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Republic of Belarus
Map of belarus
Flag of Belarus
Country
Continent: Europe
Capital: Minsk
National Language: Belarusian and Russian
Government: Unitary presidential republic
Status in OTL: Active

The Republic of Belarus (Рэспубліка Беларусь), formerly known internationally by its Russian name Byelorussia or Belorussia (Белоруссия), is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordering Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine. Its language and people are very close to Russia's, so much that the very same idea of a separate Belarussian nationality did not become popular until the 20th century. The name Belarus even means White Russia. It was first organized as a separate state in 1919 and in 1922 became one of the founder republics of the Soviet Union, of which Belarus would remain part of until the former's dissolution in 1991. Its western half was occupied by Poland between the Polish-Soviet War and World War II.

Belarus is notable today for being the last overtly authoritarian state in Europe and the country where the Soviet legacy is most present and visible. Its economy is controlled by the state and even the secret service still goes by the name KGB.

Flag of Byelorussian SSR

The flag of the Byelorussian SSR

In most of Turtledove's works, Belarus is either part of the Soviet Union, or does not exist at all.

Belarus in Crosstime TrafficEdit

In the home timeline, Belarus rejoined Russia in the 21st century, but then separated again years later.[1] More trivially, Belarus continued to use the ruble as currency into the 21st century.[2]

Belarus in The Gladiator Edit

Crosstime Traffic employee Eduardo Caruso used the example of Belarus joining and later separating from Russia to explain to Annarita Crosetti how her alternate, where the Soviet Union won the Cold War and remained the world's leading power in 2097, differed from the home timeline.[3]

Belarus in Gunpowder EmpireEdit

In the alternate of Agrippan Rome, the area that the home timeline knew as Belarus was part of the Empire of Lietuva.

Belarus in The Hot WarEdit

Byelorussia became a strategically important region during World War III.

The United States bombed its capital Minsk with ordinary explosives on the night of 24 February 1951,[4] and then with an atomic bomb in March.[5]

Byelorussians were viewed as loyal to the USSR and seen as obedient and disposable soldiers unlike the Ukrainians and Lithuanians in the Red Army throughout the war. However, after the war ended in July, 1952, Byelorussia's own restive population began acting out against the Soviet government, although not as directly as other satellites.[6]

Belarus in The War That Came EarlyEdit

During the first days of the Second World War in October 1938, the People's Republic of Byelorussia gained strategic importance due to its nature as the Soviet Union's closest point to Germany. Soviet airplanes flew out of Byelorussia regularly to bomb East Prussia. The task was risky, however, since both territories were separated by lands conquered by Poland in the Polish-Soviet War of the 1920s.

The existence of a large Byelorussian community in these lands, which the Soviet government claimed was discriminated against by the Poles, provided Joseph Stalin with a casus belli against Poland in the very last days of 1938. In response, the Polish government forged an alliance with Germany, which was committed to the invasion of France. The USSR's initial invasion at the heart of winter, however, was a complete disaster. The Polish resisted successfully and their air force bombed some Soviet cities, including Byelorussia's capital, Minsk. The Soviets answered then by launching a full-on invasion of the whole of Poland in 1939.

ReferencesEdit

  1. The Gladiator, pg. 194-195.
  2. Ibid., pg. 128.
  3. Ibid., pg. 194-195.
  4. Bombs Away, pg. 121, ebook.
  5. Ibid., pg. 310.
  6. Armistice, pg. 314-315, ebook.
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