The United Republics of Donovia is a resurgent nation that, prior to two decades ago, was the region’s dominant political, economic, military, and social player. Internal turmoil due to an embezzlement scandal—known as the Four Traitors incident—lessened Donovia’s influence during the period from 11–20 years ago. Now, riding a wave of higher oil prices, a reinvigorated Donovia seeks to rebuild its prior levels of regional and international influence through a combination of assertive diplomacy and military power. However, the desire for independence among the other states in the region creates friction between them. Ultimately, Donovia’s neighbours wish to accommodate Donovian power without jeopardising their core equities.
The United Republics of Donovia is nominally a republic, but in reality operates as an authoritarian state. Despite outward moves toward democracy, the small political/economic elite maintain power through control of the dominant political party, the Unionist Democratic Party (UD). The UD, in turn, dominates the political and economic landscapes. Despite a tumultuous past, the Donovian political structure remains generally stable.
The Unionist Democratic Party arose from the aftermath of the Four Traitors incident two decades ago, with a mandate to clean up the corruption within Donovia that had collapsed the nation and arrested nearly 70 years of Donovian power and development. While the UD has managed to put the Donovian economy on a sounder footing and has been able to increase national prestige through assertive military and diplomatic manoeuvre, it has done so via highly-centralising state political control. It has also attempted to centralize political control while retaining the veneer of democracy and an economic free market.
Massive corruption exists despite the high level of integration between the UD and the government. While this corruption was tolerated by the majority of the population as the economy rebounded and international prestige increased, overall tolerance for corruption is starting to lessen.
Donovia maintains a strong military, partially as an inheritance from its pre-Four Traitors incident strength and partially through economic wealth being used to transform the post-Four Traitors military remnants into a modern force. Donovian doctrine and tactics are complex, supple, and competent, making it a capable opponent. The country’s military capability ranges from irregular forces to nuclear weapons and anti-space capability. This strong military, combined with its assertive political agenda, make Donovia a strong player in the region.
Donovia continues to recover from a collapse two decades ago that crippled its economy. All nations of the Caucasus have relatively high inefficiency due to corruption, government involvement in the economy, and/or lack of export industry development.
Donovia’s current economic structure and situation stem from a sudden internal financial collapse that occurred 20 years ago. The Donovian government instituted major changes at that time, liberalising the banking, tax, and private enterprise systems to assist recovery. These reforms, coupled with vast natural resources, enabled the country to stabilize economically and gradually recover.
Donovia maintains a large information environment, with its Internet industries counted among the world’s most active. However, censorship, while unofficial, is pervasive regarding corruption and other government malfeasance. Donovian INFOWAR capability is highly developed and world-leading in a number of critical areas.
Donovia is a large dynamic information environment. A world-class source of various Internet and INFOWAR technology and tactics, the Donovians are likely to leverage their capability to the utmost during a crisis. Donovia’s mass media operates under a regime of significant government interest in adverse reporting, so the Internet is the most free information sphere within Donovia with the social media being the heart of Donovian political opposition.
While Donovia contains the second-highest urban population rate among the five countries, it also faced an urbanization rate of -0.2% over the last decade with no change in the foreseeable future.
The North Caucasus region contains three of Donovia’s largest cities—Makhachkala, Grozny, and Nalchik. Due to policies enacted at the national level that limit social services to current distribution models, many Donovians moved from smaller cities to larger cities to obtain desired social services while others returned to their rural roots to create the negative urbanisation rate. While most of the Donovian people who inhabit the urban areas can obtain basic modern utilities, they operate with infrastructure built between World War II and 20 years ago and suffering from a lack of preventive maintenance. As such, many Donovians experience power outages, intermittent water flow, and sewage backup.
Many Donovian buildings, especially the governmental ones, attempt to express greatness by their sheer size. Many buildings use block architecture that appears immense, but usually perform their functions without much appeal to the eye.
Donovia consists of 653,587 square miles of territory and lies in the very easternmost part of Europe. It shares 5,980 miles of border with several different countries, including both Gorgas and Atropia to the south, and three bodies of water—the Black Sea, Sea of Azov, and Caspian Sea. The country contains varied terrain to include mountains, hills, lowland plains, forests, steppes, and uplands.
