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Меня зовут Ольга, я из России. Извините, я не знаю английский язык, но надеюсь найти друзей, среди американцев. Мне очень интересуют нестандартные личности.
Не много о себе: я замужем, за прекрасным человеком, по имени Гела, он грузин. Его родительская семья потрясающе тепло приняла русскую невестку. Более тёплого приёма трудно представить.
Я по образованию, медицинская сестра.
Дальнейшее, более подробное общение пофакту вашей заинтересованности.
Мой адрес в интернете: [email protected]

  • Most of us aren't from the US. Hope you still like us.

Are you looking for a pen-pal?

Много здесь не будут американцами. Будет больше европейцев чем американцы здесь. Большое часть из нас не говорит русского (это переведено страницой перевода). Вы уверены это будете правым местом для вас? (Translated by babelfish, hope it gets the point across :)) -- Doobieous

The Good Colonel

This is especialy for you Jan (but other can give it a stab), if you can think of any events to add to the Good Colonel's history that might have been influenced by events in Russia, go for it.--Marc Pasquin 15:54, 1 November 2005 (PST)

map of Russian Federation

It is just nitpicking, but ;) The Nassland is on it in it older shape, so once you will have time, check the borders of RPN and NV around lake Onega. Because... RPN is occupying the sacred Nassian soil!!! That calls for WAR! OK, not definitelly, but... -- Jan II.

Darn it, he noticed... mumblemumble... Yes, I know. There are a few others things on the map too that needs to be updated. I'll take care of that. Please, please, MAKE LOVE, NOT WAR!.
Now that we are at it, I vaguely remember we spoke about a Nassian autonomous entity within the RPN. Where exactly would that be? And, do you have a flag of that one and the Czech Autonomous Okrug in Qazaqstan? --IJzeren Jan 00:07, 8 November 2005 (PST)

Aren't they both Oblast'? Or are they Okrugs? I am little bit confused how U use these russian terms...

For the flags of CAO see these and advice me according to your taste the winner:

As it comes to Nassian autonomy, we agreed that there is Ladozhsko-Onezhskaja Avtonomnaja Oblast'(Ladogo-Onegian Autonomous Region) in RPN.

For the flags of LOAO see these:

Hmm, as for the CAO, I hesitate between #1 and #3. As for the LOAO, I think I prefer #1. But let's wait what Marc, our resident vexillologist, has to say.
Oblast or Okrug? I don't know, frankly. On FOIB, Ferko uses the term Votian-Izhorian Autonomous District (Водьско-Ижорский Автономический Округ). I think these entities are all a bit too small to be called "oblasts". Besides, Russia in IB doesn't have oblasts, but gubernii. So I think "okrug" is better indeed. --IJzeren Jan 04:34, 8 November 2005 (PST)
Not sure what it is I'm suppose to comment on (and eastern-european civic flags are not that familiar to me). 2 is less busy if that help and the keys would be more clearly visible from a distance (yellow and white on pale blue would just look like blob from a distance).--Marc Pasquin 03:00, 9 November 2005 (PST)
It was rather a request for someone with aestetic feeling and relation to vexillology to help us choose the right flags. I agree with Marc that for LOAO the second is better, for the same reason, I would go for No.3 in a case of CAO. -- Jan II.

Territorial Expansion

Whats the story on Tannu Tuva and Russian Manchuria (both annexed from China)? I was under the impression that there was much less European involvement in Asia in IB. --Sikulu 16 December 2005, 09:48 (GMT)

I can't tell you offhand about Tannu Tuva right now. In general, Russia's history before 1917 is pretty much the same as *here*, except that it was a bit friendlier towards national minorities and that it move a bit further East. As for Russian Manchuria, you'll find that answer to that on Chukotka. --IJzeren Jan 01:51, 16 December 2005 (PST)
Actualy Russian Manchuria was annexed by Russia during the Sino-Russian war *here*. I'm just wandering if the same applies here. (I'm a history buff, so sue me!). --Sikulu 16 December 2005, 13:25 (GMT)
What Sino-Russian war? Are you referring to the Aigun Treaty of 1858? AFAIK that was not the result of a war at all. But anyway, yes, I suppose the region was ceded by China to Russia at that occasion. Japan occupied it in 1903 (or was it 1905? I don't remember offhand) and later had to return part of it. That is one of the reasons for the present-day Russo-Japanese Condominium Area. --IJzeren Jan 06:50, 16 December 2005 (PST)
Sorry, my mistake. It was ceeded to Russia due to Russian immigration to that area. --Sikulu 16 December 2005, 14:52 (GMT)


