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Why do we build a wall, my children?


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Prelude: go with the flow.

With a new rise in tensions in @DPR Velaheria, the Government of Walneria has officially advised all citizens to leave Velaheria. This move, long expected by multiple analysts, have finally materialized in a snap press conference on 1400 this afternoon, in the light of similar precautions being taken by @Orioni. The Walnerian token diplomatic corps in Bastaria has been recalled and in accordance with 1953/155 §§22-25 is to hand its diplomatic functions to a new three-member emergency body of newly appointed delegates starting 0000 on Saturday. This is an unprecedented move, as the law, officially called “Law on security of foreign diplomatic corps” has been triggered only three times in 1989 – in Dazhdinia, Sawbrania and Velaheria respectively. The articles in question state, that the Government of Walneria has in a case of a deep political, diplomatic or security crisis a right to appoint a temporary body that takes over the civilian affairs of the standing diplomatic service to facilitate the existence of Walnerian representation in the case lawful authority loses its monopoly on violence or if it uses that monopoly in a brutal crackdown that may endanger civilian operations of the embassy. This condition is a temporary act and may last at most three months.

“I must say that I can not blame the government, but on the other hand, isn't it a bit overkill? This clause is to be triggered only if we expect that country to not exist in the 48 hours and I think it is not the case,” expressed his doubts a REH MP in a debate panel with the ChDPR Minister of Defence Leni Grossa and the Shadow Minister of Defence from GH Ludvig Nihamŕ.

“We made this decision preemptively,” claimed mrs. Grossa, “we have to thread carefully, especially with the newly created CDANA seen by some as an anti-Velaherian bloc. We have a strong suspicion, that if something is going on, and you can take other countries evacuating as a proof, it would be best to be prepared.”

“I understand your logic, Minister”, said Nihamŕ, “but we must not fall into this trap again. If something is to happen, we would be forced to shift our focus, yes, but currently, the status quo is upheld. While this status is by no means desirable, do we wish it instead of anarchy? Unless you know something from the Walnerian Bureau for Security of the Confederacy that you can not share, we are only guessing on an action of a nation that already has an army in that state, not something that is a healthy precedent.”

Stock market uncertain: an opportunity or a predicament?

As a reaction to this precaution, as well as other nations doing the same, Foster & Ajax Glubal Ratings have announced that they would not be changing the credit score as no sign of activity has been seen from the Velaherian government that may justify lowering the credit score again. As the economic and political analyst invited to the afternoon news show on RNTV News suggested, that this decision may have been made in the lights of the previous economic war that emerged from an unofficial diplomatic rift between Walneria and Velaheria two years ago. Currently, the score is D — i.e. “Fluctuating danger. It is hard to predict the danger of development, and as such any investment should be taken with caution”.

“You have to understand, that first and foremost, politicians have warned of an imminent coup in Velaheria for decades. Our current government coalition is volatile as LPR and ChDPR struggle to find common ground on social policies and restarting this war and the economic uncertainty all over again is something that they seek to avoid at any cost, especially 8 months before an election”, she said, “Velaheria is a state that on its own can always be seen from the outside as standing two feet from a large cliff, and one day, we may see the cliff actually collapse and swallow them, but it is something that will happen suddenly and unless we want to force it in opposition to our Constitution, there is nothing we can do.”

Nonetheless, as tensions rise, markets show that attitude towards Velaheria is still in decline, two years after Velaheria has restrained Walnerian investment.

With no rhyme or reason: Déjà vu?

No comment was offered by the Prime Minister or the President on the situation. The President recommended that this action has been done by the decision of the Government. And while he has the formal right to refuse this action as a head of diplomacy, he respects the due process and the right of the Prime Minister to temporarily recall the diplomatic crew.

With this said, the local authority in Lusųvka, Brěgava, was informed of the potential risk of increased tensions in the region and instructed to check for weapon shipments from and to Velaheria that dock in the Walnerian-leased dock.

In a poetic language, it only serves the best to conclude this report from a poetic question: 𝒲𝒽𝓎 𝒹ℴ 𝓌ℯ 𝒷𝓊𝒾𝓁𝒹 𝓉𝒽ℯ 𝓌𝒶𝓁𝓁… 𝒶ℊ𝒶𝒾𝓃?

