The Death of Russia - TL

I'm sorry, but I don't see the issue? We've already had rape camps, genocide, mass rape, the use of chemical weapons, mass starvation, child rape, use of child soldiers, mass murder, and countless other atrocities. By now everybody should have realized that perhaps reading this story before going to bed might not be the best idea.

True. Plus…this is hardly the first TL involving nukes or mass nuking. Hell, if anyone’s familiar with the author’s previous work, this should be no surprise.

And most TLs involve war, death, etc. If you want light bedtime reading, this site ain’t exactly the place…
True. Plus…this is hardly the first TL involving nukes or mass nuking. Hell, if anyone’s familiar with the author’s previous work, this should be no surprise.

And most TLs involve war, death, etc. If you want light bedtime reading, this site ain’t exactly the place…
The only other one that I know from this author is FoM, and I'm not honestly sure which one includes more deaths from Nuclear Weapons. (And am not sure I want anyone to tell me). Suggestions for TL of his that don't including post 1900 having *significantly* more people than OTL die of Nuclear Weapon detonation? (and in this case I'd count TL191 (if he had written it) with under 10 nukes as falling into that category)
We Choose to go to the Moon
"We Choose to go to the Moon"

Extract from ‘A Continent of Fire’ by James Melfi

The explosion in Almaty threw Kazakhstan into bedlam. Long-simmering hatred between ethnic Kazakhs and Russian refugees exploded into the most horrifying levels of nationwide racial violence seen since Rwanda. The country was roughly 50% Russian and 50% Kazakh, ensuring nationwide chaos. Mercifully, President Nazarbayev had been out of the city at that point in time and the government was consequently not decapitated. He ordered the Kazakh army to restore order, especially in the northern regions that were torn apart in bloody violence. At the same time, unimpressed by the speed and determination of the Kazakh forces, President Lebed in Siberia ordered the army to roll into the border to defend the ethnic Russian refugee camps along the border. As both Kazakhstan and Siberia still had a handful of nukes, with Siberia hiding chemical weapons as a deal breaker, the world once again was gripped by fear of nuclear conflict. Mercifully, despite screaming phone calls between Nazarbayev and Lebed, no outright confrontation between the Siberian and Kazakh army ensued. Lebed agreed to take on the extra refugees from the country, although he soon found himself doubly overwhelmed by the influx of long-term ethnically Russian Kazakhs who fled the now appalling racial tensions. By the year 2000, some 90% of Kazakhstan was the titular ethnicity, with only 4% being Russian - an astonishing figure given the prior refugee numbers. Those ethnic Russians would go on to immigrate to either Siberia or the FEK. As of 2020, Siberia boasts a population of roughly forty million, while about twenty million live along the similarly vast expanses of the FEK. Only roughly nine million live in Kazakhstan, leaving the country still gripped by economic devastation.

The explosion came almost concurrently with revelations from waterboarded Al-Qaeda members that it was their organisation, not the Fascists, who had detonated the initial nuke in Stalingrad. Seeing that the act was up, Al-Qaeda would go as far as to issue a press release taking credit after the Kazakh blast for not just the Almaty bomb but the Stalingrad bomb too. The press release claimed that Al-Qaeda had multiple nuclear weapons around the world, ready to shatter the West and enemies of Islam. Once again, a scarred world was forced to fear the spectre of the mushroom cloud. Al-Qaeda consequently became global enemy number one, with America redoubling its efforts in Dagestan after leaving the mountainous regions of the Caliphate mostly to itself to deal with administering Russia. Most countries, including China, began to work much more closely with the West, given they were just as terrified of Al-Qaeda setting off a nuke beneath them as they were. Where they were a minority, Muslim communities would often be accused as willing fifth columnists ready to explode a nuke beneath their host cities. One major exception to the group willing to work with the West was Iran, after the Ayatollah refused to acknowledge the ‘Rule of Satans’, as he described the American and Israeli-influenced Treaty of Hiroshima.

Then, on March 17th, another nuclear bomb exploded in Tehran, Iran while the government was in session. Al-Qaeda likewise took credit, saying it was punishment for Iran’s Shiite heresy. The Ayatollah and most of the regime’s leadership was killed in the blast that slayed 65,000 people. Iran, already economically devastated and under sanction, would descend into madness. The banner of the Islamists would be taken by Quds Force leader Qasem Soleimani, with the oppostion primarily led by rebelling members of the Iranian army (Artesh) though an eclectic mix of anti-regime forces joined them, including the MEK and even outright monarchists. While the Islamists were initially successful, pushing the divided opposition forces to a mere toehold on the south around Bandar Abbas, it was inevitable that the US was not going to pass an opportunity to send the Ayatollah’s regime into the same rung of hell the late leader was on. America for the most part surrendered its administration of post-nuclear Russia to find the material available to defeat their most determined enemy. Utterly severed from foreign support, with an already shattered economy, the US (with significant support from the Sunni Arab nations even as they tried not to descend into their own civil wars) deployed the vast might of their air power to flatten the Iranian armies after they had still not recovered from the Iran-Iraq war. At the same time, Kurdish and Arab separatists began their own uprisings in an attempt to break away from Tehran while in a reluctant alliance with the Artesh revolutionaries. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard was declared a terrorist network worldwide, with even China throwing the Islamists to the wolves to try and get good deals when the fighting stopped. On the first anniversary of Tehran’s nuclear strike, Artesh forces rolled into the ruins to the joyous reception of the city’s inhabitants, especially the women, burning their hijabs publicly in provisional bonfires. In January 1999, the Iranian Civil War was declared over following the final surrender of Qud forces near Azerbaijan. Solemani had been killed in September 1998 in a covert US military operation, so there was not much left to mop up. Despite the vanquishing of the Islamists, a ruined Iran now had to face new problems in the relationship between its various ethnicities which threatened the beginning of a second civil war. Mercifully, the blast in Tehran was the last nuclear explosion that has happened on Earth, test or atrocity.