The list of republics here conflicts with this map Is there a more up-to-date map, or is the list incorrect? Nik 23:03, 28 February 2006 (PST)

I can't see any conflict between the two. What do you see? --Sikulu 00:33, 1 March 2006 (PST)
I'd like to know that, too. Both are supposed to be up-to-date. —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 00:52, 1 March 2006 (PST)
I compared the two myself and couldn't find any inconsistencies. --Sikulu 01:03, 1 March 2006 (PST)
The map shows a "German Volga Republic" in the middle of Muscovy that isn't listed on the Russia page. There's also a difference in name between Permic Republic on the map and Perm Republic on the Russia page and between Bashkortostan and Başqortostan Nik 13:10, 1 March 2006 (PST)

Ah, on that bike! ;) Well, that is just a matter of translators allowing themselves too many liberties. The maps shows the "Volga German Republic", the list a "Republic of the Volga Germans". Like the Perm(ic) Republic, both are not incorrect. And in the case of the Bashkirs, it's just a matter of transcription: the first is English popular transcription, the second official Turkish-based romanisation. —IJzeren Jan Uszkiełtu? 13:18, 1 March 2006 (PST)

That's odd. For some reason I kept overlooking Republic of the Volga Germans. I thought there might be a nomenclature difference, but I couldn't find anything with Volga or German in it. Weird ... Nik 13:27, 1 March 2006 (PST)
Speaking of the Volga Germans, how did they avoid being deported by Vissarionov as *here* during GWII? Nik 13:30, 1 March 2006 (PST)
Yeah, I was wondering about that as well. It must have taken a bloody miracle or something! Juan Martin Velez Linares 13:14, 21 September 2015 (CDT)

SNORism and Russian Jews

What happened to the Russian Jewish population under the SNOR? One of the things the White Army was known for *here* was its antisemitism. How did this end up extending to the SNOR? Juan Martin Velez Linares 13:15, 21 September 2015 (CDT)

Not good, undoubtedly. I've never given this much thought, though. My guess is their situation hasn't much improved since the 19th century, so Jews were generally very poor and living in their own small settlements. But no Holocaust, to be sure. I can imagine that after the fall of the SNOR, when Russia opened its borders, most Jews have left the country, just like they did *here*. IJzeren Jan 16:00, 21 September 2015 (PDT)
Hmm. Why exactly was there no Russian version of the Holocaust *there*? I'm not challenging the idea, just curious is all. I suppose it really depends on how ideologically pure Vissarionov was (and given that he was described as a cross bewteen Stalin and Göring, he probably wasn't really one for dogma so much as just general oppression and murder) Juan Martin Velez Linares 22:24, 21 September 2015 (CDT)
Several reasons. First of all, IB tends to be a somewhat friendlier place than the real world. Which doesn't stop us from dropping the occasional A-bomb every now and then, but history nevertheless appears to be a little more merciful for the people than *here*. Secondly, there's QSS. I've collected some material about antisemitism here. So no Holocaust in the sense of the organised killing of millions. Mind also that unlike *here*, Ill Bethisad has a Jewish state for centuries, Judea, which in addition is not a country so fearful that Jews in other countries would be considered a fifth column. So like I said, Jews were most certainly oppressed in snorist Russia, they were treated as second-rate citizens, I'm sure there must have been pogroms, and occasionally they were used as scapegoats. Many Jews were simply kicked out of the country, too. IJzeren Jan 08:12, 22 September 2015 (PDT)
Ah, that makes sense. So I suppose most Jewish people in the SNORist states got deported or gulag'd then? Juan Martin Velez Linares 11:44 22 September 2015 (CDT)
Some of them undoubtedly ended up in the Gulag, especially those who engaged in political activity, but in most cases people were forced to live in small, ghetto-like villages, where they were basically free to do whatever they wanted, but kept under surveillance and without any support from the state. For a Jew, it was much harder to find a job, and almost impossible to find a job in the state apparatus. Some managed to find employment in the service of rich landowners as private teachers, tax collectors etc. IJzeren Jan 11:46, 22 September 2015 (PDT)
Looks like we have a nice discussion that we can "canonize" under a subheading of "Minorities under SNORism." BoArthur 12:40, 22 September 2015 (PDT)
Speaking of minorities under the SNOR, what happened to the Volga Germans? I suppose that the existence of a Volga German republic *there* is QSS, though I wonder if during the late Vissarionov and Lipov eras it was little more than a glorified gulag. Juan Martin Velez Linares 15:35 22 September 2015 (CDT)
Well, see my reply two headers down. The Volga Germans didn't have anything like their own territory. They simply lived were they lived and that's all. I'm not even sure whether the Volga Germans got anything during the administrative reform in the 1960s, or whether their republic only came into existence in 1991. IJzeren Jan 16:54, 22 September 2015 (PDT)