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“Is this it?” asked the support operative Jan Goriss of the Walnerian diplomatic triumvirate in @DPR Velaheria, “I thought we could afford a better building in here. Why do we even have an embassy if it is cornered in some unnoteworthy streetlet that is closed off from both sides by suspiciously looking roadblocks?”

“We can,” replied the new Ambassador-Commander Pro Tempore and a former military police officer Karl Johan Ifkiss, “but this is where Velaherians want us to be. We have this building really cheap because their Secret Service wants to keep a close eye on all entry routes. If somebody wishes to defect, this is the perfect place to stop them.”

“Yeah, but still… I have no idea how the former corps managed to exist in here.”

“Well, the Ambassador slept here, and the other staff were sleeping across the street in that hotel” said Karl, pointing at the grey building with peeling paint and exposed bricks that appears as it fell into disrepair in the early 1990s. “Don't be mistaken, they have had running water and even intermittent internet access. Velaherians want to make sure we aren't a thread, but they can not afford threatening us in here.”

“If they can not be a threat, then why are we here, commander?” asked Jan.

Karl slowly walked across the room and removed the blinds from the window on the opposing wall. He slowly looked into the inner courtyard filled with small sheds and parked diplomatic vehicles they didn't feel safe leaving on the street outside. “I don't know, but there must be a reason. We all heard the spiel by now, during the quick briefing and during the drive here. Nobody knows for sure, as far as I am aware, but it must be something serious, else they wouldn't've picked us two and Marian.”

Jan peaked through the curtains. The only famous landmark he could see was the Bastaria TV tower, dominating the city skyline. Across the courtyard, more consulates, all squished into the same set of streets for ‘internal security reasons’, were visible. Jan noticed somebody from the Dazhdin consulate smoking the cigarette in the open window, using the ledge as an ashtray, and reading some book with a grey cover that in color almost completely blended with the dulled out façade. @Orioni's embassy, which they passed on their way here, had all lights shut down and its courtyard completely cleared. “I just don't get what has changed that our government is freaking out. They didn't even pull the plugs on markets, unlike two years ago. And why is Marian even here, he is an economist, not a diplomat or a crisis manager?”

“I don't know, perhaps they wanted an economist so they can keep relations with Velaherians in case they freak out and round up for round two of the economic war. It was a hit to LPR, and they want to look both strong and docile at the same moment.”

“I worried that was the case. I hate being a pawn ever since they sent me as a civil administration coordinator to @Zaxar to facilitate Antargic shipments. I swear, they want to drive me mad.”

“Hey, don't fuss that much. We are here for three months tops unless the National Assembly upholds the decision, which is really unlikely. And it's not like we are going to the Dolchland's frontline, they keep Bastaria well-fed and clean.” Karl said, and slowly looked around, subconsciously thinking if the Velaherians could've hidden a bug in the Embassy during the short window when the two delegations were changing, with the civilian ambassador departing and them unloading their luggage in the backyard.

The sun has already set and streetlamps were shining in the streets, a light which is not so common in the rest of Velaheria outside the great cities, rendering the whole state as a dark outline on the satellite map of the wurld. An old-school TV magazine was lying on the table with the scheduled programming for the evening. The three had bought it in a corner store along with some bread and butter earlier today, a reasonable action given that internet connection is highly questionable and watching streaming platforms is out of the question if you do not mind it loading every 10 seconds on a low quality setting.

They checked the watch and walked into the next room, where a few small couches and a TV brought from Walneria sat. They turned the TV on, selecting a random TV show whose name they have never heard, hoping to at least unwind after a day of moving heavy boxes downstairs and a few crates with personal belongings and envelopes with secret communiqués upstairs.

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It's been a busy morning on the Walnerian Ministry of Defense. The previously evacuated ambassador was on the phone all morning (and would be even longer if the phone didn't go silent as the lines were disconnected), discussing every single aspect of this situation with the current extraordinary Ambassador Ifkiss. While the minister of defense anticipated a possible escalation, they never expected war to break out.

