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Padraig Rua

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It was a cold, cold day in the town of Salekhard. Winter was beginning to set in. The waters of the port were freezing over and the people were building up reserves of food and firewood as the first snows fell outside. A common practice each year, but so was life in this cold, cruel, yet beautiful part of the world. However, life was about to change in this sleepy artic land. The people of Yamalo-Nenets, a forgotten protectorate, felt it was time for self rule. They felt it was time to rise up and say to the world [i]‘Look at us! We’re here!’[/i] And so it began on this day…….

[b][size="3"]Through the eyes of Anatoliy Bogomolov[/size][/b]

The vibrations from the under-maintained branch line had shaken me awake. I get up and dress myself, throwing on some heavy winter clothing to defend my body against the cold merciless wind of the north. A waiter arrives with a cup of black Russian tea. Its warmth is welcome as I drink it down gently. As the cup warms my hand I walk over to the table and pick up a single paged document and put in my coat pocket.

At 6.AM I arrive at Salekhard station and walk out into the crisp morning air. The station is empty and the town is still sleeping, so I walk outside and ask my waiting driver to take me to the far side of the river Ob. The drive is nice and quiet. I have time to rest; time to contemplate the significance of this journey. I eventually arrive at my destination, so I get out of the car. It drives away once I shut the door. My breath rises in the darkness. The full moon floats above the white-walled, blue roofed church and, rising still above, the high golden spires of Salekhards Cathedral.

[i]‘Perfect.’[/i] I said to myself in the coldness of the early morning darkness. [i]‘I shall announce it here.’[/i] And so I walk inside the church and wait for the sun to rise. An hour later it rose, and the people rose with it. At first one or two appeared. Then a few more until the whole town seemed to rise and stand before the cathedral. The news had spread quickly. I walk outside to greet the crowd.

The day had not gotten any warmer. Fresh snow had fallen, covering the steps of the congregation. Noticing this I climb and stand atop a small pile of firewood outside the cathedral gates. The eyes of the people fall upon me. I reach into my coat pocket and take out the piece of paper. I hold it up for the crowd to see....

[i]’I have done it. Independence is ours. Tell it to the world! So that they may know we exist and live free once again.’[/i]

[size="3"][b]Day Earlier[/b][/size]

[quote][b]Missive to the Vaulian Government[/b]

[i]To whom it may concern,[/i]

The people of Salekhard, and those who live in the surrounding lands of the Vaulian Protectorate, wish to declare independence. I've been given permission by the people to negotiate on their behalf. So I wish to invite a representative of the Vaulian Government to discuss the possibility of a Union of Salekhard. If you agree to my request please meet me at my estate in northern Yamalo-Nenetsky. The address has been supplied in this missive.

I look forward to your response,

[i]Anatoliy Bogomolov[/i][/quote]

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[quote][b]To: Anatoliy Bogomolov
Fr: Office of the Prime Minister of the Serene Republic

Re: Independence petition[/b]

We hereby acknowledge receiving your petition for the independence of the Union of Salekhard. Accordingly we have begun making the necessary arrangements to begin a transfer of control from our local protectorate authority to a duly appointed government of the people of the region. As you have been appointed to negotiate on behalf of the people of the protectorate, we will be dispatching an official to meet with you.

Under normal circumstances, such a meeting would be attended by our Prime Minister or a member of the Cabinet, however due to the ongoing war with the Northern Imperium it is not possible for senior government officials to travel abroad. Accordingly we have dispatched the Commander of our Peacekeeping mission in Salekhard to negotiate on our behalf.


Within minutes a convoy of armored vehicles would arrive at the prearranged location. A group of lightly armed Peacekeepers would secure the area, before their Commander General Yekaterina Trubachev emerged. She walked towards the building unescorted and waited to meet with Bogomolov.