I've been wondering... what happened to the Jewish communities in the other SNORist lands? From what I understand some of the other SNORist regimes were even móre brutal than the Russian ones, and we all know what happened to Jewish populations in the Nazi puppet states *here*... Did that pan out *there* like the closest thing we have to SNORism *here*, or was it not so bad? Juan Martin Velez Linares 12:04, 24 November 2015 (Central European Time)

I don't know that. All we know is that there was no such thing as a Holocaust *there*. IJzeren Jan 10:57, 27 November 2015 (PST)

Proposal:Jewish Autonomous Okrug

Something to explain at least part of what happened to the Jews in the SNOR. Basically, a small sub-subdivision in Siberia, subordinated to Primorye (and whichever entity preceded it), at the same location as the Jewish Autonomous Oblast *here*. The SNORist regime, looking for something to do with the Jewish population, "invited" them to come to a small parcel of land carved out from the Primorye, claiming that they would be allowed to worship freely there. Of course, the territory ended up being little more than barely glorified exile and many of the Jewish population in areas which weren't ghettos (especially the more uppity ones) got sent there more or less by force. Currently survives as a subdivision of Primorye Republic, though it has lost much of its Jewish population who were quite eager to get off the territory for obvious reasons. (BTW I made it an okrug to avoid contradicting QSS, so that way it would be part of Primorye and therefore compliant with QSS) If Don Zowan Fierzor approves it, I'll pursue it further. Juan Martin Velez Linares 15:26, 22 September 2015 (CDT)

