The Great Game
Deng Xiaoping, Chen Yun and Jiang Zemin, the trio who essentially ran the Chinese government, were in a difficult position. The events of 1989 in Tiananmen Square could have resulted in their overthrow or damage to their trade relations in the west, but they were fortunately able to squeeze by because of concurrent events in the eastern bloc. Without the OTL wave of revolution creating hype in the west for global democratic change, it was possible for the People's Republic of China to play off the events as simple unrest. Rioting had occurred in 1989 in Eastern Germany, but the attention was more focused on the new General Secretary of the Soviet Union and his bold foreign and domestic policies. In their eyes, the Soviet Union had managed to get a hold of it's economic problems without completely implementing capitalism. They were in an awkward position, Maoists in the party were beginning to forgive the "revisionism" and were touting the Soviet method as a way of ensuring the development of Socialism in China, they were the biggest threat to the three in the CCP. The other faction, the increasingly rich oligarchs, military commanders and industrialists were firmly on their side, but outside of the very small urban, educated middle class in China, had little political power in the military or general population. Even the middle class or urban groups couldn't be mobilized without promises of liberal reforms, something now politically impossible due to bad blood created from 1989. The PRC had to double down and either had to align itself to the west, hope that western trade and money could continue the industrialization and economic development giving them much needed authority and legitimacy or it was entirely possible the left wing of the party could stage a coup. They needed a victory to win support from the domestic population, and understood also that the west needed them just as much as themselves. Through covert channels, it was made known that if concessions could be made on the trade, WTO and Taiwan front, China could be expected to maintain it's anti soviet stance. This would quickly come become an issue for the next US president.

China's doubling down on their capitalist economic reform and anti soviet stance, brought them even closer to Pakistan than in the past. They funneled arms and support to the mujahedeen. This relationship would even be formalized in the 1992 Chinese-Pakistani friendship treaty. Pakistan seemed like a way to keep the Soviet Union pinned down, especially as the Chinese intelligence forces (through their contacts in the Indian Maoist movement) realized that the KGB were making moves in India. Once the Chinese Intelligence realized to what extent that political Islam was growing, even in the Soviet Union, it would be quickly capitalized on.

Other regional updates:
- Thailand: The National Peace Keeping Council's coup collapsed after Black May, resulting in the restoration of civilian, democratic government.

- North Korea: Kim Il Sung continues to play both the Soviet Union and China for aid and support. North Korea doesn't end up languishing in famine as they did OTL, but Sung does lay the ground work for an illict nuclear program, coordinated with Pakistan, which was now receiving Chinese support.

- Vietnam: As the staunchest pro Soviet ally in Asia, Vietnam had no problem following the Soviet course, but it's industrial capacity had not yet reached the point that automation and electronics would have necessarily made a difference. Instead the Soviets sold or donated older industrial technologies or equipment no longer used or needed in the Warsaw Pact or at home, while investing in programs to grow cash crops in the Vietnamese climate. The Soviets continued their support for Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia, despite opposition in the UN.
 
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So Command & Conquer: Red Alert was accidentally plausible in having a Soviet politician be named Romanov. So there were just random peasants with the tsar's surname?
The red alert connection is hilarious to me, but yeah funnily enough it's just a somewhat uncommon surname. It just means, son of a Roman. Or maybe Westwood just knew something we didn't at the time 😂
 
