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Republic of Lestykhol
Motto: Protected by God and Sword
"защищен богом и мечом"
"March of the Kholaks"
|Recognised regional languages||Rovsnoski|
|Ethnic groups |
|Kholaks (89%), Yarovars (7%), Rovsnoski (2%), Other (2%)|
|Government||Ecclesiastical Representative Republic|
|Pavel Havrylovich Simonenko|
|Anton Vukara Brezhneskiy|
• Speaker of the Duma
|Sergei Tola Krasnov|
• Establishment of the Kula Confederation
• Annexed by the Vojisky Empire as the Lestykhol Guberniya
• Independence from the Vojiskiy Empire
|641,625 km2 (247,733 sq mi)|
• 2015 estimate
• 2005 census
|GDP (PPP)||2016 estimate|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2016 estimate|
• Per capita
Lestykhol, officially known as the Republic of Lestykhol (Yarovan: Лестихол) is an Ecclesiastical Representative Republic in North-East Artemia. The country is bordered to the south by Yarova, and to the west by Aukalnia and Sartland. These borders are heavily militarized. Lestykhol has a population of over 14.1 million people, with the largest city being Brezhnegrad with a population of 2.3 million. The capital city is Kholdnareka with a population of over 900,000. The republic was formed after the Kholak War of Independence against Yarova during the Grand Campaigns in 1919-1920. The country is geographically divided by its two dominant landscapes: A massive tundra to the north, and a hilly taiga in the south. The nation is known for its traditionalist cultures and history of militarism with a large active standing military.
The origins of the Kholaks is widely disputed. The most commonly accepted theory is that they were originated in the 12th Century as nomadic tribesmen who roamed the steppes of present-day Yarova. Their settlements were often located along riverbanks. However, they eventually migrated north into the wooded hills of modern-day Lestykhol. The tribes were comprised of various proto-Slavic ethnicities, with members often being societal outcasts or adventure-seekers. They built a culture around tightly-knit family structures. With the introduction of the horse, it made nomadic travel more efficient. Although the origins of the discovery of horse travel in North-East Artemia are shrouded in mystery, a common folk tale describes the first Kholak, a woman named Jannoshka, taming a wild stallion. According to the legend, her discovery inspired other Kholaks to tame their own horses. Over time, tribes would slowly settle near river banks, forming villages with complex social hierarchies. The number of tribes merged and disbanded over time until twelve remained, occupying the steppe and exploring the northern taigas.
In the 15th century, Dragomir the Wise united the 12 Kholak tribes by ratifying a constitution to combine them into a confederation. The name "Kula" was chosen because of the Kula River, whose banks hosted most of the tribe's villages. This constitution laid out a democratic system with separation of powers between three government branches. It placed limits on the Ataman's authority, and established a democratically-elected parliament called the General Council. It also gave women an at-the-time unprecedented amount of freedom. Under the Confederation, women were allowed to choose which man they could marry, and could divorce them on their own volition. Not every tribe supported the Confederation. (list the three tribes that opposed it) violently resisted, but a six-year struggle referred to as the "Konfliktovat" exhausted their resolve. By 1407, the Kula Confederation had stabilized.
In 1575, the Kholaks became a client of Yarova, and were treated like their own warrior-class. This unity came about with the marriage of (Insert Kholak dude/dudette's name here) and (Insert Tsar/Tsarina of Yarova here). Yarovan culture and traditions were integrated into the pre-existing way of life. The previously secular society was transformed with the introduction of Svogda Patriarchate practices beginning with the baptism of (Insert previous Kholak's name here), which triggered a mass conversion to the new faith. The Kholaks often served as cavalrymen for the Tsar's armies, and were instrumental in expanding the Vojiskiy Empire's borders. As the Lestykhol Guberniya, territories that comprise present-day [Aukalnia], specifically the area round the capital city of Azytenai (known in antiquity as Benediktgrad). The most prestigious role of the Tsar's personal guards, known as the Konvoi. The Kholaks served in many of the biggest conflicts that the Vojiskiy Empire fought in. The Kholaks were deployed in large numbers due to their bravery and commitment to fight. The Dzyunakaz Wars took a heavy tool on the Kholaks in terms of manpower and morale, however, causing many to question their commitment to the empire.