You mean Birobidzhan, right? Well, to be honest, I have my doubts. First of all, at the time when *here* the JAO was created, the region was extremely unstable and under Chinese occupation most of the time. See Chukotka for more about this. The second thing is that the creation of nationality-based republics *here* was a typically communist thing. Lenin's policy on nationalities was that they should be given cultural autonomy within a socialist political context ("national in form, socialist in content"). According to the same doctrine, a nation could only have autonomy if it had a territory, and because the Jews didn't have one, they were given one. By creating the one and only Jewish state in the world, the Soviets also hoped to gain the support of Jews from all over the world (and to eliminate zionism). In IB, things were very different. The bolsheviks never came to power, and so the pre-revolutionary administrative division into guberniyas, which completely ignored nationality and language, remained intact; it was only in the 1960s when Yevgeni Lipov forced an administrative reform, leading to the creation of nationality-based entities. The propaganda element wouldn't work in IB either, since there already were two Jewish states, Judea and Mueva Sefarad. And at last, I don't think the SNOR leadership was interested in gaining the support of Jews. As a matter of fact, they couldn't care less. No, their policy was rather directed at keeping them away from power, involuntary conversion to Russian Orthodoxy at gunpoint, pretending they didn't exist for most of the time, or otherwise using them as scapegoats. Giving them their own (quasi-) autonomous territory simply doesn't fit in that picture. IJzeren Jan 16:33, 22 September 2015 (PDT)
Ffudd, you're right. It does seem rather unlikely for the SNOR. Okay, here's a different idea: instead of a JAO or something, the area is essentially one massive gulag. Administered by Primorye guberniya, it's essentially a huge mass of Jewish internment camps. Like Auschwitz, except not meant to kill people. (At least not on the spot). Not all (probably not even most) of the Russian Jewish population is imprisoned there, but it's a considerable number. Lipov comes to power, maybe he relaxes gulagisation a bit, perhaps even closes down one or two of the individual camps, but he doesn't end them. This situation remains the status quo (perhaps with Bogolyubov restarting extensive gulagisation once he goes crazy) until Gorbachenko comes around and starts closing down the gulags, allowing more freedom for Jewish people, so on and so forth. By the end of the SNOR, the gulags have been closed and are in the process of demolition. Today, the part of the Jewish population that got imprisoned in the gulags has all but left Russia, and I imagine they've probably been speaking out against Arensky and later on Muscovy on the international stage. Juan Martin Velez Linares 19:34, 22 September 2015 (CDT)
That's not very likely either. Bear in mind that the vast majority of Russian Jews lived in the so-called Pale, an area that corresponds largely with the Eastern frontiers of the First Republic. As you can read in History of the Jews in Russia: "During the late 19th and early 20th centuries the Russian Empire had not only the largest Jewish population in the world, but actually had a majority of the world's Jews living within its borders.[36] In 1897, according to Russian census of 1897 total Jewish population of Russia was 5,189,401 persons of both sexes (4.13% of total population). Of this total 93,9% lived in the 25 provinces of the Pale of Settlement. The total population of the Pale of Settlement amounted to 42,338,367—of these, 4,805,354 (11.5%) were Jews." In IB, Russia lost this territory almost entirely in 1918, and practically the entire Pale became part of Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania. See the historic maps of region. All that was left of it was the region north of Belarus, and the remaining Jewish population of Russia after 1918 cannot have been much bigger than ca. 350,000. Probably much less, because part of the Russia's Jews must have migrated to Judea before that. Given the fact that these people were scattered over such a huge empire, I can't imagine this minority could have been a serious threat to the SNOR, even in its own perception. IJzeren Jan 04:18, 23 September 2015 (PDT)
(addendum) So, while it is not impossible that a few shtetls were also built in Siberia, it won't have been more than just a few villages, not enough for an autonomous region. And this won't have been anywhere near Birobidzhan, I'm afraid. IJzeren Jan 04:28, 23 September 2015 (PDT)
Bloody hell, you're right. I'm sincerely sorry for not knowing about the Pale, I'm afraid I haven't gotten to that in my history class... My apologies for not knowing better. I suppose that probably the SNOR at most sent Jewish people to regular gulags when they sent them to gulags at all, and found other ways of oppressing them. I'm so sorry for wasting your time like this, you're absolutely right, I probably shouldn't have put this proposal forward in the first place. I'll be more careful with proposals next time. Juan Martin Velez Linares 8:49, 23 September 2015 (CDT)
Hey, that's no problem at all. To tell you the truth, I kind of forgot about the shtetls myself as well. Thanks to your question, I had to refresh my own knowledge about the subject a bit. That's the nice thing about IB, you know... It's fun, but it also teaches you a lot about the real world, too. Anyway, asking questions is a very good way to keep the others sharp, so no offense taken, because time spent on looking for answers is time well-spent. Just be aware that many questions won't be answered, either because the original caretakers have left, or because some things simply haven't been given much thought at all. So, if there's one reason for being careful with proposals, it's what Dan said in Lla Dafern: when you're starting out, it's best to pick ONE area of focus, and work on that, get the feel of things, before branching further. That is surely better than cutting yourself in 100 small parts! Cheers, IJzeren Jan 07:15, 23 September 2015 (PDT)


What's he been up to? Is Putinism (well, Arenskyism) panning out like it is *here*? Or is the Federation on the verge of falling apart? Speaking of which, how's Ukraine holding up? Juan Martin Velez Linares 23:26 21 September 2015 (CDT)