In a snap press conference, the second in the last week, the Minister of Defence stressed out, that Walneria is and always will be a neutral nation unless attacked and will do its best to keep its grounds to act as a hypothetical mediator in the future:

“It's no secret that the last few days were turbulent, but we could never have expected such a massive escalation of force. While we don't commend this regrettable action, we see the rationale behind it and therefore will not condemn it for the time being. The National Assembly has been called into an emergency session to discuss a variety of diplomatic solutions that rely on bilateral talks between @DPR Velaheria and @Orioni. We want to take this moment to ask all and any nation looking onto Argis in this turbulent times to not worsen the situation, nobody wants to see another regional war to break out.”

At the same time, the Prime Minister attempted contacting the head of Orioni and the leader of Velaheria, but in the latter case, the phone was dead, possibly because wires have been cut.

A day one poll with a sample of 1023 people paints, however, a completely different picture. While 76% of the respondents think that Velaheria should fold and that the coup is beneficial, 54% question whether the military action was really necessary.

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It's almost undeliverable how a city can change in 24 hours. That's the only idea that was not told out loud, but was hanging in the air, flowing out through the open window with cigarette smoke and back indoors along with nameless masses of vulnerable bystanders.

At first, they didn't realize something wasn't right. When they started watching TV, the only thing they saw was some ballet, an odd sight for a TV series “It's So Funny”. When they changed the channel, it was ballet too, this time in back and white. The third channel was broadcasting only a monoscope and the fourth's broadcast consisted of TV static.

“I don't like Tchaikovsky,” said Jan, “I have no idea why they think this is funny.”

“Something is wrong.” replied Karl, “They wouldn't be broadcasting only Swan Lake on repeat”

Marian left the room and told them he will be reading a book. It was about 5:30 AM when the first plane flew over the embassy. A few minutes later, another fighter plane followed. Then two more.

That's when they heard it. Shouting and running. As the sun rose, there was a smoke coming from the TV tower.

On the street before the embassy, a car filled to the brim with guards went at around 80 km/h.

Marian, who returned from the perimeter of the diplomatic quarter, arrived shouting and running, barely catching breath: “The guard posts are empty, they all deserted or fled!”

At the same time, Karl, who was on the phone with the former diplomatic attaché, listened to the few sparse reports that leaked abroad. From what was known, it is either a coup or an invasion, nobody knows for sure. @Orioni troops have almost certainly left their camps and got involved in the fight, unless they were the ones that instigated it. @DPR Velaheria's leadership was not accessible through any means, being likely either isolated or captured. And half of the Foreign Ministry of Walneria was running around with hands raised while the other half tried sporadically to put out the dumpster fire that this situation is quickly developing in.

Around noon, the staff from the Dazhdin embassy arrived. Their ambassador, whose name was unpronounceable to the staff, shared the little insight they have. It was indeed Orinese troops that were moving across the city. Curfew has been announced by the local authority, but they don't have enough means to enforce it. Most of the police force deserted, and the mayor is nowhere to be found. Besides that, they had no more information.

That's when the first one came. A young adult, around 30, with a small girl, which he held by her right arm. He waved some document booklet above his head. With a thick Velaherian accent, he shouted in broken fragments of Walnerian, along with some English loanwords: “Help we, help we! We need home, we want safe! We aren't communist, we want help! Please help!”

While many sheltered and feared to look from their windows, some saw a chance and took it. As the sun was setting, there was no place in the Walneria's embassy left. Dazhdins weren't doing much better, they've moved all their sensitive documents to the Walnerian embassy, locking all of them in a single room where they and the three Walnerians slept.

Invoking his emergency authority, Karl announced, that since the owner of the connected housing complex is nowhere to be found and since Walnerians technically still occupied some hotel rooms, they temporarily commandeer the building to accommodate more refugees.

The Dazhdin ambassador, chain-smoking and in visible stress, looked out of the window. A few deserters of the Velaherian military, probably conscripts, stole a few tents and the courtyard was filled to the brim with people holding their most valued belongings, usually only a bag or two.

“We have to feed them, we have to ensure hygiene, and we have to protect them from both sides. How do we do that?” asked Marian.

“I guess we're in it now. If we establish a green zone, we could help them get by for a few days if the plumbing holds and if somebody didn't shut off the water” answered Karl. He wanted to sound confident, but in fact he was desperate. We can't provide for them all, he thought, but if we turn them away, they will rip us apart. This is the only chance most of them will ever get.