Early Separatist Movements
The first hints of rebellion began with the end of the Dzyunakaz Wars, with several units mutinying. However, these were quickly suppressed by higher-ranking nobles and In the 19th century, the Vojiskiy Empire's attitude towards the Kholaks changed drastically. Their traditions were considered barbaric compared to the rapidly modernizing world and their cavalry tactics outdated. Kholaks soon took notice as their status of warriors was being stripped away. Not wanting to lose their identity, history and culture, nationalist sentiments took hold by the time of the Grand Campaigns. A Kholak named Rovsninskiy Volkachev rallied the people to form a Kholak nation-state in the wake of the Vojiskiy Empire’s entry into the Campaigns. The hope was that the Empire would be too occupied to send troops against them.
Grand Campaigns and Independence
By 1919, the Kholaks had written their own constitution and submitted a formal declaration of independence. The Vojiskiy Empire responded by immediately declaring war on Lestykhol. Vojiskiy’s armies confidently marched into the taigas, expecting to face little effective resistance. They were stunned when the Kholaks unleashed a brutal guerilla campaign, hiding in the forests and wreaking havoc on the Yarovan supply lines with cavalry counterattacks. In only several months, the Vojiskiy Empire had suffered tremendous casualties, losing many troops that could have better been used on other fronts. Once winter came, the severely weakened and demoralized Yarovans began freezing to death in droves. Meanwhile, thousands of others were captured as prisoners of war. The disastrous campaign uprooted the Empire's confidence, resulting in the complete withdrawal of Vojiskiy forces by 1920. After achieving peace, a transitional government was established, with Volkachev being chosen as Ataman and Vasily Katyushin, fellow republican revolutionary and orator, as Hetman.
Four years later, while trying to establish peace and stability within its own borders, the threat of conflict rose again. The Grand Campaigns had taken their toll on the Vojiskiy Empire. Rising civil unrest led to the Vojiskiy War, a civil conflict that resulted in the fragmentation and dissolution of the Empire. Volkachev and his council were initially hesitant to support the newly-formed Republican Front. The promise of new territory convinced the Kholak leaders, and they immediately prepared for war. Thousands of men eagerly volunteered to take part in the conflict. Many acted as military advisors or cavalry in auxiliary units. These units would go on to participate in many important battles, and took part in the raid on the Imperial Palace. The war cost thousands of lives, and left many more permanently injured physically as well as mentally. To make matters worse, the Yarovan leadership in the Republican Front went back on their promise to cede land to Lestykhol. This would leave an increasingly negative impact on Kholak-Yarovan relations. Although the diplomatic ties between Lestykhol and the new Yarovan republic would unravel, other foreign relations would blossom. Volkachev himself had a special appreciation for the Rovsnoski, whom he described as "Brothers in Arms against the Yarovans."
After the Kesh War, the country experienced economic hardships and political instability. On June 6th, 1966, a radical group called the Secularists, who were strongly opposed to the Patriarchate’s influence in the government and their opposition to civil rights, staged a revolution across the country, with the largest of these uprisings in the industrial city of Belaya. Allegedly receiving aid from Yarova, they posed a significant threat to the government in Kholdareka. After the Ground Forces were deployed, the two sides clashed in brutal street combat, resulting in thousands of casualties.
As a sign of friendship, Alvakalia, who Lestykhol had supported during its brief stint in the Kesh War, shipped over the Ostkorps, a well-trained and experienced expeditionary force. Arriving in the small port of Sarokhov, the force attempted to move to Kholdareka. Although the Ostkorps did make it to Kholdareka by July 3rd, it was engaged in guerilla combat from Secularist forces. The largest of these skirmishes were on the Beloredrinsk-Chernorovsk Road on June 30th. The cold climate of Lestykhol did not make combat easy for Ostkorps troops, who were used to the hot desert climate of Alvakalia. However, as it was summer by the time the Ostkorps arrived, the temperature problem was slightly relieved. From July 4th to August 28th, the Ostkorps took up positions in and around Kholdareka, setting up roadside checkpoints on the outskirts, acting as the city security, as well as training recruits and conscripts. From August 29th to November 14th, the Ostkorps was involved in the recapture of Greater Belaya Area and Belaya itself. The largest of the Secularist counteroffensives against the Ostkorps occurred in September 21st, in the Battle of Zheleznopol District. (something about end and return)
After several months of combat, the last Secularist rebels surrendered on November 14th. The Secularist leaders were tried and executed for treason. The event shocked the nation to its core. The sitting government addressed the issues that caused the rebellion and passed limited reforms that expanded upon civil rights. This decision remains a controversial topic, and November 14th has been federally recognized as a national day of mourning ever since.