I've been giving this some thought. I've been thinking about IB's equivalent of the war in Eastern Ukraine and Russia's annexation of the Crimea. Ukraine itself is out of the question, since its position in IB is more similar to that of Poland or Romania *here*. Same goes for Belarus and the Baltic States. What I think has happened is the complete collapse of the Russian federation, with some complete nutter coming to power in Muscovy, an (almost complete) return to snorism, the RPN proclaiming its full independence, and subsequently a Muscovian invasion in the RPN. Some like-minded republics would support Muscovy (Ural, Perm, Chelyabinsk), while others (like Vozgia, Komi) would support the RPN. Thus, a huge part of the federation becomes the scene of a bloody war, the country goes practically bankrupt, and millions of Russians from various republics flee to Europe, hoping to find work and/or safety. During the initial stages of the war, the West does nothing at all, claiming the whole thing is just a civil war and therefore Russia's internal problem. When things get really hot, things might suddenly turn out a bit differently though... Could make for some interesting stuff, don't you think? IJzeren Jan 16:51, 22 September 2015 (PDT)
Certainly. A Second Russian Civil War, eh? I smell a new Collaboration of the Fortnight! While I don't think the Western nations are quite getting as involved in the area as they have been in Ukraine *here*, I imagine they're starting to get worried. Of course, maybe some sort of ceasefire has been worked out between Muscovy and the RPN (like the current ceasefire in Ukraine), but I imagine tensions are still running high like with Russia and Ukraine *here* and perhaps the whole thing could boil over again sooner rather than later. Here's what I see happening with some of the various factions and their neighbours:
  • At least some members of the Baltic League, while not officially entering the war or declaring their support for any given side, have probably jumped to the aid of the RPN, something like NATO with Ukraine *here*. They're probably sending arms, supplies, humanitarian aid, etc. I imagine the other Baltic League states have declared neutrality and aren't really sending any kind of aid that isn't humanitarian.
  • The RTC declares a Switzerland (or whatever nation always pursues neutrality *there*). They are/were probably dealing with a flood of refugees on their eastern border, creating something similar to the European refugee crisis *here*. Humanitarian agencies in the Erdeka are doing their best to handle the tide, but it's no secret that both Veneda and Lithuania's infrastructure has been overwhelmed and the border agencies are dealing with more than they can chew.
  • Belarus... I'm not sure. It really depends on whether or not Belarus is a Western-looking country starting its accession into the Baltic League or if it's a post-SNORist state a la Lukashenko(Łukaszenka?). Whichever of the two it is probably determines whether the government is sending their support to Muscovy or to Petrograd.
  • Ukraine and Crimea sit back, watch, and eat pierogi. They've probably turned into jumping-off points for refugees along with the Erdeka, something which I imagine they're none too happy about.
  • Japan, in the midst of a primarily Eastern European/Western Asian conflict, has probably quietly annexed Gaimanxu. No one cares. I should note that recently Japan authorised its forces to be used outside its borders for the first time since World War II; that'll certainly be interesting.
  • The North Caucasian Federation and probably also Adyghea, taking advantage of the Muscovy-RPN conflict, decide to secede from the Federation and declare their own independence. Muscovy notices, and ends up fighting its own war against Chechen/Circassian/Ossetian/tribal/whatever rebels. Presumably, even if a ceasefire has been declared with old Sankt Peterburg, Muscovy and its allies are still trying to fight against the NCF, a fight which I imagine they're losing.
  • The West watches the whole thing with a sort of tenuous unease. They're probably become even more worried after a certain Srivizajan Airlines airship was shot down somewhere suspiciously close to Muscovy (or one of its allies). The LoN has probably tried to draft something to figure out just how the hell to deal with the whole situation. Probably international sanctions on Muscovy.
Maybe something is also going on with the Silk Road League, though that depends on how the Turkic states are dealing with the civil war. IDK. What do you think of this? Juan Martin Velez Linares 9:52, 23 September 2015 (CDT)