The news of the Tehran blast in 1997 was so shocking that Hafez al-Assad would keel over from a heart attack on the same day, leaving the rule of Syria to his inexperienced and unconfident son Bassar. The new ruler would cave to the demands of the Syrian protests for free elections, with Syria ending up one of the most peaceful conclusions to the initial Arab Spring saga. The Muslim Brotherhood would win the subsequent elections, leading to extreme fears in the region’s more secular and multi-religious west that the country would descend into a Sharia hellstate. However, the new Muslim Brotherhood government would soon have a much bigger problem on their plate, as Lebanese Christians and secularists began to push back against what they likewise feared would be an imposed Sharia in occupied Lebanon. The Lebanese conflict resumed, albeit remaining surprisingly peaceful on the Israeli-facing side of the border, as it was Syrian checkpoints that found themselves attacked with rocket launchers. The Brotherhood would abandon plans to radically Islamise Syria as it first had to contend with the uprising among the Lebanese under occupation. The resulting chaos would ultimately lead to a counter-coup by the army in late 1999, who gained great popularity by promising to pull Syrian troops out of Lebanon in conjunction with Israel in the year 2001, a country they would have a hardly friendly but much more cordial relationship with than any time in their history. It also had the positive effect of discrediting the many branches of the Brotherhood around the Middle East.

Iraq would prove the bloodiest mess of the Arab Spring, with a failed assassination attempt of Saddam in April 1997 leading to a Kurdish uprising in the north. Saddam, breaking international sanctions, attempted to move his troops into Kurdistan with the stated aim of ‘Finishing what we started in 1988’. Mercifully, the US Air Force refused to let him do that, obliterating columns of Iraqi troops and shattering Saddam's army. With his army shattered, Iraq’s oppressed Shiite minority made their move, seizing Basra and turning Baghdad into a cauldron of sectarian slaughter. Realizing the precariousness of his position, Saddam fanned the flame of Islamist resentment and rode a wave of religious propaganda, motivating Sunnis to fight with threats that a Shiite regime would slaughter them to the last. With Saddam’s incitement, the conflict radicalised, with the Sunni north/west and Shiite south/east tearing each other to shreds. The Euphrates ran red with blood in what became the bloodiest war in the world. Al-Qaeda would endorse Saddam, further poisoning the mood of the country. Secular forces south of Kurdistan were near nonexistent, leading to no desire for Western intervention on either side. By the year 2000, both parties remained where they were in 1997, fighting it out in the ruins of Baghdad to exhaustion. The Kurds thought they had got it lucky, and quickly set about establishing and consolidating its own state, one that called upon neighboring Kurdish peoples to join together - but Turkey would have other plans. On September 10th 1997, after claims that their border posts were attacked, Turkey sent their troops into Iraqi Kurdistan to international outrage. Turkey was aggrieved by this, after having the highest death toll of any of the NATO states during 4/10 and had grown more paranoid about security. This would set the scene for the continuing deterioration of relations with NATO, and Turkey’s eventual exit from the organisation in 2014.

Elsewhere, Libya and Egypt would both be beset with their own economic problems, especially the latter given the implosion of the tourism sector. Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak hatched a wild gamble to save his regime: an invasion of Libya, specifically Benghazi to take out Gaddafi, hoping that the military victory would revive his failing regime like the Argentine generals thought the seizure of the Falklands would do. This had actually been suggested by Western leaders, who preferred Mubarak compared to fears of an Islamist takeover, but didn’t have the resources to take out Gaddafi as well at that time. Gaddafi had certainly blown popularity in the Middle East with his endorsement of the Anpilov regime, as well as his abandonment of Pan-Arabism for Pan-Africanism - many Egyptians were positively insulted to be lumped in with Sub-Saharan peoples and found the declaration easy to hate. The Libyan regime’s remaining forces that Egypt encountered made the threadbare force Galtieri found in the Falklands in 1982 seem positively Spartan. No uniforms, no vehicles, many of whom were literally local gangsters. Gaddafi was found hiding in a sewer by Egyptian troops and shot by firing squad the same day, his body left to be pelted Mussolini-style by the locals while his rotting corpse hung upside down. Despite the general popularity of the venture in Egypt, it bought Mubarak merely three more years until more protests forced him to resign. This time, however, the Muslim Brotherhood had discredited itself as an alternative, leading to a collection of conservative forces in Egypt (religious minorities, the middle class, the army) to rally enough candidates and votes to maintain a more democratic but sill authoritarian and generally secular Egypt. Libya would remain whole but become notorious for coups and counter-coups in the coming years, the oil money simply a death-sentence to any fledgling stability.