Roughly Y-shaped, Donovia can be divided into northern and southern parts, with the northern “fork” of the Y separated from the southern “stem” by a neck of land measuring around 310 miles from east to west. In the north, the Dnieper, Volga, and Kama Rivers form most of the country’s northern boundary and the Ural River defines much of the far eastern border. In the south, the country consists primarily of the land confined by the Azov and Black Seas on the west, the Greater Caucasus Mountains to the south, and the Caspian Sea on the east. The vast majority of Donovia lies below 1000 feet in elevation, with the only notable exceptions being the Ural Mountains in the Far East and the Greater Caucasus Mountains in the far south.
The terrain of northern Donovia consists of a series of uplands and lower plains. The Desna Uplands lie in the far west, followed by the Oka Plain to the east. In the center of the region, the Volga Hills descend eastward to the Volga Plain. The Ural Uplands lie further east and rise to the Ural Mountains, which end at the Ural River and Donovia’s border. The northern region lies entirely above sea level, with the Ural Mountains reaching up to 5,380 feet.
In southern Donovia, the North Caucasus Plain gives way to the Caspian Lowland in the east and the Barbodrag Upland in the south, then finally to the Greater Caucasus Mountains in the far south. While the North Caucasus Plain’s elevation is similar to most of northern Donovia, the Caspian Lowland lies below sea level. The highest point in Donovia—and all of Europe—is Mount Elbrus, which lies at 18,510 feet above sea level in the Greater Caucasus Mountains. The eight southernmost republics in the country form the North Caucasus region, whose unique features include the Kuban-Azov Lowland (west) and the Ostremek Plain (east)—both part of the North Caucasus Plain—and the Kuma-Manich Depression (north).
Donovia’s major bodies of water are primarily seas and reservoirs. The landlocked Caspian Sea, to the east, also borders Atropia and Ariana. Shallow in the north and deepening to the south, it possesses oil and natural gas reserves that are sometimes the subject of disputes among its bordering countries. The Azov and Black Seas, on the west, allow maritime access to the Mediterranean Sea and, by extension, the Atlantic Ocean. The Azov Sea is the world’s shallowest sea, with a maximum depth of only 46 feet. It is rich in fish and other marine life and is fished extensively. The Black Sea is considerably deeper and is shared by neighbouring Gorgas, among other countries. Donovia boasts ports on all three seas. The country lacks large natural lakes but has three substantial reservoirs whose uses include drinking water, irrigation, and hydroelectric power.
Donovia possesses a large river system that runs throughout the country. The largest of these rivers, the Volga, is Europe’s longest river. More than 2,000 miles of its 2,193-mile course lie either on the border of or inside Donovia. The Don is the second-longest river in the country, with a course of 1,162 miles. Other important waterways include the Desna, Dnieper, Kama, Moscow, Oka, and Ural Rivers in the north, and the Kuban, Kuma, Manich, Sunsha, Sulak, and Terek Rivers in the south. Most of these rivers terminate at the Azov, Black, or Caspian Seas and are at least partway navigable. Many of them, including the Volga, Don, Kama, Ural, Sulak, and Terek, have hydroelectric power plants along their courses. Canals—such as the Barbodrag canal system in the North Caucasus and the Moscow Canal between the Moscow and Volga Rivers—provide water, transport, and/or hydroelectric power to parts of the country.
Movement in Donovia is less restricted in the upland steppes and lowland plains than in the mountains. Heavy snows and icy conditions seriously hamper troop movement in the mountains during winter months, while flooding causes mobility problems in spring and summer. The presence of dense forests in the north and south increases difficulties and provides cover for enemy forces and smugglers, while multiple rivers and streams challenge mechanized and motorized movement. Air operation impediments include tall mountains, thick forests, steep valleys and gorges, strong winds and sudden wind direction changes, low clouds, dense mist and fog, and dust storms. Donovia actively uses landmines in the region, especially in the Gamrun Republic and in the Greater Caucasus Mountains along the border with Gorgas.
The Caucasus countries, for the most part, do not believe in the sensitivity of time, and do not view punctuality or the importance of time as the US and most other Western countries do. Most of the people in the region do not view time as a resource and do not feel any compulsion to effectively manage their time. The people in the Caucasus region do not make the connection between effective use of their time and production. This lack of time consciousness will likely frustrate US soldiers as they work with their allies, but it will also give the US a battlefield advantage against its opponent