I have been thinking about this, too. I was just finishing my initial work on Crimea and Parra when the crisis in Kiev really began heating up *here*. Crimea seceded or was occupied (not taking sides there!) shortly after that. It was honestly a bit surreal - I had worked for a year or two on Crimea, and it seemed like a funny little region that nobody else cared about. Now suddenly it was a world flashpoint. Now it makes sense for the crisis surrounding "Putinism" to mainly be an internal Russian matter: it is clearly established that Russia is decentralized, and the westernizing RPN would nicely fill the role of Ukraine *here*.
Now in Crimea, I am thinking to sort of combine the real stories of Crimea and Ukraine with the unique melting pot of IB's Crimea and the geopolitics of the Black Sea *there*. Instead of a division between the West and Russia, the two blocs could be the Silk Road League (represented by Turkey) and MrXeight's as-yet underdeveloped Pontic League (represented by Ukraine, Greece, and maybe some others). It would definitely play to the tensions within Crimean society.
I had also written that Russia kept its base in Sevastopol, as it did *here*, but that's more QAA than QSS and I'm not sure how it would affect any of these scenarios. What do you think, Jan? Benkarnell 09:44, 28 September 2015 (PDT)
Well, Ben, since you have done much more work on the Crimea than I ever have, I'd say it is entirely up to you! What might complicate things a bit is that there's Ukraine between Russian and the Crimea. On the other hand, the Crimea obviously has quite some strategic value, and it is very possible and even probably that during snorist times, Russia used Sebastopol as a base for its Black Sea Fleet. Who knows what happened afterwards? One thing I could imagine, is Russia and the Crimea making some kind of agreement, allowing Russia to some part of Sebastopol. And checking this page, it looks like we've been thinking along the same lines! :) IJzeren Jan 16:34, 28 September 2015 (PDT)
Okay, based off of some recent discussions on the Pontic League talk page and elsewhere, here are some new ideas about what's currently going on in Russia:
  • Ukraine may not be so neutral after all. Along with the rest of the Pontic League, it's probably eyeing the Silk Road League with a good deal of suspicion. There almost certainly isn't enough animosity to start a war between the two, but perhaps some sort of proxy war may eventually happen in the Caucasus.
  • The Silk Road League has definitely gotten involved in this new Russian civil war. Turkestan has probably annexed (or tried to annex) Qazaqstan; this probably poses a lot more problems for Muscovy than East Primorye (it is closer to home, after all).The other Turkic republics have aligned themselves with the Silk Road League, adding yet another block to this whole mess.
  • Seeing as how the North Caucasus Federation may be far less religiously homogeneous than we previously thought, it is probable that the region has collapsed into sectarian violence. Probably something like Syria or Iraq *here* right now. This has almost certainly turned into a point of contention between the Silk Road League and the Pontic League. The League of Nations looks on, concerned, while individual nations do their best to provide foreign aid and take in refugees.
  • In Crimea, tensions have probably begun to run high between ethnic groups whose affiliations lie with the Pontic League and those whose affiliations lie with the Silk Road league. I don't think (or at least I don't hope) that a civil war will start, but with the way things are working out in Russia, who knows?
Let me know of any additions you have to this. I don't intend for this to be the actual course that events take, naturally; I need input from M. Carnehl and van Steenbergen first! Juan Martin Velez Linares 11:41, 01 October 2015 (CDT)
All this looks promising and I'm liking it. I was wondering, being Russia *there* decentralized and more a confederation than a federation (despite its formal name) how far goes its central power seated in Moscow? Is really Arensky an analogue to Putin? Until now I always thought post-SNOR Russia having a weak central government and several strong regional governments (especially Muscovy, RPN and perhaps some few others).--Pedromoderno 15:53, 2 October 2015 (PDT)
Yes, that is a problem. I'm trying to work it out right now! :) IJzeren Jan 10:22, 3 October 2015 (PDT)