Perhaps the one good thing that came out of the conflict was the effect it had on the Israeli-Palestine accords. Rabin found himself the most popular Prime Minister in Israeli history following his handling of 4/10 and its aftermath, calling a snap election soon after where the left Party would win a crushing majority against Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud coalition. Arafat meanwhile had badly weakened his international standing by openly supporting both the NSF and Anpilov government. The Gulf States, now more dependent on America than ever, and horrified of the disorder raging around them, had lost patience with Arafat, who had supported the state that dropped nukes on them. The Palestinians lost their sponsors from Iran and much of the Sunni Arab states too. Rabin was desperate to get the deal in this window, fearing it would never succeed otherwise. Inspired by a similar visit from the conflicting parties in Northern Ireland, Arafat and Rabin would take a joint trip to the ruins of Moscow, both of their blood running cold at the sight of utter annihilation around them. The willingness for conflict would vanish at the sight of what was once the joint most important city on Earth simply no longer existed. Clinton in particular was desperate to get the two to agree on the basis for peace, bringing them to Riyadh (to some controversy since an Israeli leader would be on Saudi soil, though justified on the basis that it increased the Saudi prestige). The event was hosted by Saudi Prince Bandar Al Saud in November 1997, with Clinton attending. After two weeks of brutal negotiations, and at least one physical confrontation between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators, a rough proposal was given by the Israelis: annexation of the major settlements along the border but full compensation land-wise for the Palestinians with border Arab communities given the option of joining a Palestinian state. The Right of Return would be limited to a few ten thousands of those who were alive in 1948 when Israel was founded, with a waiver granted in the event of terminal illness to allow entry to Israel to die where they were born. Jerusalem’s East would be given to the Palestinians, but the Old City would be a ‘Special Zone’ that was still nominally Israeli territory but would allow entry of Palestinians to pray at Al-Aqsa, with the exception of the Temple Mount, where the temple’s compound would be the territory of the Jordanians and Israelis could visit without praying as before. A handful of Israeli radar bases would patrol the Jordan River, but the Palestinian state itself would be allowed a limited militarisation, albeit without air force or heavy weapons. According to legend, Assad and Prince Bandar privately met to discuss the deal with the Palestinian leader saying he would be killed if he accepted such terms. To this, Bandar sighed before sending in his personal security, restraining Arafat before they fired an unloaded pistol at his head. Bandar explained that to not sign the treaty would be the death sentence. While entirely apocryphal, Arafat’s reluctant acceptance of the deal, bringing to an end half a century of conflicts between the Israelis and the Palestinian Arabs. It was one of the things the world could take joy in during the 90s alongside peace in Northern Ireland and the end of Apartheid, with only a handful of Islamist states going on to continue refusing to recognise Israel’s existence - Afghanistan is the only such country that still refuses to recognise Israel in 2020.

Extract from 'The Reconquista of the Caucasus' by Levan Galogre

The final nuke conclusively tracked to Al-Qaeda would be found on March 20th 1997 in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Mercifully, it appears the nuke malfunctioned and refused to go up, mercifully saving the city but unluckily also saving Turkmenistan’s mad dictator Saparmurat Atayevich Niyazov, also known as Turkmenbashi. When the three Al-Qaeda operatives were caught, they were captured and officially given simple firing squad executions several months later after a trial. In reality, Niyazov had killed them in perhaps the most Caligula-tier Roman Emperor fashion recorded in modern times, flying in a container of nuclear waste from China and exposing the three to the waste while preventing them from committing suicide. Their skin would melt off and they would cry blood, as the trio died in perhaps the most agonizing fashion ever conceived by humans. Their anonymous graves were paved with cement while entombed in a steel box and buried somewhere in the Turkmen wilderness. There has since been no nuclear attack from Al-Qaeda, and many jokingly thank Turkmenbashi for scaring them off doing another one. Turkmenbashi’s transgressions would be given a sympathetic shrug from Langley as a result. As for why the target list was what it was, it appears that the nukes were sent over the Caspian to be detonated after World War 3 had wiped out the West to further destabalise the region by decapitating secular and heretical leaders who could be easily reached by the Caspian. The geography limited the strike options, but the groups would eventually begin to slowly move towards their targets from the safe zones, stopping when the heat was too much. Discussions about whether Al-Qaeda had more nukes hidden away or even still has them hidden away and ready to go off has formed a rich fictional bounty of thriller and adventure stories for years to come. One particularly popular idea is the notion that Afghanistan, under the isolationist rule of the Taliban, secretly stores or controls these nukes and will detonate them if anyone tries to invade.

In reality, it would be extremely unlikely the Taliban would do such a thing due to their relationship with Al-Qaeda. While once positive, the realisation that Al-Qaeda did 4/10 infuriated them, as it would lead to the coordinated crushing of the Dagestan Emirate, whom the Afghans had good terms with. Basayev’s Emirate would declare war with Bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda when he found out that Bin Laden had been the one to do 4/10, knowing it would to global war against his Emirate. Bin Laden now found himself on the run from both the Islamists in Dagestan as well as the Americans. He snuck over the border to Azerbaijan in early 1998, getting a drive from an admirer to get him to Baku and ultimately attempt to flee to Pakistan. However, while in Baku, a simple traffic policeman on April 9th 1998 would book the car for speeding, before working out who the man in the back was. He covertly called backup and wished the car a pleasant day, before it was surrounded and ambushed, the worlds most murderous terrorist and international criminal number one successfully arrested with handcuffs in the middle of the road by an Azeri policeman who was just back from helping a cat get down from a tree. Under overwhelming pressure, Bin Laden was practically abducted by American operatives and taken to New York to stand trial for his multiple terrorist attacks in the city. Many countries were angry America had taken it upon themselves to grab Bin Laden, but as Clinton said, “It’ll sure help the midterms.” Bin Laden would be convicted in 2002 for terrorism and mass murder, becoming the only person in New York state to be sentenced to death following the state’s return to capital punishment in the 1990s. In what was evidently a deliberate affair, New York Democrat politicians would privately compromise with their Republican colleagues to let Bin Laden fry on Old Sparky in Sing Sing, the same chair that took care of the Rosenburgs in the 1950s, over the more sedate affair of a lethal injection. Bin Laden would be the final execution in the state of New York before the Death Penalty was abolished a few weeks later in 2004, and also the final electric chair execution in American history. A secret recording of the execution would become one of the first instances of a viral internet video, giving infamy to which hosted it. Bin Laden’s corpse would be cremated while Al-Qaeda continued to be the black sheep of international terrorism, their sponsors dropping like flies, especially as the Saudi Royals made unprecedented moves against Salafism in the early 2000s to squelch incendiary Islamic rhetoric. As for Basayev, he would not live to see Bin Laden die, being killed by a flamethrower in September 2001 after hiding in a cave in an attempt to escape NATO troops. Dan Jarvis, the soldier who fired the volley that took out one of the worst terrorists on Earth, would later become a popular Labour Prime Minister in the United Kingdom as a result. With the death of Basayev, Dagestan was finally declared secure from Islamism, with Dagestan consequently becoming defiantly secular like the Iranians, Ichkerians and Azeris, making them stand out compared to their increasingly religious Turkish neighbors.

