closer ties with europe

“Velvet” What?!

Or at least that’s what I imagine the reaction of somebody from the above timeline to hearing of the Velvet revolution would be. In this timeline, there was no Velvet revolution. During the breakup of the communist regimes, the communists in Prague managed to hold on to power. The less left-oriented Slovaks didn’t take well to this and a brief power struggle later, they declared independence. The Czechoslovak communist party had their hands full putting down uprisings in Czechia to do much about Slovakia and thus the Slovak Republic and Czech Soviet Socialist Republic were born. 
It is now 2015 and east Europe is slowly turning west. Poland and Lithuania divided Kaliningrad among themselves after the dissolution of the USSR. Due to their conflict over it with Russia, EU’s  expansion into east Europe has slowed. Meanwhile the peacefully-dissolved ex-Yugoslav states have a much better chance of joining the Union (Slovenia has already joined, Croatia is in the process of joining). The East German Republic didn’t see the quick fall of the Berlin wall and is instead slowly coordinating unification with west Germany and thus also the EU. Almost as if trying to prove something to their red western neighbors, the Slovaks have been riding a pro-western wave these past twenty years and with American support boast an impressive and modern army (mainly stationed on the western border with CSSR) and are on their way into the EU. 
The Czechs, sourly watching the former Soviet empire collapse, crawl back into a North-Korean-esque shell from the rest of Europe. Instead, they seek closer ties with other “leftover” communist states, North Korea and Cuba. Banding together, they sign the treaty of Havana and create a cooperative “axis”. Most of the rest of the world is rather amused by these little pipsqueaks, feeling only slight distaste at their used of the name “Axis” for their alliance. How amused will they be when they find out that the three reds have been fast at work at building their own nuclear arsenal, based on reverse-engineered Soviet rockets left behind in their old bunkers in Czechia?

The header of the map says “Axis Havana-Prague-Pyongyang” and “We shall stay loyal”, a motto often used throughout Czechoslovak history. 

I originally intended to post this on the 17th, the anniversery of the revolution, but school, work and generally life-issues didn’t allow me to finish it till today. So I hope you enjoy it ;)

by Kryštof Huk (SoaringAven) - 2015
Please reblog, don’t repost!

Here’s a cheat-sheet guide to the protests in Ukraine, Venezuela and Thailand:

What are the protesters’ demands?

Who’s a better economic ally, Europe or Russia? That’s the key issue at the heart of Ukraine’s protests. Demonstrators want the government to forge closer ties with Europe and turn away from Russia.
But the dispute is also about power. Many in the opposition have called for the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych and the ordering of new elections. And both on the streets and in parliament, they’ve also pushed to alter the government’s overall power structure, feeling that too much of it rests with Yanukovych and not enough with parliament.

Who’s protesting?
An opposition coalition has been leading the charge against Yanukovych and his allies.
On CNN iReport, protesters and onlookers have shared more than 100 photos and videos of clashes between demonstrators and police. The nighttime images are especially striking – figures are silhouetted against large bonfires set alight in the streets.

When did the demonstrations start?
In November, thousands spilled onto the streets after Yanukovych did a U-turn over a trade pact with the European Union that had been years in the making – with Yanukovych favoring closer relations with Russia instead.

What’s the latest?
Long-simmering tensions exploded anew in Ukraine on Tuesday as clashes between police and anti-government protesters left more than 25 people dead and the capital’s central square on fire.
A shaky truce agreed to late Wednesday disintegrated by the next morning, as gunfire erupted again in the square. At least 100 people have died and 500 have been injured since Thursday morning, the head of the protesters’ medical service told CNN.
The Ukrainian government has not released an updated figure, but the Interior Ministry said earlier that one police officer was among the dead.
Foreign ministers from Germany, France and Poland met with Yanukovych on Thursday and are to meet with opposition leaders too. European foreign ministers convened an emergency meeting in Brussels, Belgium, where they are considering sanctions against Ukraine.

What are the protesters’ demands?

Demonstrators are demanding better security, an end to goods shortages and protected freedom of speech.
They blame Venezuela’s government, led by President Nicolas Maduro, for those problems. Maduro and other officials blame the opposition for the country’s security and economic problems.

Who’s protesting?
Many demonstrators across the country are students. Prominent opposition politicians have also led protests and joined marches.
Since February 13, more than 1,100 images have been uploaded to iReport, CNN’s user-generated platform. Many of the videos and photos are gruesome and depict violent scenes between demonstrators and police.

When did the demonstrations start?
Nationwide student protests started this month. On February 12, the demonstrations drew global attention after three people were killed.

What’s the latest?
As throngs of supporters chanted their support, opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez turned himself in to authorities Tuesday.
Lopez remained in a military prison Thursday as the government pressed terrorism and murder charges against him, his wife said. Lopez has denied the charges, which are connected with violence during the protests.
Maduro, meanwhile, has called members of the opposition fascists and compared them to an infection that needs to be cured. Officials have also accused the United States of plotting to destabilize the government.

What are the protesters’ demands?

Protesters in Bangkok have been calling for months for the ouster of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who they allege is a puppet of her billionaire brother, the deposed, exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Who’s protesting?
Opposition to Thaksin and Yingluck is strongest among the urban elites and middle class. That’s why the demonstrations have been concentrated in Bangkok. The protesters want to replace Yingluck’s government with an unelected “people’s council” to see through electoral and political changes.
Thailand residents and visitors have shared dozens of stories of unrest on CNN iReport over the past month. The latest approved photos show demonstrators sleeping in the streets in Bangkok as a form of peaceful protest.

When did the demonstrations start?
Protests began in November after Yingluck’s government tried to pass an amnesty bill that would have paved the way for her brother’s return to the political fray.

What’s the latest?
Deadly violence erupted in the heart of Bangkok on Tuesday as anti-government protesters clashed with police, and the country’s anti-corruption commission filed charges against the Prime Minister.


What the Hell Is Going On in Ukraine?

The situation in eastern Ukraine can best be described as chaotic. While it’s clear there is violence occurring between pro-Russian groups and pro-Ukrainians (who desire closer ties to Europe), not much else is clear. Photos and video from the region show streets filled with a volatile mix of protesters, police, armed soldiers, civilians, and militia, wearing widely varying uniforms (or just street clothes). Many are masked, their exact motives and backers unknown as they attack their opposition, or raid government buildings, and tear down each others’ flags. Some appear to be more at play than at war, but the stakes are deadly. Dozens have been killed in just the past week alone in gun battles, fires, and beatings – even a Ukrainian military helicopter was shot down yesterday. Gathered here are images of the chaos in Ukraine from the past week, as fears grow that violence will escalate even further.

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