Exploiting the instability, Viktor Abram Kychinov rose to power as the Ataman in the 1970 elections. He found popularity in the lower classes with shifting economic policies and opening trade, generating greater opportunities for the people of Lestykhol. He gained a favorable reputation with the military by bolstering and upgrading the number of troops and equipment. He also expanded and upgraded the nation’s infrastructure. He gained notoriety with neighboring countries for his fierce anti-Yarovan stance, sometimes indirectly provoking them. There were several assassination attempts made on his life, and conspiracy theorists believe the perpetrators were sponsored by the Yarovan government. However, this has not been proven.
In 1995, Yulian Viktor Antonovich was elected Ataman. He continued the expansion of foreign relations and initiated the first attack on a foreign nation since the Kesh War. The desire to support the independence of Rovsnoska, a historic cultural ally, led to the deployment of the Lestykhol Maritime Defense Force to the Zaporizhian coast. Although the fleet suffered heavy losses, they played a crucial part in the war by distracting the Zaporizhian Fleet and disrupting shipping. After the war ended, Antonovich oversaw his nation’s entry into the Allied Eastern States (AES), an international economic and military alliance. In recent years, the ruling government under Ataman Pavel Havrylovich Simonenko, the economy has seen moderate growth and expansion. The threat of Yarova still leaves the country vulnerable to invasions, necessitating a strong defensive border. However, they are not alone as they have the backing of the AES, and continue seeking new members to join the alliance.
Lestykhol is home to the Kholaks, who make up 89% of the population. Yarovans make up 7% of the population while Rovsnoskis make up 2%.
Yarovan is the officially recognized language of Lestykhol, while Rovsnoski is a recognized minority language.
The Svogda Patriarchate is the official religion of the state. 94.13% of the population worships this religion.
Lestykhol's average life expectancy is around 75 years old. The most common causes of death include old age and heart disease. The market for health insurance and healthcare is fairly free, although state-run healthcare programs do exist.
Farming is difficult due to the low temperatures and dense taigas, but a large amount of root vegetables and rye are produced. There are also dedicated farms for harvesting cattle and venison. In the north, commercial fishing makes up a large portion of industries, and provides one of the leading exports. In major cities, chemical factories contribute another significant portion of economic output. The dense taigas provide for the lumber industry.
Lestykhol's primary exports are lumber products, processed fish and chemicals. Textiles are also produced in the country, and are known for their high quality and intricate detail.
Lestykhol's primary imports include industrial machinery, transportation/vehicles, petroleum and military equipment.
Lestykhol is an Ecclesiastical Semi-Federal Representative Republic. The main authoritative figure is a democratically elected “Ataman,” who is the Chief of State. The head of government is a Prime Minister, known officially as the "Hetman." The Hetman has the power to appoint Chairs of Departments, at the Ataman's discretion. The Hetman, Duma speakers, and Holy Justices of the National Court of the Patriarchate (the highest federal court) are chosen by the unicameral legislature, the Duma. Representatives of the Duma are elected through popular vote of their administrative districts. The number of Representatives per district is proportional to population. There are 140 seats in the Duma, meaning each member represents approximately 100,000 people. The Duma can over-rule the Ataman's or Hetman's executive decisions via a two-thirds majority. National and Foreign Affairs are handled by a series of Federally-administered departments. The Ataman also serves as Commander-in-Chief of the Lestykhol National Defense Forces, and can also appoint the Patriarch (the Supreme Justice) at the Hetman's discretion. The terms for an Ataman and Hetman are 5 years, and they may serve two terms. Duma Representatives also have a 5-year term length, with the exception that there is no term limit. Due to being a parliamentary system, there are several major political parties. The largest political party is The Kholak Republican Party which currently has a coalition government with the Kholak Front. The KRP's biggest rival is the Progressive Party, which is the Duma Opposition leader. Other members of the Opposition include the Greens and the Social Democratic Party. Although Lestykhol holds free elections, parties that promote extremist/fringe ideologies such as Communism and Fascism are illegal. The first elections were held in 1925, with Rovsninskiy Volkachev and Vasily Katyushin elected Ataman and Hetman respectively.