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CLASSIFIED: SUPER-SECRET COMMUNIQUÉ

-=Read only=-

  • Minister of Defence
  • Minister of Foreign Relations
  • Chief Administrator of the Walnerian Bureau for Security of the Confederacy
  • President of the Confederacy of Walneria
  • Ambassador Emeritus Pro Tempore for Velaheria
  • Ambassador Permanente for Velaheria
  • Ambassador Permanente for Stedoria-in-exile
  • Ambassador Permanente for Dazhdinia
  • Representative-General in Kapojvar
  • Representative-General of the Walnerian delegation to the Council of Democratically Aligned Nations of Argis
  • Representative-General of the Walnerian delegation to the Assembled Nations

In the light of current events in @DPR Velaheria and the involvement of @Orioni, @Seylos and the greater Union at large and @Stedoria, a quick communiqué follows on the priority activities of Walnerian diplomacy regarding the Velaherian war:

  1. Do not condemn nor commend any party in the conflict. Walneria needs to be neutral in this whole ordeal. We are in a situation where siding with any party would be detrimental. Acknowledge the crisis, but avoid the following terms: “war”, “coup”, “invade”, “occupy” and “liberate”.
  2. Approach the Stedorian diplomatic attaché in Gromųva in coordination with Dazhdin authorities and ensure the establishment of a temporary diplomatic link between the current Stedorian regime and the Walnerians diplomatic service in order to minimize the chance of an accidental conflict
  3. Create diplomatic pressure on all parties participating in the conflict to limit civilian casualties. Ensure that the Emergency Diplomatic Corps in Bastaria has enough resources to operate the embassy in its diminished capacity.
  4. Immediately call for the session of the Cabinet of the Council of Democratically Aligned Nations of Argis in which the member states discuss in which way they will coordinate their approaches towards the conflict
  5. Identify and select the inteligentsia within Velaheria that can be evacuated into Walneria and ensure their immediate transport into Tyrámen. Grant temporary protection to any citizen of Velaheria that is not a member of the Communist Party and has contacted the embassy in Bastaria in person. If necessary, once possible, evacuate these citizens to Walneria. It is paramount that Walneria looks like a humanitarian minor power in the region.
  6. Approach the Assembled Nations with a proposal on immediate ceasefire and offer Walneria as the neutral mediation location. If this issue is approached with enough care, this may improve the international position of Walneria.
  7. Destroy all copies of the Document 2023/11 (a-17-7) and ensure that the original copy is archived in a top secret documents vault

19 December 2023

Signed: Zimón Novak, Prime Minister

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Message 1

COMMUNIQUÉ TO THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION-IN-KAPOJVAR

FACILITATED BY THE AMBASSADOR PERMANENTE FOR DAZHDINIA AND THE REPRESENTATIVE-GENERAL IN KAPOJVAR

⪡CLASSIFIED⪢

DEAR CITIZEN, THE CHIEF CONSUL OF THE @StedoriaN PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC,

our two nations have struggled in the past on impractical feuds that only leave scars and impair a partnership that may one day bring the progressively thinking people of both our nations together to one day look back at the 2010's and 2020's as an era where fraternity among all humankind was dependent on economic interests rather than respect for all human beings.

In the light of recent events in @DPR Velaheria, I believe it is our common goal now to normalize relations between our two nations in a way that preserves the interests of both. We propose the following resolution to the current dispute between our two nations:

  1. Confederacy of Walneria officially withdraws the recognition of the Kingdom of Stedoria and recognizes the current Administration-in-Kapojvar as the new legitimate administrative body of Stedoria
  2. Confederacy of Walneria grants citizenship to current Stedorian refugees in Walneria and doesn't extradite any political dissidents currently residing in Walneria
  3. Confederacy of Walneria agrees to not fund any armed insurrection within the territory of Stedoria proper
  4. Stedorian People's Republic agrees to restrain from impairing the activities of the autonomous governance of Stedorians within the Graistrik Special County and any cultural organization that may evolve from the current standing monarchist government-in-exile
  5. Stedorian People's Republic agrees to restrain from influencing or financing the activities and political discourse in any of the current or future member states of the Council of Democratically Aligned Nations of Argis, including Gemotam parties and political associations
  6. Stedorian People's Republic facilitates the orderly resettlement of some Velaherian citizens under protection of the state of Walneria into Walneria proper through dedicated transports crossing through Stedoria proper
  7. Stedorian People's Republic puts a moratorium on the death penalty until a more in depth agreement can be reached about possible asylum for political dissidents in the Confederacy of Walneria

While these steps are our proposal, it is with our best intentions that we reach you in good faith and with a trust that our nations will one day learn to coexist without conflict despite our different political systems.