I am afraid that the Indian Financial Crisis of 1991 has not been butterflies away. India will need a massive bailout at low rates to return back to socialism. Economic liberalisation had started in 1980 and all the groundwork had already been paid for full liberalisation, for which the 1991 economic crises served as the spark. It's really hard to butterfly away. KGB can't influence India to the extent it can to the Central American and African countries. Any interference will be picked up by the Intelligence Bureau as they are quite familiar with the KGB. The Bofors scandal was being investigated by the CBI and any attempt at creating disinformation will be picked up. It is really difficult to do such things in advanced democracies, the same way as China(PRC) is unable to do anything in Taiwan, KGB can't chage election results or create scandals in Western Europe. It is a dangerous rope to walk and can have devastating effects on Indo-Soviet relations. A capitalist India and still being a de facto Soviet Ally is probably the wisest course of action. And as far as Indian Maoists are concerned, they only started their insurgency in earnest in the early 2000s, in 1991 they are a joke. Nobody will believe that such a thing exists(they did exist but we're virtually unnoticeable and irrelevant and can be characterized as bandits in the jungles proper organization was not attained untill 2002). They are so irrelevant that if KGB or CIA or any agency foreign or domestic, Government or Private is dealing with any Indian politician, they won't get to know, so the assertion that Chinese intelligence through their contacts in the Indian Maoists learned if the KGB activities in India, either the KGB has massively fucked up and everyone knows or the Chinese call their local agents Indian Maoists an the Communists in India were firmly in the Soviet camp. I am not saying that these things are impossible. The Soviets certainly can contact Gandhi but as Soviet Union is still strong any leadership in India is likely to renew the Indo-Soviet treaty of Friendship and Cooperation of 1971 for another 20 years starting from 1991, why would the Soviets try to jeopardize that by aiding maybe the losing side and with the risk of exposure. I genuinely doubt that without his assassination Rajiv Gandhi can win more seats than Narsimha Rao even with Soviet aid as his fall in popularity was balanced out to solve extent by Soviet Aid. The Chinese can learn about that but it is plausible that they would do so from their sources in Moscow. The China Pakistan treaty is also likely as China may want to flex it's muscles and two of its arch nemesis getting closer will with any government in India make it a natural ally of the Soviet Union, so why KGB will get its hands dirty when it is a win win situation. I also wish to touch the point of political Islam in Soviet Union. If your boys are returning in body bags you grow wary of that ideology and not coziy upto it. When after the disintegration of Soviet Union the Central Asian states were doing some soul searching for an ideology for themselves, they turned to Pakistan and when they realised that Pakistani sponsored political Islam means Jihadism, they they made it clear they want nothing of it, so the same leaders are now in charge of the Central Asian SSRs so how can they allow that.
 
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I am afraid that the Indian Financial Crisis of 1991 has not been butterflies away. India will need a massive bailout at low rates to return back to socialism. Economic liberalisation had started in 1980 and all the groundwork had already been paid for full liberalisation, for which the 1991 economic crises served as the spark. It's really hard to butterfly away. KGB can't influence India to the extent it can to the Central American and African countries. Any interference will be picked up by the Intelligence Bureau as they are quite familiar with the KGB. The Bofors scandal was being investigated by the CBI and any attempt at creating disinformation will be picked up. It is really difficult to do such things in advanced democracies, the same way as China(PRC) is unable to do anything in Taiwan, KGB can't chage election results or create scandals in Western Europe. It is a dangerous rope to walk and can have devastating effects on Indo-Soviet relations. A capitalist India and still being a de facto Soviet Ally is probably the wisest course of action. And as far as Indian Maoists are concerned, they only started their insurgency in earnest in the early 2000s, in 1991 they are a joke. Nobody will believe that such a thing exists(they did exist but we're virtually unnoticeable and irrelevant and can be characterized as bandits in the jungles proper organization was not attained untill 2002). They are so irrelevant that if KGB or CIA or any agency foreign or domestic, Government or Private is dealing with any Indian politician, they won't get to know, so the assertion that Chinese intelligence through their contacts in the Indian Maoists learned if the KGB activities in India, either the KGB has massively fucked up and everyone knows or the Chinese call their local agents Indian Maoists an the Communists in India were firmly in the Soviet camp. I am not saying that these things are impossible. The Soviets certainly can contact Gandhi but as Soviet Union is still strong any leadership in India is likely to renew the Indo-Soviet treaty of Friendship and Cooperation of 1971 for another 20 years starting from 1991, why would the Soviets try to jeopardize that by aiding maybe the losing side and with the risk of exposure. I genuinely doubt that without his assassination Rajiv Gandhi can win more seats than Narsimha Rao even with Soviet aid as his fall in popularity was balanced out to solve extent by Soviet Aid. The Chinese can learn about that but it is plausible that they would do so from their sources in Moscow. The China Pakistan treaty is also likely as China may want to flex it's muscles and two of its arch nemesis getting closer will with any government in India make it a natural ally of the Soviet Union, so why KGB will get its hands dirty when it is a win win situation. I also wish to touch the point of political Islam in Soviet Union. If your boys are returning in body bags you grow wary of that ideology and not coziy upto it. When after the disintegration of Soviet Union the Central Asian states were doing some soul searching for an ideology for themselves, they turned to Pakistan and when they realised that Pakistani sponsored political Islam means Jihadism, they they made it clear they want nothing of it, so the same leaders are now in charge of the Central Asian SSRs so how can they allow that.
See I'm a little more hazy on India's recent history and politics, your argument is definitely compelling. I hope you don't mind if I retcon and feature some of your suggestions in the update? You're definitely right to post this, and I hope you make more suggestions as to what to add to the timeline.