Dear Mr. Jan,

Hello again! I was wondering if you ever developed anything on the Republic of Adygeya and/or the Circassian peoples in IB. I don't have any ideas myself (other than an older, continuous population of Christian Circassians which may or may not fit within a smaller Islamic world in IB), I'm just curious as to what you have in mind about this region and the entire Caucasus. Misterxeight 10:08, 28 September 2015 (PDT)

Dear comrade Cesak, all we know about Adygeya is that it's one of the 29 republics, nothing else. It has a flag that used to be on Flags of Ill Bethisad (archived here, unfortunately without images). I'll upload it here. But that's all. If you have ideas, by all means spill them!
The Kabardinians belong to the North Caucasian Federation. All there is to know about the NCF is on that page, plus some minor tidbit here.
I don't really know what I have in mind for the region. That news article clearly suggests there was something brewing back in 2004, but how it panned out, I don't know yet. Cheers, IJzeren Jan 16:08, 28 September 2015 (PDT)

I really like playing around with religions. I'm a Circassophile, so I've chosen to work on projects in school relating to the region, I'm in good contact with an adjunct professor whose focus is on the Caucasus, and I follow a Circassian page which links to very many scholarly books on the country so I know where to look for source-material. The Circassian people were Diaphysite Orthodox Christian and Christianity survived until the 1500's. What with the Dar al-Islam being smaller and less powerful "there," could we not have a majority of Circassians be Christian? It would certainly make the Russian conquest of the region interesting; I imagine that the religious aspects of the struggle would play out more like in Georgia, Ossetia, and Abkhazia. As for Chechnya, paganism survived much longer there than in Circassia. Perhaps we could do something crazy and have Chechen freedom fighters being militant pagans instead of Muslims. The Chechen pantheon reforming into a solid religion that's strong enough to resist Islamic missionaries would be fascinating. Also, did the Khazars die out in the Caucasus? It would be interesting if they hung around in Daghestan and coalesced into a smaller, Jewish and Turkic ethnicity in the mountains or perhaps even on the shores of the Caspian Sea. With all of this in mind, I doubt that Islam would ever be a unifying factor in the North Caucasus, which just made it that much harder to unite the people against Russian oppression. Also, does Beslan have to happen there? I'm not a big fan of war or mindless violence; if we could prevent such an atrocity from happening even in a fictional story, I say why not? Thanks, Kostas Misterxeight 20:57, 28 September 2015 (PDT)

Well, I am against introducing differences just for the sake of difference, but if you put it like that, I'd say: sure, why not? As long as it is not about changing the entire religion of an entire people, of course, because such a thing would require quite drastic changes in the remote past, and shouldn't be done unless there's a very good reason for it.
Khazars - short answer: no idea! :)
As for Beslan, I'm afraid it did happen *there*, or at least something similar. Sure, I don't like mindless atrocities any more than you do. But keep in mind that IB is no utopia, and not necessarily a better place than the real world. Horrible things happen *there*, too. But I don't know the details (yet) about this particular event, nor who the perpetrators were, what they did exactly and what their motives were. All I know is that there was/is activity in the NCF that was enough for Arensky to declare his "War on Terrorism". IJzeren Jan 15:56, 30 September 2015 (PDT)
I think Orthodox Circassians aren't too much of a stretch, but I dunno about pagan Nakh(Chechen/Ingush) people. Probably some of them are Eastern Orthodox Christians (there were some conversions in the mountains *here* and some small Nakh peoples actually remain Orthodox Christians). According to Wikipedia, they became Muslims in a desperate attempt to try and gain the support of the Ottoman Empire for protection from the Russians and the Persians. I honestly have no idea how that worked out *there*; perhaps Zowan Fierzy can offer his perspective. On some other notes, many of the other ethnic groups in the region are probably Orthodox Christian *there*, with the Lezgins and maybe the Dargins probably being pagan and the Kumyks and Aghuls being Jewish (based on the history of those varied groups *here*).
The Khazars sound like a cool idea. IMO, go for it! Maybe ask M. Belsky about it first, but considering there is a Jewish population in the Caucasus mountains speaking Judeo-Persian and some tribes in the region are descended from the Khazars, I'm pretty sure he won't mind.
On a side note, what is the main religion of Azerbaijan? Obviously the Persians probably never converted them to Shia Islam. So what happened instead? Did they remain Sunni? Did they become Zoroastrian? Did they stay Zoroastrian even after Muslim conquest? Are they Tengriists, even? What happened in that region? (And also, drawing a comparison to what happened in the Baltic states *here*, I think I now have an idea of how they became SNORist. Would still like Armenia to be Not Snorist, though... one can only stand so many Nazi client states, after all...) Juan Martin Velez Linares 19:52, 30 September 2015 (CDT)
Well then, I'm curious about your theory about Azerbaijan! :)
One thing that could explain a higher number of Christians in the region is the SNOR converting Muslims and others at gunpoint. Obviously, the SNOR didn't trust Muslims and surely wasn't happy about there being so many of them on their territory. If Islam wasn't exactly deeply rooted among certain groups, it might be that they were easier to convert to Orthodoxy.
As for Armenia not being snorist, it just might be that Russia was simply less interested because it didn't have a common border with it. Russia has always been extremely worried about its own security, and all these satellite states were merely intended to serve as buffer states to separate Russia from the big bad world. That's why Russia had very little commons border space with other powerful nations. That's why Russia cared much for Azerbaijan and Georgia, but less so for Armenia. Perhaps 'finlandization' would be an option for Armenia. IJzeren Jan 00:15, 1 October 2015 (PDT)