As for Afghanistan, the Northern Alliance proved a war too uninteresting and unimportant to Western observers. The Taliban would go from strength to strength, ultimately seizing the entirety of Afghanistan in 2003, though a near death experience occurred as China rolled into Tajikistan to help re-establish the ethno-centrist government and expel the Taliban from non-Afghan territory. Afghanistan has kept their heads down very well in their own country and while the country is considered a backward dystopia, no one is rushing to ‘liberate’ it, as the people are considered generally supportive or indifferent to the strict Islamist code. Interestingly, the Chinese are increasingly making overtures to the Afghans due to mutual antipathy for the West. Time will only tell if this relationship will come to anything.

Extract from ‘The Unstoppable Tragedy: The Second Russian Civil War’ by Peter Hodges

“Sir, if we are to believe that soldiers or generals are helpless automatons to superior orders, then a British or American officer would likewise wordlessly obey an order to forcibly kidnap and enlist child soldiers and shoot them if they tried to flee back to their parents. I have yet to meet an officer in the British or American army who would not have sooner turned his gun on the superior giving the order and gladly face the consequences.” Such was the eloquent denunciation in the prosecution at the Hague of General Yazov, who found himself prosecuted for war crimes committed as far back as the Second World War. It was as if all of Red Russia and her history was put on trial, and the prosecutors were keen to bury the Soviet legacy once and for all. While the unoriginal excuse of senior culpability was nothing the judges hadn’t expected, the sheer monotony and indifference to life from Yazov was still chilling to observers and became something of a definitive image to the Soviet existence: a dull, old man casually shrugging off the countless young lives he had wasted attempting to build utopia in what was now a radioactive hellhole. The Fascist group would be more eclectic; with surviving oddballs of various ideologies over the conformity ruthlessly created by Anpilov. Timothy McVeigh became a media sensation in America after he was captured by NATO forces, with the tale of how an American someone found himself as a footsoldier of the Petrograd regime being studied by psychologists for years to come. Limonov, the biggest catch of the Petrograd government, hadn’t been in the government for months due to his National Bolshevism failing to integrate itself with the more Anti-Soviet Nevzorov and Barkashov. Limonov was, however, present in the decision-making during the mass deportations of the Karelians and Balts, as well as the formation of the Honorary Russian Battalions, all of which was more than enough to get him a life sentence. As the ultimate insult, Fascist and Communist Russian war criminals were tried sometimes shoulder to shoulder to establish their similarity as criminals beyond ideology. This was potentially an influencer in China’s ruling party’s decision in 2004 to relabel itself ‘The Chinese Socialist Party’, quietly purging all references to Communism by promoting ‘Socialism with Chinese Characteristics’, though not caring enough to remove the hammer and sickle or Mao’s omnipresent face from the yuan. The next year, Vietnam and Laos would likewise remove all references to Communism from their own constitutions to the blander and more politically acceptable label of ‘Socialism’.

In the successor states of Russia, the Communist legacy has essentially vanished. The Hammer and Sickle is gone, the Lenin busts were melted, even the memorials to ‘The Great Patriotic War’ have been replaced with memorials to ‘World War 2’ and VE Day was moved to May 8th in conjunction with the European and American celebration schedule. Ironically Georgia retains a number of Stalin statues, making it the country with the most visible Communist legacy remaining of the former USSR. All tried to move in their own cultural direction, though usually in a conservative one (an obvious choice considering how much had been lost already and how desperate people were to save what little was left). The Imperial statues are somewhat controversial, with Poland and the Baltic demanding those go down as well, while the broader West wants Russia to believe in a self-affirming image of itself and to support the moderate Tsar and his lineage in keeping ideology out of the Russian Federation’s parliament. In order to quicken this move, the government was moved from Pushkingrad to Novgorod in 2007, the first time the Russian Federation’s internationally recognised government was on mainland Russian soil since the death of Yeltsin in 1993 with Tsar Nicholas and the Parliament sharing the same building given that Novgorod was not meant to have a government in hundreds of years, though close to Yuriev Monastery which was the oldest monastery in Russia and location of Tsar Nicholas III’s coronation. As it was a good saver of money, his daughter Empress Natalia I would continue the ‘tradition’ of sharing a Palace with the Parliament. Novgorod’s parliament forbids ethnic-nationalist or Communist parties from holding seats, but an air of resentment hangs over the newer generation of Russians west of the Urals, especially given the reparation agreements with the Balts and Finland, since many of those Russians had likewise suffered in the nuclear bombings that they had an equal say in and feel the slaughter they received is being blamed on the very people who were slaughtered. This is happening just as Russia’s first Prime Minister, Anna Politkovskaya, seems to be on track to agree NATO membership and a new European framework with Russia as a ‘normal country’, with the more nationalist Duma opposition leader Alexi Navalny wanting more cooperation with the Russian successor states over Europe, though he still promises to stick to all international agreements and officially rejects ethnonationalism.