Prime Minister of the Confederacy of Walneria
Zimón Novak

Message 2

COMMUNIQUÉ TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE KINGDOM OF STEDORIA

FACILITATED BY THE AMBASSADOR PERMANENTE FOR STEDORIA-IN-EXILE

⪡CONFIDENTIAL⪢

YOUR HONOR, THE PRIME MINISTER-IN-EXILE OF THE KINGDOM OF STEDORIA,

the last week has left a terrible mark on the peace and stability in the region. It is therefore the current position of the Central Government of the Confederacy of Walneria to normalize its relations with the Administration-in-Kapojvar, which may include the official recognition of their authority over Stedoria. While we understand this may come as a shock to your cabinet and all the citizens of the Kingdom that find themselves in Walneria, it is a diplomatic necessity in order to not endanger all the lives of the citizens of Walneria both in Argis at large and on the border with Stedoria specifically.

It is therefore the policy of Walneria to offer all citizens of Stedoria that currently reside in Walneria proper and have resided here for a cummulative sum of at least 4 years since December 13, 2009 a proper Walnerian citizenship. We also offer a facilitated modification of the autonomous charter of the Graistrik Special County that it would be given more broad autonomy and would incorporate the currently existing offices of the Stedorian government residing in Walneria. If approved in a popular referendum, new elections would be held and your representation would be granted the equal opportunity to run in these elections as the umbrella organization of Stedorian expatriots residing in Walneria.

It is our continuous policy to ensure your security and safety within Walneria and in accordance with the Constitution, no political refugee would be removed from Walnerian soil during the negotiation process with the Administration-in-Kapojvar.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Confederacy of Walneria
Vréni Ssulc

Message 3

COMMUNIQUÉ TO THE CABINET OF THE COUNCIL OF DEMOCRATICALLY ALIGNED NATIONS OF ARGIS

FACILITATED BY THE REPRESENTATIVE-GENERAL OF THE WALNERIAN DELEGATION TO THE COUNCIL OF DEMOCRATICALLY ALIGNED NATIONS OF ARGIS

⪡CONFIDENTIAL⪢

YOUR HONOR THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE CONFEDERATION OF @Ahrana, @BalticaN FEDERATION, FEDERATION OF DAZHDINIA, @Hinterlands CONFEDERACY, CONFEDERATION OF @Lusuviya, REPUBLIC OF STEMAS, GRAND DUCHY OF VOLHYNIA AND THE CONFEDERATION OF @Poja,

with the current situation in Velaheria escalating to truly concerning proportions, it is my sincerest concern that the response of the Council of Democratically Aligned Nations of Argis be one of neutrality but openness to help with the democratization of Velaheria and potential non-lethal invovement in the area. Some of the semi-related issues I believe should be discussed on an emergency session that I propose be held in 5 days time are:

  • Fast-tracking the vote on the acceptance of @Gotneska into the Council before the formal establishment of the Parliamentary Assembly on January 1, 2024
  • Discussing the potential membership of @Iverica on a future meeting of the Cabinet
  • Coordinating a possible humanitarian mission in Velaheria

I understand that some of the other member states, including Walneria itself, have a clause that prohibit military involvement abroad, which is understandable and the Council has no right in overriding, but I believe that some of the member states could form a contingent that can provide relief efforts and local administration in some areas of Velaheria. Walneria is willing to send a small force of gendarmerie police and a set of experts on local governance that could help to facilitate the transition to democracy within Velaheria.

We stand at the crossroads. We are a new cooperative and we are seeing old powers fighting for scraps in Velaheria. If we stand back, we may lose a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to show as the true democratic and humanitarian bloc in Argis, not tasked with military involvement but cooperating to facilitate peaceful democratic transition in a nation that has been synonymous with autocracy for the better part of a century. Doing so may improve our international recognition and possibly increase the prestige of the union abroad, bettering not only the reputation but also having a positive impact on our soft power in greater Argis.