I finally figured out a reason for the Circassians to have stayed Christian! Their conversion actually started later than the 1500's like I said above. Everyone cites their own century when discussing the mass-conversions of the Circassians/Adyghe to Islam, and I've now seen as early as the 800's with Turks forcibly converting Circassian subjects to Islam in Daghestan according to Wikipedia, to significant holdouts of the Abzakh tribe in their native woodlands until the mid 1800's according to Encyclopedia Britannica. I'm willing to compromise and put the year sometime in the mid-to-late 1600's. Well, the Circassians of this time would be start between about two rocks and two hard places: the Russians to the northwest, Scythian and Kalmyk tribesmen to the northeast, Persians to the southeast, and Turks to the southwest. In our world, the Circassians looked to Ottoman Konstantiniyye and Safavid Isfahan for patronage. Both groups took many Circassian slaves, so they already had decent pockets of Circassian speakers. In IB, there are no Safavids: the Persians are still Zoroastrians. The Zoroastrians are not proselytes and are not above working with Christian proxies: Persian patronage would give these tribesmen the freedom to keep their religion and access to wealthy trade routes. Hell, our world's Persia had Christian Circassians in the Safavid government. Take a look at this 17th Century noblewoman and convert to Catholicism: Right, so, if the Adyghe throw their lot in with the Persians, they can stay loyal to either their Georgian or Ottoman-Greek bishops and their ancestral paganism, and I'd recommend that they band together with anyone else in the area, like say the pagan Lezgins and Dargins and the Jewish Kumyks and Aghuls. This would give them a much less bloody history, and I imagine after the Russian conquest, their history would be nearly identical to that of the Georgians. Not great, but not genocidal either. The native alliance of both Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Adyghe and Albanians/Iberians and Alans/Ossetians (some Circassians were converted to the Armenian Apostolic Church and some Armenians spoke Circassian natively), pagans, and Jews would also explain why all of Daghestan and the central Caucasus are lumped into one republic: the roots of the republic would lie in tribal alliances that predate the Russian conquest and made it easier for the triumphant Russians to rule over them all as one coherent mass, perhaps. Hell, some Circassians were even Catholic: Genoese missionaries tried to muscle both Churches out of the western coastal Caucasus from their strongholds in Crimea. Also, with no Stalin to split them up in his crazy quest to weaken all ethnic groups, I imagine that all twelve tribes of the Circassians (Abzakh, Besleney, Bzhedug, Hatuqwai, Kabardian, Mamkhegh, Natukhai, Shapsug, Temirgoy, Ubykh, Yegeruqwai, and Zhaney), maybe say nine are Orthodox, one's Armenian Apostolic, and the two closest to the border of Turkey are Sunni Muslim. I imagine there'd be Muslims in the 9 Orthodox tribes and Orthodox in the two Muslim ones, as well as a tiny Catholic minority in them all thanks to those whacky Italians in Crimea, and they're all still pretty damn pagan. Hell, some minorities from all tribes might still be uninterruptedly pagan, having sided with neither the crescent nor the cross when their backs were against the wall.

Conversely, I imagine that nearly all Circassians abroad would be Sunni Muslim (with I imagine some Circassians in Persia converting to Zoroastrianism to maybe marry a Persian woman or get ahead in the government). Kind of like the opposite of the Arab diaspora in the New World. Since the 11th Century, the Muslim world has purchased slaves from the Caucasus. The Saqaliba of Al-Andalus had Adyghe and Abkhaz roots, as did the Mamelukes in Egypt (one of the Mamluk sultans even still spoke Abkhaz into adulthood). There'd still be a slave class in Muslim Egypt, Ottomania, and Syria (Pedro has confirmed this last one). That's also a fair compromise I think between the two extremes of all Christian Adyghe and all Muslim.

I've also been thinking about the Azeri question m'self. For what it's worth, on that religion map I'm making, I made them Sunni, with a circular patch of Zoroastrians on the middle coast (based off a previous linguistic map) and some Jewish dots in the far north near Daghestan. It would be interesting if all Azeris stayed Sufi Sunnis under the guidance of the Safaviyya Order. Misterxeight 19:17, 28 March 2017 (PDT)

I'm not 100% sure about this (you'd have to ask Jan or Ben), but according to Ben's Crimea page the Circassians and other Caucasian peoples were "severely persecuted" during the 18th and 19th centuries, which would suggest that at least a very large number of them would have to be Muslims--I think this probably goes for the most of the Caucasus as well. Chalk it up to the Ottomans, the Golden Horde and the Qajars, I suppose.
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