Amuria

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The Amurian Republic
Амурская Республика
Flag of Amuria Coat of Arms of Amuria
Motto: Мир и Богатство
"Peace and Abundance"
Anthem: "Farewell of Slavianka"
National anthem of Amuria

Location of Amuria
Capital
(and largest city)
Vladivostok
Official language(s) Russian
Ethnic groups  72.6% Russians, 22.5% Ukrainians, 4.9% other
Demonym Amurian
Government Federal parliamentary constitutional republic
 -  President Vadim Gorkin
 -  Prime Minister Giorgi Almaz
Legislature Parliament
 -  Upper house Council of the Oblasts
 -  Lower house Veche
Constitutional history
 -  Independence of Amuria 1991 
Area
 -  Total 1,441,300 km2 
556,600 sq mi 
Population
 -  2016 estimate 11,543,646 
 -  2016 census 11,543,646 
 -  Density 8/km2 
20.74/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2016 estimate
 -  Total 282.150 billion USD 
 -  Per capita 24,442 USD 
HDI (2016) .801 (TBC) 
Currency (руб) Amurian Ruble (ARU)
Time zone VLAT (UTC+10:00)
Date formats mm.dd.yyyy CE
Drives on the Right
Simlympic code AMU
Internet TLD .ay

Amuria (Russian: Амурия, Amuriya), officially the Amurian Republic (Russian: Амурская Республика, Amurskaya Respublika), is a country in far-eastern Asia , it borders Russia to the north and west, China to the south, and just north of Japan cut by the La Pérouse Strait.

Originally settled by Jurchen nomads then the Manchus, Amuria was part of the Qing Empire until it was ceded to the Russian Empire in the mid 19th century. As the Trans Siberian Railway was being constructed, migration to Amuria increased substantially, becoming a new home for Russian and Ukrainian settlers, and a new cultural identity. After struggles with independence as the remaining refuge of the anti-Bolshevik movement, Amuria became a constituent republic of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1945, during which time the area saw economic and demographical growth as the Soviet Union’s Pacific gateway into the Asian markets. Upon independence after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Amuria managed through a period of economic struggles, and has been emerging as a bridge between the West and the East.

Being in a strategically important region, both politically and economically, Amuria is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, the Sansheng-Amurian Economic Corridor, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the Alliance Economic Integration Treaty. A developing economy, Amuria has been coordinating with its East Asian neighbors and is seeing significant development in its economy.

Etymology

The name of Amuria is derived directly from the Amur River, the primary geographical feature of Amuria. The name of the Amur River itself is probably derived from the Asiatic languages’ word for rivers, usually refered to simply as “water”: mul (물) in Korean, muren (mörön) in Mongolian, and mizu (みず) in Japanese. Amur may also have been derived from a modifier emphasizing the Amur River as a “Big Water”.

Early Russian explorers of the Amurian region likely thus named the Amur River after the name given to it by local populations. The name stuck, and the eventual population growth led to the region being known as the Amurian Frontier, (Russian: Амурский Край, Amurskiy Krai). Before the late 1800s, however, the region was primarily known, vaguely, as the Far East, coupled with Siberia (Russian: Дальный Восток, Dalnyy Vostok), until the region of Amuria increased in prominence and replaced the vague term.

History

Russian Colonization

While historically a region of Manchuria, Amuria was annexed into the Russian Empire from the Qing Empire after the Treaty of Peking in 1860. From 1869 to 1882, Russian settlements were established throughout the Primorye region of Amuria, with the most prominent being Vladivostok. Russian control brought increased production in the region, particularly in the coal and timber industry, but also the aquaculture industry.

In the years before the outbreak of World War I, Amuria was developed, particularly with support from Tsar Nicholas II, who had visited earlier in 1891. Nicholas saw Amuria as a potential area to tie down the rest of Siberia to ensure better administration and to better project power over the Pacific. He instituted a policy in 1908 that allowed for new settlers to obtain a free plot of 100 acres, similar to the Homestead Act of 1860 in the United States of America. With time, a considerable number of Russians and Ukrainians migrated to the far east to settle the frontier. In the period between 1908 and 1914, hundreds of thousands of settlers settled in the region as the Trans-Siberian Railway was completed. Vladivostok quickly became viewed as Russia's "Capital of the East". The new migrants sought opportunity for wealth and freedom, and thus established a new identity in the region.

As an additional consequence of distance from the Imperial capital of St. Petersburg and the absence of the freed-serf mentality that limited growth in the western quarter of the Empire, the Far East saw a higher amount of growth compared to the west. Vladivostok became a new industrial center and the largest city east of the Ural mountains.