Aksyuchits resigned in 2002, fearing the temptation of becoming a cult of personality. His ‘Orthodox Democrat Party’s’ new leader and Prime Minister was Stanislav Petrov, a reluctant leader but an ultimately fair one. After a series of scandals involving the Orthodox clergy in 2015, the leader of the socially conservative but economically socialistic ‘Just Kingdom’ party under Svetlana Goryacheva came to power, and she has been Prime Minister since. This is more democratic than in Siberia, where President Lebed would only step down in 2018 after a series of election victories that were judged by observers to be ‘free but not fair’, and a term characterized by playing the West and China against eachother to stay independent while bashing heads against the Yakuts. In order to try and sway Siberia away from China, America would send Lebed’s friend Mike Tyson to Novosibirsk to act as Ambassador. Lebed would pass the reins of power to his internal security minister, Alexander Litvinenko, who remains the President of Siberia under slightly fairer elections than before. Lebed’s ‘Siberian National Party’ has been in charge since the day the state was founded, while likewise sticking to a policy of no ethnonationalism or Communism. It is joked that the main check and balance on the government is not the judiciary, but Executive Outcomes after they moved their HQ to Siberia following legal battles in South Africa. The company has been a good local employer, and you can occasionally spot a few sunburnt Russians walking the streets, eager to tell you about their time keeping the peace in Africa and the Middle East at the first chance. Its leader Eeben Barlow has become a character many in the world of rap artists like to compare themselves to for how he became one of the richest people in the world through international violence. He created a worldwide financial empire through nothing but war across the globe, which made him a globally recognized figure. He cemented his billions after making a killing in the African Civil Wars that arose during the Nuclear Autumn caused the collapse of several whole societies, taking diamond mines across the continent at bargain bin prices while his own Siberian investments were still paying dividends. Nigeria would prove a big catch, with his trampling of Boko Haram in 2003 being particularly noteworthy which started making world leaders nervous about what Barlow could be up to, with some even suspecting he was planning outright world domination, becoming the inspiration for a 2004 Bond movie villain. After a chat with the CIA where they politely explained to him that he was becoming too big for his boots and that EO would not operate so well without access to SWIFT, Barlow conceded to merely working with the Americans, and never against them, which made the discussion of sanctions against him in America vanish. Ukraine is currently under the much-memed Oleksiy Arestovych, whose bombastic vision of ‘a New Kyivan Rus’ made him a figure of derision abroad and a polarising one at home, though his attempts to snuff out the last senses of Russian domination by culture or language seem to be working, and only a decreasing minority of Ukrainian children know how to speak Russian, with Russian refugees ironically being a big push in removing the language from the country for their kids. One thing for sure is that the culture of all the Russian-speaking states, of which even Belarus will soon not be included in that list, is that all are drifting farther apart and not closer together. Novgorod may increasingly dream of restoring Russian pride, but it appears that both Siberia and the FEK are already inhabiting different worlds.

Extract from 'Unending Torment: From 4/10 to 2000' by Simon Faulkner

The American Hard Left had received a body blow from the fall of Castro and the unearthing of mass graves from the 50s and 60s in Cuba, released political prisoners and an insight into how bad the poverty in Cuba had gotten since the fall of the Soviet Union. Cuban-American groups would hound various political figures who wrote flatteringly or close to flatteringly about Castro’s regime and other Latin American governments of similar character. While Ted Kennedy had lost his senate seat in the ‘94 midterms before everything came out on Castro, one thing that did come out were his letters to the Soviet government in the early 80s to try and stop Reagan’s SDI program, a scandal which obliterated his chances in holding his seat and would prove an omen for things to come. Vermont Congressman Bernie Sanders would be de-selected by the Democrat Party for his previous comments on Cuba. New York Representative Charles Rangel got into hot water when it turned out he’d hired a fundraiser for the Sandanistas, Bill de Blasio, for his campaign, before promptly removing De Blasio from anything that resembled a Democrat Party function. Intellectual Noam Chomsky would skirt dangerously close to outright Nuclear Holocaust Denial by saying that the combined Western nuclear assault on the two Russian governments was ‘The greatest crime committed by the United States since the genocide of the Native Americans’, that the Nuclear Holocaust ‘was no worse than what America did to its own native population’, while claiming the NSF only existed due to ‘American Imperialism in Russia’. While his denials and equivocating of the Cambodian and Bosnian genocides had been bad, it was these statements that banished him from the respectable portions of the Left, similar to Pat Buchanon’s being expelled from the right due to his call to militarily support Petrograd while dismissing the Rape camp stories as a Clinton Administration fiction (ironically agreeing with Chomsky for opposite reasons). Republican Congressman Ron Paul received similar backlash for saying that the Nuclear Holocaust only happened because ‘The Russians feared our intervention like in Dagestan and thought the best thing to do was to take out all their internal enemies before we attacked’.