- Department of Security (police, military, and secret service)
- Department of Agriculture (farming, fishing and hunting)
- Department of Commerce (trade, market regulation)
- Department of Education (schools and post-secondary institutions)
- Department of Health (healthcare, general wellbeing of citizens)
- Department of Church (deals with religious affairs)
- Department of Culture (tourism and entertainment/culture/stuff)
- Department of Resources (mining, lumber, oil, etc.)
- Department of Labor (worker’s affairs)
- Department of Foreign Affairs (foreign policy, diplomacy)
Lestykhol is split at a semi-federal level by its 12 Administrative districts: Don, Ural, Terek, Kuban, Orenburg, Astrakhan, Siberia, Transbaikal, Amur, Semiryechensk, Ussuri and the Free City of Kholdnareka. Each one is based on and named after an ancient Kholak tribe (with the exception of Kholdnareka), and each have their own slight variations on Kholak customs and traditions.
For decades, Lestykhol was primarily isolationist. However, a decline in economic and industrial strength necessitated a shift in policy. Concerns over a conflict with Yarova also legitimized the need for military security. In 2001 under former Ataman Yulian Antonovich, Lestykhol became a founding member of the Allied Eastern States, a military and economic alliance promoting nationalism and traditionalism. Kholak politicians have also been interested in forming diplomatic ties to the North-South Concordant, citing the possibilities of expanding economic opportunities in Eastern Artemia and joining the Defense Consortium.
Lestykhol's closest ally is Rovsnoska. Although the nation of Rovsnoska is fairly new, the relationship between Kholaks and Rovsnoskis goes back nearly a century. Both people found a mutual enemy in the Vojisky Empire, and fought as brothers in arms against them. This relationship continued for years after, with Rovsnoska being one of the few countries that the Kholaks had strong diplomatic relations with.
|Country (Feel free to add your own country here)||Status||Current state of relations||Mutual Embassies||Visa Requirement|
|Rovsnoska||Allied||Member of the Allied Eastern States and historic ally.||Yes||Yes|
|File:Destland flag.png Destland||Allied||Member of the Allied Eastern States.||Yes||Yes|
|File:2000px-Flag of Syria 2011, observed.svg (3).png Gradinska||Allied||Member of the Allied Eastern States.||Yes||Yes|
|File:HelinikanflagMK4-3.png Helinika||Allied||Member of the Allied Eastern States.||Yes||Yes|
|Svenskt||Friendly||Observer of the Allied Eastern States.||Yes||Yes|
|Austrasia||Friendly||Observer of the Allied Eastern States. Lestykhol invests in numerous Austrasian corporations.||Yes||Yes|
|Template:Country data Albaterra||Friendly||Albaterra was a major fellow supporter of Rovsnoska during and after the separation.||Yes||Yes|
|Alvakalia||Friendly||Despite their connections to the League of Free Nations and the Pan-Artemian Coalition, Alvakalia and Lestykhol have maintained a cordial diplomatic and trade relationship since the Great Kesh War. A small number of Kholaks became residents of Alvakalia after the war.||Yes||Yes|
|Kodeshia||Friendly||Kodeshia is a trade partner of Lestykhol despite their connections to the Pan-Artemian Coalition.||Yes||Yes|
|Chezzetcook||Friendly||Chezzetcook is a trade partner of Lestykhol.||Yes||Yes|
|Yarova||Friendly||Despite past struggles, Yarova and Lestykhol have made amends and re-established diplomatic ties as of April 2020.||No||Yes|
|File:Poja Flag-01.png Poja||Neutral||Yes||Yes|
|Zaporizhia||Strained||Strained relations established after the end of the Rovski-Zaporizhian Separation. Member of rival YZAGA.||No||Yes|
|File:Lonk darket.png Modrovia||Strained||Member of rival Pan-Artemian Coalition.||No||Yes|
|Mero-Curgovina||Strained||Member of rival Pan-Artemian Coalition. Maintained trade relations until the late 1980s.||No||Yes|
|Seratof||Strained||Member of rival Pan-Artemian Coalition.||No||Yes|
|Gardarike||Strained||Member of rival Pan-Artemian Coalition.||No||Yes|