Prime Minister of the Confederacy of Walneria
Zimón Novak

Minister of Defence of the Confederacy of Walneria
Leni Grossa

Message 4

COMMUNIQUÉ TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE ORIONI EMPIRE

FACILITATED BY THE AMBASSADOR PERMANENTE FOR @Orioni

⪡DECLASSIFIED⪢

YOUR HONOR, THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE EMPIRE OF ORIONI,

it is a great honor to adress your excellency. Orioni is one of the most easily recognized nations of the wurld and it may also influence the way it looks on the rest of the planet. While the Confederacy of Walneria supports the basic idea of democratization in Velaheria, it is our grave concern that the way it was approached by your armed contingent may endanger the future stability of the greater region, not only Velaheria but also its neighbors and by extension Walneria itself.

As an official stance of the Central Government of Walneria, we would like to urge you as well as Her Majesty's Government to cease any and all action that may be detrimental to the safety of civilians in Velaheria and that may threaten international stability of Argis. It is not in anybody's interest to see yet another long proxy war and we are currently standing on the crossroads of history, where we either choose peace and stability or enter a decade long conflict which leaves no winners, but only widows. Please take a few days and contact relevant actors before taking further military actions in the area.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Confederacy of Walneria
Vréni Ssulc

Message 5

COMMUNIQUÉ TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE KINGDOM OF SEYLOS

FACILITATED BY THE AMBASSADOR PERMANENTE FOR @Seylos

⪡DECLASSIFIED⪢

YOUR MAJESTY, THE KING OF SEYLOS,

it has come to the attention of the Walnerian Central Government that armed forces of your nation are converging to a miltiary engagement with the armed forces of the Empire of Orioni. While we understand the general frustration of both sides, it is our hope that no nations seeks to consciously start a war in a nation where there is a real prospect for democratic reform.

While Walneria does not endorse the steps carried out by Orioni, it is in our best interest to cease all hostilities before it is too late and our states are involuntarily plunged into a yet another war that nobody sought. Do not let the atmosphere of the moment sway your decision towards a move which can not be taken back later. As we have urged Orioni, we urge you and the North Adlantic Union at large to avoid any military engagement and wait for a mediated resolution either through an egalitarian forum of all involved powers or an Assembled Nations-facilitated peace summit.

Gears of diplomacy turn slowly than gears of war, but it is the stillest water that runs the deepest and twenty years from now, our children will be the ones to judge our actions. Do not let them grow up without their fathers, either in Velaheria, in Orioni or in Seylos.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Confederacy of Walneria
Vréni Ssulc

(OOC: This post is not just my monologue, you can react to my messages both IC and OOC, I am trying to create a different perspective on the crisis in @DPR Velaheria)

Edited by Orioni
Fixed letter comments; splits into separate messages (see edit history)
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In the spacious, elegantly appointed office of the Imperial Councillor of Foreign Affairs, sunlight filtered through the blinds. The walls were lined with bookshelves, laden with volumes of international law and the rich history of diplomacy. At the centre, Anna Hackney sat behind her desk, embodying a portrait of deep contemplation. She re-read the Walnerian message on her computer screen. Her immediate response was a mix of concern and thoughtfulness.

Murmuring to herself, she reflected, “Walneria's concerns… they aren't unfounded.”

She leaned back, tapping her fingers on the desk as she pondered the message's contents. Her eyes briefly caught a framed photograph on the wall, reminding her of her tenure as the Orinese permanent representative to the Entente of Oriental States. It was a photograph from one of her proudest moments, when she managed to amend the Entente's charter with the R2P clause.

Interrupting her thoughts, her aide, a young professional, entered the office with a tablet in hand.

“Councillor Hackney, we have a draft response ready for your review,” the aide announced, understanding the importance of the task.

Anna took the tablet, reading the draft closely. After a moment, she looked up, thoughtful. “We need to uphold our R2P commitment while addressing Walneria's concerns. It's a fine line,” she remarked, contemplating the intricate balance of the response.

The aide nodded in agreement. “It's challenging, but if there's anyone with the expertise to handle it, it's you,” they affirmed. The statement was not just a reassurance but an affirmation of Anna's diplomatic acumen.