The main political impact of 4/10 had been a great moderation of American politics, as the ethnocentrism and demagogues of both far left and right were purged from their already weakened positions in both parties. Fears of nuclear bombs going off in major cities led to the passing of the PATRIOT Act, which increased surveillance powers in the name of preventing both Islamist and Far Right terror. A broad partisan consensus emerged on the issue, with the subsequent years dominated by political peace. The subsequent list of Presidential winners, from Al Gore’s victory over George Bush Jr. in 2000, Mitt Romney over Joe Lieberman in 2008 (the first presidential election with no WASP on the main ticket), and Hillary Clinton’s over Jeb Bush in 2016 (becoming the first female president) should prove that, with Marco Rubio’s victory in 2020 (becoming the first Latino President) perhaps being the most combative of the list and potential a sign of the post-nuclear political truce starting to fray due to the advent of social media. The truce had generally picked a hero for both parties, with Clinton and Reagan by the 2000s both receiving broad bi-partisan love and both regularly appearing in the top five presidents list of the broader public along with FDR, Lincoln and Washington. Clinton was praised for his handling of 4/10 while Reagan was credited with the restoration of American confidence and collapse of the Soviet Union beforehand that made this manageable, with a deep nostalgia for the Reaganite 80s forming in even the late 90s as a more carefree and innocent time before the nightmare of 4/10. These views have been criticised by newer historians but the bi-partisan myth remains deeply entrenched in the public. While Clinton managed to push through ‘Hillarycare’ in his second term, there has been little movement in the American political landscape since. No impeachments, resignations, only the dawning realisation that China is a bigger threat than previously realised, with China’s invasion of unarmed Hong Kong in 2019 reviving the American giant from her complacent sleep. The Quad (the alliance of the FEK, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan) felt vindicated. Yet even now, the horror of nuclear war continues to so repulse both American and Chinese planners that both were party to the Treaty of Nagasaki in 2020, which further reduced allotted warheads to 550 for America, 60 for the British, French and Chinese, 25 for India, and 12 for Israel. Some planners are even beginning to question that there are not enough nukes in the world to keep the peace, worrying a sneak attack might risk an easy nuclear disarmament, or that the limited number of nukes would mean more targeting of civilian centres as deterrence over the large numbers needed to decapitate militaries.

On a ground level, the main effect of 4/10 was somewhat surprising. As the year 2000 came along, a wave of optimism had spread for the future, with a certainty nothing comparably terrible could ever happen again. The reason many attribute for this is the ‘rule of three’ that closed off the mental spectre of a third world war as the Second Russian Civil War had been just that, though a minority of historians argue it should be labelled the Third World War. As a result, many believed that the violence of the twentieth century had ‘completed itself’, and that the 21st century would be a more beautiful one. Birthrates skyrocketed across the Western world, even as the Depression continued. Religiosity also increased, leading to broader confrontationalism with the Islamic world in the first decade of the century as the aftermath of the Arab Spring began to assert itself. America’s involvement in Dagestan and to a limited extent Iran in the 90s was compounded by interventions in Somalia in 2001 (with many accusing Gore of trying to avenge his predecessor’s Mogadishu humiliation in 1993) and Sudan in 2003 to prevent the Darfuri genocide. Its most recent intervention has been its military support to South Iraq from Jordan in 2014 to prevent its takeover by Qusay Hussein’s North Iraq, given to him by his father Saddam after the monster died of cancer in 2010 after the dictator had killed his ‘useless’ son Uday to ensure an easy passing of the torch. While some hoped that it would finally end the compromise partition at the end of the war, no one was in the mood for reunification, and merely a destruction of the Saddam legacy was ensured - Saddam’s Lenin-like tomb in North Baghdad was destroyed and Qusay would be extradited to the Hague as had so many others, North Iraq becoming a still independent but defanged Sunni state who occasionally proposes union with Syria to flat rejection from the secular leadership who fear renewed Sunni Islamist takeover. China had its own intervention in 2003, following Taliban attacks into Kyrgyzstan from Tajikistan following the Islamist victory in the region in the 90s. The Kyrgz leadership, and Tajik leadership in exile, demanded something be done about it. With American preoccupied in Sudan, China was given the UN’s reluctant blessing to send restore the Tajik government to power. China had certainly improved their army since the Siberian fiasco and international observers were impressed as the Chinese were able to expel the Islamists from Tajikistan by 2004, with a low-level guerilla conflict finishing in 2007 with the only Chinese left behind being the ones to guide the new puppet state from the shadows.

With all the above, the Palestinian Civil War between Fatah and Hamas, the Japanese-Korean repproachment, ‘Turkey’s Vietnam’ and the ultimate acceptance of an Iraqi Kurdish state in 2008, Turkey’s subsequent falling out with NATO [1] and frequent tensions in Cyprus, China’s rise as a challenge to the West with tensions on the Korean DMZ [2] and the brutality of the Balochistan Independence war in 2006 and the subsequent implosion of Pakistan in the years to come [3], it’s hardly been a millenium without geopolitical roadbumps. Even the integration of East Europe into the EU has led to difficulty, with the influx of Polish and Ukrainian migrants to the UK in particular, often scrapping with the Russian refugee population who had not abandoned their Russianness like the refugees to Ukraine had. This is ultimately partly creddited with Britain’s vote to leave the EU in 2012 in the midst of the Eurozone crisis, which would lead to the Euro retreating to being a solely Northern European currency, and a war for dominance in the EU between the Cosmopolitan Franco-German bloc and the Conservative-nationalist Visegrad-Orthodox bloc, with the Italians frequently being the tie-breakers, still stinging from their return to the Lira. [4]