|Samotkhe||Strained||Member of rival Pan-Artemian Coalition. Relations have remained tense ever since the Assassination of Mikeil Kobakhia. In addition, Lesykhol's role in the Gradiskan War has prevented any improvements to relations.||No||Yes|
|Goetia||Strained||Lestykhol does not recognize the sovereignty of Goetia and still recognizes the 1925 Imperial Goetic government as the legitimate government. No diplomatic relations have been maintained and trade and migration of any kind are banned.||No||Yes|
|File:Flag of Aukalnia and Sartland.png Aukalnia and Sartland||Cold||Currently in a state of war.||No||Yes|
|File:Graznavaflagofficial.png Graznava People's Republic||Cold||Lestykhol does not recognize the GPR and has considered it Rovsnoski territory since the Rovski-Zaporizhian Separation.||No||Yes|
- See more: Lestykhol National Defense Force
The Lestykhol National Defense Force consists of the armed forces for Lestykhol. They primarily serve as a defensive force against foreign aggressors, although the Expeditionary Force can be deployed to foreign territories.
Kholak doctrine is defensive in nature. Defensive networks are comprised of a series of small, easily-defensible hardpoints (usually located in or near towns) aided by infantry scouts on skis or lightweight, fast moving vehicles. The job of these hardpoints is to distract the main invasion force while heavier infantry and vehicles counterattack from their flanks.The doctrine of the Air Force is focused on surveillance and supporting the infantry.
The Lestykhol National Defense Force is split into five separate branches; The Ground Forces, Maritime Forces, Air Forces, Special Forces and Expeditionary Forces. The LNDF falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Security. The Ataman is the Commander-in-Chief of the Defense Forces.
- Ground Force: The land combat branch, the Ground Force is comprised of the infantry (including armored units), field artillery and ground vehicles. The Ground Force hosts signal, engineer, chaplain and medical corps among many others. It is the largest of the four branches.
- Maritime Force: The naval combat branch, the Maritime Force is comprised of watercraft such as frigates, destroyers, submarines, minesweepers, corvettes, patrol boats and combat boats. The Maritime Force also hosts naval Search-and-rescue units and coastal/naval artillery. The fleet's limited range restricts it to a defensive Green-water navy. In the past, the navy was larger and more capable, primarily during the Kesh War and the Rovski-Zaporizhian split. Today, it serves as a coastal protection force.
- Air Force: The air combat branch, the Air Force is comprised of all air vehicles including helicopters, jet fighters, interceptors, ground-attack aircraft, reconnaissance aircraft and transport planes. The Air Force also hosts the paratrooper corps, Search-and-rescue units and Anti-Aircraft units.
- Special Forces: The Special Forces of Lestykhol contain the most elite units of the LNDF. They are the smallest branch, but have the most up-to-date equipment and are the best-trained.
- Expeditionary Force: The Lestykhol Expeditionary Force is a combined-arms branch that is intended to serve abroad.
In ancient times, Kholaks were trained to shoot bows from horseback. Soldiers are still trained with bows and arrows today out of respect for traditions, and in case weapons or ammunition become scarce. Most of the military equipment of the LNDF is imported from foreign countries. Countries of imported equipment include Rovsnoska, Alvakalia, Kodeshia, Chezzetcook, Thalaky, Akiteiwa and Mero-Curgovina. The standard-issue rifle is the home-grown K-21. The Rovsnoska-made Zastava M-70 is used by reserve units. The Armored Corps is equipped with modernized Rovski-Zaporizhian tanks. Motorized and Mechanized corps have many foreign-made designs from Rovsnoska, Alvakalia and Akiteiwa. The Air Force's arsenal includes Kodeshian Yu'an J.29 Multi-role jets and Mero-Curgov Wodjarbarns Wo.20 Close Air Support jets. These foreign designs are supplemented with smaller quantities of locally-produced copies and original designs.