Anna, with a small nod of determination, started typing her review of the draft response. She was careful in her choice of words, ensuring they conveyed both her nation's role as peacekeepers and their dedication to human rights. “Our actions reflect our commitment to both peace and human dignity,” she thought to herself, focused on the task at hand.

Response to the Walnerian Communiqué

Date: 23 December 2023

To: Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Confederacy of Walneria, Vréni Ssulc

From: Mrs Anna Hackney, Councillor of Foreign Affairs, Orioni

Dear Minister Ssulc,

Thank you for your communiqué. The government of Orioni acknowledges and respects the concerns expressed by the Confederacy of Walneria regarding the situation in Velaheria. We understand the apprehensions about the methods employed and the potential implications for regional stability.

Orioni's actions in Velaheria were driven by a commitment in line with our obligations as a member of the Entente of Oriental States (EOS) and the principles of Responsibility to Protect (R2P). This is outlined in the publicly available EOS charter's clause §3.F. This clause, which I myself had the honour to introduce in 2018, reinforces our duty to protect populations from human rights violations, mass atrocity crimes, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, genocide, and crimes against humanity.

In Velaheria, we have acted in accordance with these principles, responding to the urgent need for liberation from an oppressive regime that was in clear violation of these fundamental human rights. Our primary objective remains steadfast: the protection of civilian lives and the establishment of a stable, democratic governance in Velaheria, ensuring that such atrocities are prevented and that the well-being of the people is prioritised.

We assure you that our actions, while decisive, are guided by the EOS charter's commitment to a defensive and proportionate approach in addressing these key concerns. This approach is essential in our collective effort to maintain peace, security, and the protection of human rights within our regions.

We are acutely aware of the delicate nature of our current position and the broader implications it may have for Argis and its nations. To that end, we are actively seeking diplomatic avenues and engagement with international partners, including Walneria, to ensure a peaceful resolution to the situation.

Our approach going forward will be measured, with a focus on minimising any adverse impact on civilians and the region. We are open to dialogues and collaborations that can foster a peaceful and viable solution.

Your suggestion to consult relevant actors before proceeding with further military actions is well-received. We are committed to engaging in discussions and negotiations with all concerned parties to ensure the stability and well-being of not only Velaheria but also its neighbouring regions, including Walneria.

We appreciate the opportunity for open communication and look forward to constructive dialogues in our shared pursuit of peace and stability in the region.

Sincerely,

Mrs Anna Hackney

Councillor of Foreign Affairs

Orioni

OOC. The original message from Walneria was addressed to the Chairperson. However, since it came from the minister of foreign affairs, I responded with my official from a comparative perspective. The chairperson, my head of government, will only respond to messages from other heads of government.

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The fall of Velaheria's regime, whilst still technically ongoing, was, from Stedoria's perspective, already over. The almost total lack of resistance against Orinese forces by the Velaherian Army, along with the complete silence and utter collapse of Velaheria's state institutions, came as a severe shock to the Stedorian government. Not only had one of Eurth's largest powers interfered in regional affairs that Stedoria plays a direct role in, but so too had Stedoria lost a budding ally--even if this ally was, for the most part, viewed as unreliable at most by practically everyone in the Stedorian government, from the lowliest backbencher to the Chief Consul himself.

Whilst painting a superficial picture of strong condemnation and steadfast resistance against Orioni's unexpected regime change, the truth was that the Stedorian government was scrambling, trying to figure out what was next. An ally, even if unreliable, is still an ally. Stedoria was now geopolitically alone for the current time being, at least in its own regional theatre of Argis. As such, the Stedorian government needed, at the very least, for its neighbours to dislike them just a little bit less.

Walneria's offer of an official establishment of relations, whilst unexpected, also came at a time in which one could most reasonably imagine for such an event to occur. Since the toppling of Stedoria's monarchy just over 10 years ago, Walneria had refused to recognise the Stedorian People's Republic's legitimacy, instead settling for the remnants of Stedoria's former royalist government. Whilst initially maintaining its authoritarian monarchist stance, the increasingly authoritarian nature of the People's Republic had successfully allowed the Royal Government-in-Exile to rebrand as a broad Stedorian democratic movement. Thusly, whilst the demands made by Walneria to the People's Republic were undoubtedly strong, the acceptance of them would generate a significant blow to the Royal Government-in-Exile's legitimacy. This in turn would reduce the legitimacy of the royalist anti-government guerillas operating in Stedoria, allowing them to be dealt with in one final, decisive blow.