But despite an incredibly nihilistic moment in popular culture between 1996 and 2000, with some of the darkest but intimate fictions of the century being produced in all formats, the 2000s and 2010s have seen a renewed sense of hope for the future, as a mental curtain has been pulled over the twentieth century to claim the worst of history is behind mankind. While the three Russian states may be pulling away from each other culturally, they remain on very friendly terms, and have symbolically revived their space program, one of the few things from the Soviet era all Russian states remain genuinely proud of. In 2019, it finally came to a head with a joint public-private venture between the three states of the Russian Union. With significant help from Siberian billionaires and scientists, the ‘Nogorod Kingdom’s’ launch platform in Russia and the FEK sending a detachment of Orthodox priests to flick holy water on the rocket, the first manned Russian craft since the 1990s flew out to the stars. The three Russias had come together at last, for a moment forgetting all the unspeakable miseries that had got them to this place, cheering together watching televisions from the Baltic to the Pacific as in days gone by. When asked what the next step for the joint-Russian space program would be, former Siberian President and sponsor of the program Alexander Lebed would take a page from Kennedy and say, “We choose to go to the Moon.”

After the death of Russia, a few fear, but many hope that soon we will see the rebirth of Russia too.


[1] - In 1999, Slovakia, Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine, Belarus, Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia joined NATO. In 2002, Moldova technically joined NATO by voting to merge into Romania, Transnistria and all. In 2015, after Turkey had consistently vetoed membership for years with the exception of Albania and Ireland (due to the frazzling of Ireland’s neutrality in the nuclear strike on Shanon Airport and the hopes it would entice northern Unionists to accept Southern integration) in 2004, they had left and a new crop of NATO members entered: Macedonia, Serbia, Georgia (after Shevardnadze was forced to step down in 1999 by an alliance of nationalists and democrats, leading to Abkhazia’s de jure independence being curtailed soon after), Armenia (strongly supported by its patron, Ukraine), Ichkeria, Kalmykia, Ossetia and Dagestan. On the other hand were Circassia and Azerbaijan (the N-K issue having been resolved mostly in Armenia’s favour following another round of negotiations in 2005), siding with Turkey. Multiple vetos stop the Russian Federation from joining NATO, though there is strong hope that it will eventually be let into the fold, especially due to China. NATO is now mostly a preventative measure against the Turks instead of Russia.

[2] Central Asia is China’s property, effectively, with North Korea more digitally open but still a prison due to East Berlin-tier emigration. Mongolia has been totally subverted, and out of necessity the Chinese have gone to great lengths to ensure friendliness with the Indians as both resent the Western hyper-dominance after the fall of Russia, with Turkey and frequently the Arab world likewise supporting China for the same reason and Latin America pledging neutrality, leading many to call the new conflict one between the Third and First world after the initial First and Second World Cold War conflict. OTL’s intense persecution of the Uyghurs never happens to make the alliance with the Turkic states work, including getting Yakutia to veto any Anti-Chinese movements in Novosibirsk.

[3] Balochistan and Sindhudesh are independent, Pakistani Kashmir was taken by India, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was taken/abandoned to the Taliban’s Afghanistan, Islamabad was destroyed after fighting and Lahore in Punjab province is the new capital - Punjab is the only remaining province in the country now. With a radically different set of circumstances, Pakistan has renamed itself to Punjabistan and is trying to forge a new identity for itself. The Pakistani diaspora, while obviously not as bad as the survivors of the war, were traumatized by the Russia-style implosion their country experienced and still consider themselves citizens of a now non-existent country, while bitter fighting has torn families apart when from different Pakistani ethnicities. Yugoslavia, Russia, and Pakistan’s fates are repeatedly compared and contrasted in academic arenas. Needless to say, the refugees of this war faced significant problems, as the Europeans, Indians and even the Middle East refused to accommodate them, leading to far more deaths than necessary.

[4] OTL’s EU nations were added in 2004 as before, with Ukraine and Belarus included due to both having significantly stronger economies, with Ukraine and Belarus equally prosperous as OTL’s Poland ITTL, with Poland as prosperous as the Czech Republic. Romania and Bulgaria would likewise join in 2007. Serbia and Albania/Bosnia, along with Georgia and Macedonia, would join the EU at the same time in 2017, though expanding it further into the Caucasus has proven very tricky.
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So yes, that was the last post of the TL. I will eventually get around to publishing it in the Finished Timeline section. Next year, when I have more time, I'll self-publish an extended version that goes into more detail about some of the events alluded to in the last chapter. I didn't want to keep going for too long after the nuclear exchange because everything after that would look quite small-scale. When it comes to future timelines, I won't even consider doing that until I have completed the self-publishing, but it will again have to be slightly more manageable time-wise - very very provisional ideas running through my head are a UDI in Ulster during the Troubles and the subsequent Bosnia-tier events from there (which I would be knowledgable about but would be quite depressing again) or something I heard in a Tim Snyder lecture where he said there were serious discussions about Poland invading Soviet Ukraine mid-Holodomor, which might be a bit more fun and swashbuckling but would require more research - again, I cannot stress the provisional-ness of these ideas. While this wasn't as colossal as my previous TL, it still took up a good bit of time. I'm grateful I did it and personally consider it a much better work than my previous timeline quality-wise, albeit a far bleaker read.