Early 20th Century and Russian Civil War

During the 1905 Revolution, radicals in the regions of Amuria declared a temporary worker’s republic known as the Chita Republic. This was the first predecessor to the Amurian state. However, this state, which was established by revolutionaries exiled to the Far East and saw little support from the locals at the time, was short lived and was disbanded shortly thereafter, and the revolutionaries were executed or imprisoned. Nevertheless, the far eastern governorates of the Russian Empire began resenting rule by the centralized government in Saint Petersburg and, with a growing new identity, began actively calling for autonomy or even independence.

Map of the Provisional Amurian Government's claims, territory west of Nerchinsk would quickly fall to Bolshevik supporters..

By the time of the Russian Civil War, the Amurians supported the White movement, becoming the bastion of the anti-Bolsheviks in the remains of the Russian Empire. Most settlers of the region tended to be more conservative, rejecting the notions of Bolshevism. At the outbreak, the cities of Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, and Blagoveshchensk became save havens for White Army supporters. Bolshevik supporters were rounded up and either executed, exiled, or imprisoned in very harsh circumstances. This led to the Russian Far East being viewed as a hostile territory among the Bolsheviks, especially who operated in Siberia. The 1919 proclamation of the Provisional Amurian Government led to nominal independence, with heavy support coming in from Japan and the United States, viewing it as an effective base for White Russians as a counter against the Bolsheviks, which were contributing to the Red Scare across the Western world.

Photograph of American soldiers in Vladivostok in the American intervention in the Russian Civil War.

The Provisional Amurian Government was first headed by the anti-Bolshevik general in Vladivostok, Mikhail Diterikhs. As a leader under Aleksandr Kolchak, Diterikhs was a temporary governor until Kolchak arrived to Vladivostok after fleeing Omsk. He arrived in March 1920, proclaiming the headquarters of the White Russian movement to be in Vladivostok. Kolchak drew heavy support from Japan and the United States, who intervened in his favor with the arrival of Japanese and American troops in 1920. The troops were able to penetrate up to Irkutsk, but were routed by Bolshevik soldiers. Defenses were constructed in the taiga outskirts of the Far East that successfully defended against Bolshevik offensives. Due to the poor terrain and large losses, the Bolsheviks eventually signed a ceasefire with the Provisional Amurian Government on January 7, 1922. On that same day, Alexander Kolchak formally assumed the position of Supreme Protector of Russian Amuria.

The ceasefire in 1922 marked Amuria as a safe bastion for fleeing anti-Bolsheviks in the remnants of the Russian Empire and the newly-established Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. While the borders were almost immediately defined by border guards posted on both sides, most refugees had to get to Amuria by sea due to the danger of crossing the border. The 1920s subsequently saw a sharp increase in the population of Amuria.

Interbellum and World War II

Due to the location of Amuria and the danger it was in as a direct neighbor of the USSR, Alexander Kolchak made many defense and economic agreements with the Japanese Empire, and many scholars have regarded early Amuria to be a de facto Japanese protectorate. Japanese investments led to improvement in infrastructure and development, primarily in industries related to oil extraction, of which Amuria had large reserves. Nevertheless, domestic politics of Amuria saw extensive turmoil in the 1920s as the state was being established. Many hoped to place the Romanovs to rule from Vladivostok in order to prepare for their greater restoration of the Russian Empire, others hoped for a constitutional republic, while others viewed merit in the current military dictatorship. A compromise was led in November 1923 whereby Alexander Kolchak remained in his post as Supreme Protector of Amuria, though he agreed to keep the Romanovs in a significant position in government, placing Dmitri Romanov as the Prime Minister of Amuria. A parliament was also established, though it had no more power than Kolchak and his inner circle. While this made Amuria a military dictatorship, Kolchak proved to be a benevolent authoritarian, allowing most citizens basic freedoms and even allowed for the development a free market economy.

Until 1930, Amuria saw significant economic growth as both the United States and the Japanese Empire invested heavily into Amuria’s economy. Once one of the poorest regions of the Russian Empire, Amuria quickly outpaced the USSR in the same period based on average GDP growth, and average income even bypassed that of the USSR. After the beginning of the Great Depression, Amurian growth reversed as investments ceased, and Amuria was left on its own. However, Japan continued to have interest in Amuria’s oil industry, especially in light of Japan’s military expansion. Nevertheless, Amuria’s economy was left in ruins.

Portrait of Supreme Protector Aleksandr Kolchak, de facto dictator of Amuria in the interbellum period.