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[i]" Welcome!"[/i] shouted Anatoliy to General Trubachev as he walked over to shake her hand from the front door. [i]" You are most welcome General. Please come inside. It's freezing out here. I have some nice warm tea brewing on the fire in my study. Let us have some together."[/i] Anatoliy directed Yekaterina inside his winter abode and to his private study. When they both entered the moderately decorated room they were greeted by the sight of bookshelves filled to the brim with various texts from all over the world. Though the vast majority of them were Russian.
In another corner was the fire Anatoliy had briefly mentioned. And adjacent to the fire a large window which opened up to the wide snow covered plains of the Russian landscape, with a few trees scattered here and there.

Anatoliy gestured to the large leather chair situated beside the fire, while he went to pour the tea. [i]" So General Trubachev, you have come to officially meet with me. To talk. So that we may work out the fine details which accompany independence."[/i] Anatoliy handed the tea to Yekaterina. [i]" Well, I'm all ears."[/i] Biscuits and other pastries were brought into the room upon a silver platter by a maid in Anatoliy's service. Cream, milk and sugar accompanied the delicacies too. [i]" What shall we discuss first?"[/i]

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After taking a sip of her tea, General Trubachev addressed her host:

[i]“Thank you for your warm welcome Mr. Bogomolov. I must first express my congratulations to you and the people of the region who have taken the first step towards self-government. As the commander of the Vaulian Peacekeeping Force (EFOR), my paramount concern is to ensure that the handover of sovereignty is accompanied by a handover of security and law enforcement duties to a capable local force.

In terms of security, my government is prepared to extend our Peacekeeping mission until your Transitional government has created sufficient security and police structures to take over. In terms of the structure of your proposed government, that is entirely up to you.

Finally, it is customary that we inform you of the Zhukov Doctrine which governs interactions between the Serene Republic of Vaule and the nations that emerge from our protectorate region. In short, the doctrine is a binding agreement that in the event that your future government should fall or be unable to maintain security and law and order, that the Serene Republic of Vaule will step in and restore order regardless of any other agreements signed by your future government. I would like to also clarify that this doctrine will not impact interactions between our two nations in the realm of foreign policy and should not be considered as applying any restrictions or constraints upon your government’s foreign and domestic policy.

Mr. Bogomolov, I have every confidence that you will be able to lead your people towards their desired goal of self-governance. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to let me know and I will do my utmost to address them.”[/i]-Gen. Trubachev

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[i]" Thank you for your kind words General. And I'm glad you feel so welcomed. Now, down to business!
It's not necessary for your Peacekeeping force to extend its mission here General Trubachev. But thank you for the offer. A volunteer force has already been assembled to take on the activities of law enforcement once your men pull out. They will defend the peace in these upcoming early days of the Union. As the weeks progress they will be arranged into a proper police force with the necessary training to enforce the law.

On the matter of government structure, I wish to inform you that the Union's government will be based on a democratic model. Finally, on the matter of the Zhukov Doctrine, you have my complete support. I intend not to have this land subsumed by any other power. It belongs to your people, and your people alone, if the Union ever falls.

With that, I believe we have discussed everything necessary. If you don't mind I've prepared a document confirming the Union of Salekhards independence. Would you care to sign it on the behalf of your esteemed Prime Minister?"[/i] Anatoliy presented the document to General Trubachev along with a pen.

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With the independence of Yamalo-Nenets now official Anatoliy traveled by train back to Salekhard with the singed document. He would show it to the people and set in motion the steps necessary to build a democratic state in this cold northern region of Siberia.

Volunteer couriers from throughout the Union would begin to deliver the following notification to the Heads of State worldwide.

[center][b]Notification from the Union of Salekhard[/b][/center]

[i]Greetings Sir or Madam,[/i]

I wish to inform you that on this day the [i]Union of Salekhard[/i] has officially come into existence with permission from the [i]Serene Republic of Vaule[/i]. We hope to develop diplomatic relations with your State in the near future. But for now we kindly ask you to recognize our new country.

[i]Thank you for your time,[/i]

[b]Anatoliy Bogomolov
Premier of the Union of Salekhard[/b][/quote]

Edited by Chancellor Patrick
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