At the age of 18, all males are conscripted into the military while women may volunteer. After 1 year of training and 3 years of service, LNDF members are placed into a reserve program where they can be called upon to serve. Once they reach the age of 50, they may retire. Officers can serve their entire lives, and be promoted.
Kholaks, as a culture, are unified in their traditional values and Svogda Patriarchate faith. They value family, community and country. Because their country is a taiga with coastal tundras, the population is organized into small communities dotting the landscape with a few industrial cities. Many Kholak children grow up in rural communities learning basic trades like farming, fishing, hunting, smithing and carpentry among others. Kholaks are renowned for their skills in archery, horseback riding, craftsmanship and culinary arts.
Kholak Scout Organization
The Kholak Scout Organization is a voluntary program for children starting at the age of six. The program is divided into two segments: the Junior Scouts and the Kholak Scouts. A sub-segment of the Kholak Scouts is the Junior Officers Corps.
- Junior Scouts: The Junior Scouts is for children aged six to twelve. Junior Scouts learn team-building, community, arts and crafts, and other skills to promote development of young minds.
- Kholak Scouts: The Kholak Scouts are for children aged twelve to eighteen. Kholak Scouts learn additional skills such as survival, leadership, and basic skills that will prepare them for their compulsory service.
- Junior Officers Corps: The Junior Officers Corps is for children aged fourteen to eighteen. Junior Officers undergo basic training that prepares them for their compulsory service, but also gives them extra skills in leadership, weaponry and vehicle training, and annual simulated war games.
The Kholak Scout Organization was established in 1940 to enrich the children of Lestykhol, and to instill a sense of patriotism into the children's minds. Although not required, the program gives members an advantage in seeking a university education and higher-skill job than non-members.
Moose and Cow’s milk is used in the production of cheese. Rye is also grown, and is a staple of the Kholak diet. In the more northern parts of the country, fish are often eaten, although the process can be difficult for parts of the year due to the freezing temperatures. Most of the Kholak diet comprises of salted/smoked meats. Venison, moose, and beef from wild cattle are the most common. The national dish of Lestykhol is Shed Roast, a venison stew similar to Goulash. It symbolizes the bountiful meats and vegetables of the region, along with the fact that it is often served to large groups of people, usually on special events which symbolises the sense of community. Etymologically, its name is an Anglic colloquialism for "schedrost," the Yarovan word for “bounty." Other popular dishes include Okroshka, Borscht, Pelmeni and Buterbrod. On Svagda fast days, when meat is forbidden, traditional meals consist of fish. Popular beverages include pine tea, mors, vodka, beer and kvass. Another beverage that has gained international recognition is Kula-Kola, a carbonated soft drink. Due to the high demand, production of the beverage is outsourced to (Insert Country).
The cold and unforgiving terrain makes Kholaks physically strong and very athletic. Hunting, Cross-country Skiing, sledding and ice hockey are popular sports. Since 1963, Lestykhol has hosted its own national soccer team, the "Lestykhol National Football Club" to compete in international tournaments.
The Kholaks are known for their traditional folk music, and their traditional dance style known as Hopak. In more recent years, the genre of Turbo-folk gained a cult following in Lestykhol after being created in Rovsnoska during the 1990s. The upbeat tempos and themes of militarism and patriotism gained great popularity with Kholak youth. Some artists have begun creating their own sub-genres that include promoting religious values and folk legends.
Much like their music, Kholaks are renowned for their folklore and fiction-based literature. Historic fiction that depicts and re-tells the events and legends of Kholak history are especially popular. The prevalence of folk legends are a major source of inspiration, with many works written about the nomadic times of the 1400s.
The beautiful forest and frigid shores of Lestykhol draw artists from all across Anterra for inspiration. Some of the best-known artworks based on landscapes are of Lestykhol.
Education is handled by the Federal Department of Education. Kholak children begin education at the age of five with Kindergarten, and are then placed in Primary School from ages six to twelve (grades 1-6). After Primary school, students then attend High School from ages twelve to eighteen (7-12). After graduation, students will immediately begin their mandatory service. After their four years of service are complete, they may attend higher education and earn degrees from any of Lestykhol's universities, but may choose to attend universities in foreign countries. Students wishing to become officers may enroll in the state-owned Kholdnareka Military Academy.