I think my error comes from misreading the situation with Singh, and my overall lack of familiarity with the area. From what I understand is that Rajiv would still have the potential to win the election, if to even form a coalition government?

On your point with the casualties, on a whole societal perspective I would agree with you, most of the secular/communist element would agree with you too. The abhorrent behavior, terrorism and active warfare would push away a lot of moderates. But because the nationalist/religious radicals and elements are increasingly suppressed, without an outlet to operate politically, I would say they are inspired. Not to an insane degree, but to a point that it may become possible for foreign countries to finance or even attempt to support terrorism within the USSR itself. It was also one of the reasons they tended not to send Muslim soldiers to Afghanistan unless considered politically reliable.
 
See I'm a little more hazy on India's recent history and politics, your argument is definitely compelling. I hope you don't mind if I retcon and feature some of your suggestions in the update? You're definitely right to post this, and I hope you make more suggestions as to what to add to the timeline.
I will be happy to be of help.😁 I found this timeline quite unique in its own way and you have developed it in an interesting manner.
From what I understand is that Rajiv would still have the potential to win the election, if to even form a coalition government?
Very difficult to say the least. The performance as predicted by the specialists and intellectuals in the field of opinion polls and exit polls(in case you don't know what exit polls are, they are basically a sample survey done to predict the election results, samples collected from outside of the polling stations). The three largest parties INC(Indian National Congress), BJP(Bhartiya Janata Party) and the JP(Janata Party) won 232, 120 and 69 seats in the parliamentary elections respectively with the majority mark at 262 seats. Without the sympathy factor at play, the average of the predictions and exit polls gave INC, BJP and JP 180, 130 and 100 seats respectively. All the three parties hated eachother. INC and BJP were ideological nemesis for each other. BJP hated the policies of JP in their time together in a coalition. JP considered BJP a traitor, which led to their downfall. JP and INC were opposed to each other due to the Bofors scandal, which gave JP its teeth as otherwise JP was the majority of INC left whereas INC was now dominated by the centrists and right wingers. The seeds of division were sowed in 1985 when on the 100th anniversary of the Party, Rajiv Gandhi insulted the Congress left. The parties together held 78% of the seeds and without any two parties coming together the formation of any working coalition is difficult. Without a national unity government which has never occurred in Indian history (expect for partially in the first time when ministerial positions were offered to the other parties as well despite an overwhelming majority of the INC) we would definitely see another election in the next couple of years as no government will be able to survive. You may create a national unity government for the sake of the TL with other large regional parties and the Communists as well. Spreading disinformation is notoriously difficult at that time due to the Radio and Television being controlled by the government although free newspapers were their but their effectiveness was reduced by the massive amount of illiteracy. So other than massive direct find support from the KGB it is difficult to tamper with the election results but this massive support is itself difficult as the Intelligence Bureau and the Election Commission maintained a close watch on a party's spending overall and in each constituency adding the fact that INC campaigned as vigorously as possible. Another reason for the KGB to stay out is that China still has a more favorable relationship with the the West as compared to the Soviets and so with any party in charge India will remain in the Soviet camp for the foreseeable future.
But because the nationalist/religious radicals and elements are increasingly suppressed, without an outlet to operate politically, I would say they are inspired. Not to an insane degree, but to a point that it may become possible for foreign countries to finance
Soviet Union had mosques(operating) numbering in the hundreds and not even thousands and we're heavily monitored by the state. The Central Asian SSRs were some of the most loyal SSRs and Islam in the entire Soviet Union was overwhelmingly of the Sufi sect which is quite averse to violence and is also quite distant from politics. Islam, suffering repression in the Russian Empire and heavy state control in the Soviet Union had grown quite distant from the religion as practiced outside of the Soviet Union. Islam was revived after the fall of communism by the governments of the newly independent states as a tool of nation building and Islamic theology which had practicality grown extinct in those regions were revived with Gulf money funding hundreds of mosques and religious institutions. People had grown quite distant from the significance of religion in their daily life to the levels as seen in Western Europe. I had researched into this topic when I once wondered why the Mujahideen didn't launch attacks into the Soviet Union itself and also why Taliban didn't make any inroads political or ideological into the Central Asian countries.

Sorry if it's too long to read or written in a complicated manner.
 
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What's up in the GDR? You wrote about riots in 1989. What were they about? How are inter-German relations at this point? Will Honecker be succeded by Krenz (regarded as the most likely candidate at this point), a known reformist communist? How is the GDR doing economically?
 
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