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Web Original: Zhirinovsky's Russian Empire
An Alternate History timeline on the site AlternateHistory.com written by the user "Pelligrino Shots".

In Real Life, perennial Russian presidential candidate Vladimir Volfovich Zhirinovsky is an eccentric who is as famous for his bizarre political advertisements and orange juice fights as he is for his extreme ultranationalist views. He's widely viewed as harmless because of his utter unelectability, and is often seen as something of a rodeo clown for the Kremlin: a political performer used to draw off votes from more competent would-be demagogues.

In Zhirinovsky's Russian Empire, Mr. Shots has us imagine a series of unfortunate events that lead to Russia's Crazy Uncle Volodya taking office as President of Russia after Boris Yeltsin is assassinated during the 1991 coup attempt. Things go... poorly.

The timeline is ongoing and can be found here.


Tropes:

  • Alternate History: A slightly different August Coup causes horrific changes in history.
  • Balkanize Me: Subverted by Zhirinovsky's UIS which manages to reunite all former Soviet republics except for the Baltic states, and even they stay for various reasons within Moscow's influence sphere. The UIS even manages to (re-)unite the Serbian parts of Yugoslavia at the expense of Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro.
    • OTOH, UIS interventions split several nations (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Romania, the United Arab Emirates, etc.).
  • The Chessmaster: Alexander Lebed
  • Crapsack World
  • The Empire: The Union of Independent States. Resembles something like Slobodan Milošević's Yugoslavia, if it spanned half a continent and was armed to the teeth with the USSR's old arsenal.
    • Generican Empire
    • Hegemonic Empire: Several states (Armenia, the Serbian republics) join the UIS voluntarily.
    • Rising Empire: Most of the timeline is about the rise and consolidation of the UIS under the leadership of Zhirinovsky and Lebed.
  • Fascist, but Inefficient: The UIS. Sometimes, its continued survival borders on sheer dumb luck.
    • Increasingly averted once Lebed takes over.
  • Knight Templar: The members of the dreaded Anti-Terrorism Unit of the UIS Federal Police Force (ATU-FPF) whose motto is “by any means necessary".
  • Make the Bear Angry Again: And how.
  • The Man Behind the Man: General Alexander Lebed to Vladimir Zhirinovsky according to Vladimir Putin.
  • Obligatory War Crime Scene: lots and lots of examples. One of them is in Afghanistan, where the UIS and its Afghan allies separate the Pashtuns from the pro-UIS and Northern Alliance Uzbeks and Tajiks for (allegedly) supporting the Taliban, and then pack them up on old shipping containers while Michael Jackson's song We Are The World blares on. And when they open the container, they just shoot the men inside, to the horror of a US Navy SEAL "invited" there as witness.
  • People's Republic of Tyranny:
    • Zhirinovsky is the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia. It of course is neither liberal nor democratic.
    • The main purpose of the UIS is to prevent the independence of its member states.
    • The predecessor of the UIS, the Union of Democratic Republics is even less democratic than the UIS.
  • President Evil: Zhirinovsky, of course.
  • Richard Nixon the Used Car Salesman: Taking Zhirinovsky's place on the outskirts of Russian politics in this timeline is perennial Russian presidential candidate Vladimir Putin.
    • Silvio Berlusconi fails to get into politics.
  • Russians with Rusting Rockets: The arsenal of the UIS for the new Cold War has shifted away from Mnogo Nukes and toward what was described as "a billion Kalashnikovs and one nuke." The UIS kept only what nuclear weapons and conventional weaponry it needed to deter the West, and spends the rest of its efforts funneling arms to ethnic nationalists and other disaffected groups worldwide almost purely for the sake of disrupting the world order.
  • Scrapbook Story
  • Token Good Teammate: Gennady Burbulis and General Sergei Stepashin.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudayev who prefered to continue an (increasingly) suicidal war of independence instead of making peace with the UIS. In the end, neither he nor his Chechen Republic of Ichkeria or much of the Chechen population survive the war.


Worldwar: War of EqualsWebsite/Alternate History.com    

alternative title(s): Zhirinovskys Russian Empire
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