The beginning of World War II presented Alexander Kolchak with a difficult situation. As Japan began to be aggressively involved in their war in the Pacific, Japanese protection dwindled. Joseph Stalin, who wanted to get rid of this counter to communism, saw an opportunity to attack. In May 1940, after taking over the Baltic States, the Soviet Union invaded Amuria swiftly and with little resistance due to the Great Depression's effect on the population's morale. After two decades of inaction and the economic downturn, Amurians lost trust in their government. Vladivostok fell in September of that year and Kolchak and most of the government's top leaders were massacred in the streets. Stalin then reorganized the country into the Amurian Soviet Socialist Republic. From there, he managed to successfully invade Manchuria and Korea in 1945.

Post War Soviet Amuria

At the Treaty of San Francisco, Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands were ceded to the USSR. Stalin granted this territory to the ASSR to assist in the administration of the newly-conquered areas. During the 1970s, many scientific institutes and academies were established in Vladivostok, increasing its prominence in Soviet society. Many abandoned factories and districts were reopened, which marked the expansion of the city's industry toward the final decades of the USSR. The most significant being the Kurgenev aircraft factory in Komsomolsk-na-Amure, which began producing military and civilian aircraft, mainly for use as Sukhoi aircraft in the Far East.

During the chaos amidst the dissolution of the Soviet Union, many young students, prominent politicians, and even those still living since the days of Kolchak's administration advocated for the renewed independence of Amuria. Many believed that the rulers in Moscow were disillusioned with their own problems to pay enough attention to the Far East, and home-rule was the better alternative, not to mention that most Amurians began to believe that the Soviet annexation of Amuria was illegal. These ideological differences in the people of Amuria, exhibited since before the Russian Revolution, began seeing a resurgence as people looked into their pasts for inspiration. On October 16, 1991, with the fall of the Soviet Union, Amuria declared independence as a democratic state.

Post Soviet Era

After independence, the economy rapidly fell as the nation failed to successfully transition from a planned market to a free one, the same fate that met many other former Soviet countries. Tensions were particularly high in 1992 when the Russian Pacific Fleet was alienated from the Russian Federation. In September 1992, Amuria's first President, Yuri Kalichkin, leased several docks to Russia to use as a base for the fleet, as Petropavlovsk in Kamchatka was not suitable enough to host the fleet due to its colder climate. This act normalized relations with Russia and Kalichkin managed to avoid conflict. Nevertheless, Kalichkin's policy of appeasing to Western capitalism did not help the state of the Amurian economy, and he lost the election of 1996 to Yuri Amurin, an early leader of Amurian independence.

Amurin, who stylized himself after the Amur River and, in effect, the nation of Amuria itself, proved to be an effective reformer and statesman. He normalized relations with other east Asian nations and began conducting trade with many in exchange for increased investment. His reforms in 1998 saw major heavy industries and natural resource extraction nationalized under government control. This dulled the power of Amurian oligarchs that emerged under Kalichkin, but also cooled relations with Russia's Boris Yeltsin. Amurin also instituted a liberalization of light industry and agricultural production, lowering taxes in both sectors and decreasing interest rates. This lead to quick recovery in both sectors. By 2004, Amuria no longer needed to import food in order to feed its population. During the same period, Amuria saw growth in its service sector and allowed foreign companies, especially from America and Japan, to invest in the Amurian economy.

Amurin's third term saw major change in Amuria's foreign policy, bringing it closer to neighboring Sansheng, increasing investment in Amuria's decaying infrastructure and heavy industry. Amurin was soon able to free up the government's budget, which he used to improve the nation's educational system and urban restoration. Many Amurian microcommunities, built during the time of Leonid Brezhnev in the Soviet Union, were demolished or renovated by construction companies subsidized by the government. Old buildings in Vladivostok surviving the Soviet invasion were also renovated, and Amurin was able to create the old city center a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This changed the atmosphere of the Amurian urbanscape, and Amurin's goal of renovating Amuria to fit among both the Western framework and the east Asian prosperity began to come into fruition. In 2008, he refused to run for a fourth term.

Amurin's successor, Aleksandr Yurchenko, instituted gradual privatization of heavy industries and continued Amurin's policies of Amurian renovation. By 2012, Amuria's gross domestic product per capita was on par with Russia's, a feat unseen since before World War II. Yurchenko also tightened relations with the Russian Federation and, in 2015, the Republic became a member of the Eurasian Economic Union. Under his term, the Trans Siberian Railway also saw significant upgrades, funded by Russia and many Asian nations, to facilitate Amuria's position as the link between both the Russian and Asian markets.

Vadim Gorkin, elected in 2016, continued the precedent of his predecessors on economic policy, but he also quickly relieved political pressure on the media and press. Gorkin is also seeking Amurian integration into the greater global market, joining the Alliance of Independent Nations and its Alliance Economic Integration Treaty in 2017 and seeking even closer economic relations with its Asian partners. Gorkin's use of realpolitik methodology has improved Amuria's position on the world stage.