Thank you for supporting me and providing helpful suggestions to allow me to improve my work - the TL has really taken off in the last month or so and I am happy to be ending it where I am now. Godspeed to all of you and happy New Year.
Thank you for supporting me and providing helpful suggestions to allow me to improve my work - the TL has really taken off in the last month or so and I am happy to be ending it where I am now. Godspeed to all of you and happy New Year.
You too mate and Godspeed for your New years as well

Your next TL will be as good as TDoR and FOM


Monthly Donor
Poland invading Soviet Ukraine mid-Holodomor
Perhaps this can be the less grim story we can get behind. A plucky underdog taking on the Soviets.

I recommend perhaps the writing version of decompression. Take a break from writing about depressing matters, and write something that is fun and nice.

My other comment is that TDOR was a terrifying but well-done story. My one headcanon is that Colonel Cesar Antonio Rodriguez probably had the left side of his uniform covered by the fruit salad, as once word he took out the leadership of the Nationalists, every surviving nation that was attacked by the Petrograd regime will want to award him all the medals.


As much as I want to believe that the 21st century will be an era free of nuclear weapons the conclusion of this TL/story doesn't leave me hopeful. The major powers still have nuclear warheads and as pointed out earlier with fewer warheads the temptation will be to target civilian targets rather than military ones. Plus, given what the epilogue implies I suspect that there are still a significant number of Soviet nuclear weapons unaccounted for.

While the substantial reduction of nuclear weapons is very positive the problem is all those who possess them know how to build more if necessary. The reduction of nuclear arms is impressive don't get me wrong. But the nuclear genie is still out of the bottle. For now, there is the memory of 4/10 to keep things under control. But as the years go by and future generations are born to which 4/10 is only a memory, I fear that there will be nations that will actively seek to build their own weapons or acquire them from the ruins of the Soviet Union/Russia. Specifically, I could see nations such as Syria, Afghanistan, and possibly a reborn militant Pakistan try to go this route. Perhaps others as well.

Still, with 4/10 as a memory it may well be that we've see the beginning of the end of the nuclear specter for a generation or two. And future generations might go in a different direction finally banning the things. Only time will tell.

Well done @Sorairo ! Very well done indeed!
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I recommend perhaps the writing version of decompression. Take a break from writing about depressing matters, and write something that is fun and nice.

Believe it or not for next year I'm writing my own novel which is more than enough decompression. In fact it's the reason I wanted to finish before New Year's so I could start next year with a clean slate. It's about a shy, forlorn middle-school-age boy who hates himself because of how weak he is, who gains the help of a delinquent tomboy who takes pity on him to build up his confidence by teaching him, typically by throwing him into wild settings, how to be more confident and 'manly' like her. To those who know anime, imagine Shinji from Evangelion meets a female version of Kamina from Gurren Lagan at school.
Believe it or not for next year I'm writing my own novel which is more than enough decompression. In fact it's the reason I wanted to finish before New Year's so I could start next year with a clean slate. It's about a shy, forlorn middle-school-age boy who hates himself because of how weak he is, who gains the help of a delinquent tomboy who takes pity on him to build up his confidence by teaching him, typically by throwing him into wild settings, how to be more confident and 'manly' like her. To those who know anime, imagine Shinji from Evangelion meets a female version of Kamina from Gurren Lagan at school.
Well shit then you make an Story than Alternate history TL

Hope you have a good New Year then mate but one question what is the name?
Map - 2022

The final map for this TL. Pending corrections from @Sorairo (I'm unsure if NK should be an integral part of Armenia).
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The final map for this TL. Pending corrections from @Sorairo (I'm unsure if NK should be an integral part of Armenia).

NK is integrally Armenia, but only the inlet itself, not the surrounding territory that was taken in the 1994 war and connected by a road that is guaranteed in the same way West Berlin was. Abkhazia is now integrated into Georiga in the map so it would be better placed under the NATO colours.

Thank you so much for all your help in creating these maps out of your own time. You've been an incredible asset to both this TL and my last and I'm grateful.

Fantastic work @Sorairo . Absolutely fantastic.
Well done @Sorairo ! Very well done indeed!
Thank you for making this great but terrifying TL @Sorairo

Thank you all.
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Great TL indeed. This is pretty intresting world. Reducing of nuclear weapons might be seen as controversial but it is too pretty certain that these not avoid potential WW3. In other hand Sino-American rivalry might not be so bad that they would begin war anyway.
NK is integrally Armenia, but only the inlet itself, not the surrounding territory that was taken in the 1994 war and connected by a road that is guaranteed in the same way West Berlin was. Abkhazia is now integrated into Georiga in the map so it would be better placed under the NATO colours.

Thank you so much for all your help in creating these maps out of your own time. You've been an incredible asset to both this TL and my last and I'm grateful.
Fixed. Thanks to you for writing what may be some of the best TL's ever written on this site, that gave us hours of horror, fun and entertainment. You're a great writer!
World Map - 2022 (1)
The final map for this TL. Pending corrections from @Sorairo (I'm unsure if NK should be an integral part of Armenia).

@Sorairo world map as of 2023, critiques are welcome, cheers for creating this fantastic timeline!

Edit 1: I will just assume that the Pashtun areas of Balochistan is a part of Afghanistan, I will continue fixing the map as time goes on, I just noticed a day after that I forgot to add Sikkim as a part of India as an example.
Edit 2: Added the 1990s-era Autonomous Okrugs, which were probably never abolished ITTL.
Edit 3: Fixed (some of) the messy borders of the indigenous reservations in Brazil.
Final edit: This map will now be the same final map as featured in the map series for the entire timeline that I have here on page 162, I will keep updating and fixing this map, but all details of the changes will now only be cataloged in that post instead of this one.
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