Geography

Located in the former far eastern territory of the former Russian Empire and the later Soviet Union, Amuria is confined by the Stanovoy Range in the northwest, the Amurian Sea to the east, the Sea of Japan to the south, and the Amur and Ussuri rivers. At 1,441,300 square kilometers, Amuria is one of the largest nations in the Alliance of Independent Nations.

Topography

Mostly mountainous and hilly, 80% of Amuria remains forested. The warmer, mixed-forest south of Amuria is more developed and populated. The south of Amuria has a landscape dominated by many valleys and rivers carving beautiful scenes that have recently begun attracting many tourists from the world over. The largest of these rivers, the Ussuri River, along with the Khanka Lake, form a flat plain that fosters a denser population and arable land. North of the Amur River, the landscape becomes rougher and less populated. Around 75% of Amuria's hydroelectric power comes from the fast-running rivers of the north, most of which are tributaries of the Amur River. To the east, the islands of Sakhalin and the Kurils form a natural barrier against the Pacific Ocean and themselves are very hilly and mountainous.

Satellite image of Amuria, depicted with international borders.

Fauna and Flora

The geographic location and variation of Amuria accounts for the variety of its flora. The south of Amuria has not been subjected to the ice cover that the north was subjected to, results in a wealth of diversity in plant species. In the south alone, there are more than two thousand species of higher plants, of which about 250 species of trees, bushes and ligneous lianas. Flora of mosses and lichens is also very diverse. As part of the coastal flora, there are many valuable medicinal, technical and food plants, many relict and endemic species, many of which are listed as rare and endangered.There are mountainous tundra areas, conifers and coniferous-deciduous forests, and forest-steppe, which is sometimes called the Far Eastern Prairie, where many ancient plant species have been preserved, including ferns, lotus, and the Chosenia willow. The fauna of Amuria is also diverse. The Ussuri black bear, Amur tiger, Amur leopard, lynx, wild boar, Manchurian deer, and many other species can be found throughout Amuria, especially in the warmer south. Among 690 species of birds inhabiting the territory of the former USSR, 350 are found in Amuria. Rich fisheries of salmon, Hucho taimen, lenok and marine fisheries of crab, pollock and other species make the aquatic and maritime environment a valuable resource and export for Amuria. However, this rich diversity of wildlife is threatened by poaching and the illegal wildlife trade. The Wildlife Conservation Service and National Park Service of Amuria have taken active measures to prevent further deterioration of the diversity of life in Amuria.

Climate

The climate of Amuria, due to its large area, is highly diverse. In the north, subarctic, taiga, and tundra dominate the region. Towards the south, the cold climate gradually transforms into more mild temperate, oceanic climates. However, even in the south, seasonal temperature differences can be very extreme. In Vladivostok, the temperature difference between the winter and summer varies between −8.1 (17.4) and 23.2 (73.8) degrees, respectively. Such differences made it difficult for early settlers in Amuria.

Köppen climate types of Amuria.

Government

The government of the Amurian Republic is officially a Federal parliamentary constitutional republic. While the President of Amuria is the head of state, the Prime Minister of Amuria is the head of government. Officially, there are three branches of government in Amuria:

  • The Executive Branch of Amuria consists of the President as head of state. All laws passed by Parliament must be signed by the President in order to become law. Additionally, all forms of bureaucracy, such as the Amurian Health Service and the Amurian Transportation System fall under the executive branch. The President has constitutional authority to be able to appoint heads of these departments, although the Parliament also has this right. This branch's power is checked by both the legislative and judicial branch of Amuria.
  • The Legislative Branch of Amuria consists primarily of the Parliament. The Parliament is bicameral, with the Veche and the Council of the Oblasts, with 450 and 40 seats, respectively. Most laws must be go through the Parliament before it can become law, which is ultimately approved by the President. The Prime Minister and his cabinet are officially considered part of the legislative branch, as he is appointed by Parliament, but, in power, can be considered part of the executive branch, with the Prime Minister acting as an adviser of the President, and sometimes can even override certain powers of the President in certain situations.
  • The Judicial Branch consists mainly of the Supreme Court of Amuria and lower courts in Amuria's federalist system. The main power of the Supreme Court is to ensure that laws and actions of the government abide to the Constitution.

Parliamentary and Presidential elections in Amuria occur every 4 years, though spaced two years apart. When the people of Amuria vote for a representative in the Veche, every oblast has a proportional amount of seats in the Veche depending on population, while the Council of the Oblasts is limited to 2 seats per electoral district. Since the Prime Minister is usually the head of the party they are a member of, the party with the most amount of seats accede their head to become Prime Minister, thus making the Prime Minister of Amuria's election indirect, unlike the election of the Amurian President, which is direct.

Demographics