RESPONSE TO THE COMMUNIQUÉ FROM THE CONFEDERACY OF WALNERIA
GOVERNMENT OF THE STEDORIAN PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC, FREE AND INDEPENDENT

Prime Minister Zimón Novak of the Confederacy of Walneria,

The relationship between our two proud nations have undoubtedly, for the past decade, been on terms that were, regrettably, less than amicable. Your nation's decision of refusing to recognise our revolution's legitimacy was, unfortunately, regrettable. However, the past cannot be changed, and it is indeed futile for any person to believe that it can. The effort to mend anything, be it physical or conceptual, must begin somewhere, from which it must rise up; this includes the relationship between Stedoria and Walneria. Equally, it is your own hope, so too is it my hope that future generations, with great consciousness, shall look back at our own time simply as an era from which to learn and better society from, rather than which to replicate.

Your nation's requests are, frankly, quite strong. However, with some modifications and additions, it is my belief that we both may find a suitable outcome. Our modification are the following:

Regarding Point 5: That this be amended to also ensure that any and all parties subscribing to Gemotamist ideologies within Walneria do not face any threat of banning through judicial or legislative acts, provided that these parties act in FULL accordance with Walneria's laws.

Regarding Point 7: That this be amended to place a moratorium on capital punishment for crimes solely of a political nature. Capital punishment for crimes of a non-political nature may continue. Note: This naturally may be a source of a grey area, especially regarding violent crimes of a political nature (terrorism and/or sabotage in certain instances). As such, capital punishment for violent political crimes will also be suspended until such time in which clear definition may be established.

Our additional proposal is the following:

Additional Point 1: That the Government of Walneria, through its relevant institutions, engage in a relaxation of economic sanctions.

It is my hope that your government may find these aforementioned modifications suitable for acceptance. This is indeed the first step for the peaceful co-existence between our two nations. It is also indeed our desire that this, in the future, may form a relationship of mutual respect and amicableness.

Tamäj Köseg
Chief Consul of the Stedorian People's Republic

Second message.

ROYAL RESPONSE TO THE COMMUNIQUÉ OF THE CONFEDERACY OF WALNERIA
DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT IN-EXILE OF THE KINGDOM OF STEDORIA

Minister Ssulc,

I must express the cabinet's, and my personal disappointment with your government's decision to engage in diplomacy with the so-called Stedorian People's Republic. The groups responsible for the rebellion in which this illegitimate state was established, are destined only to lead Stedoria into a path of corruption and ruin. It was indeed our hope, instead, that the events occurring in Velaheria would serve not only as a catalyst for the democratisation of Velaheria itself, but also for the eventual democratisation of Stedoria.

Without Walneria's crucial support and recognition of our government-in-exile status, we are no longer in a suitable position with which to engage in democratisation and resistance efforts in Stedoria. As such, any and all actions within Stedoria will now become impossible, thus removing our government's legitimacy. There is no clear path left for our government to continue its stance regarding its claims of the territory of Stedoria. International support for our cause had already remained moribund since the 2009 coup itself; whilst our government believed it could withstand this storm and continue as a stronger entity to finally free Stedoria, it is clear now that this is not the case.

As such, it is my duty to announce to you that, having already deliberated, the cabinet has voted unanimously to dissolve itself and the Democratic Government In-Exile of the Kingdom of Stedoria on January 1, 2024 at 00:00, to be succeeded by the Stedorian Cultural League in Walneria (Kulivafed Stedoriänik in Roberiän). Additionally, our government has no other choice but to accept your proposed modifications and granting of Walnerian citizenship. It is our hope that this may alleviate the pain that will be felt by all Stedorians in Walneria upon learning of this news.

This is a regrettable and sad end to a decade of struggle for the freedom of the people of Stedoria. Our efforts have been hard fought and our advocating of democracy tireless; however, it appears that for the time being, this not been successful. Regardless of what has happened, one day, the people of Stedoria shall rise up once more, this time for the freedom that they truly need and deserve.

Konrad Grünafel
Prime Minister of the Democratic Government of the Kingdom of Stedoria

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Friday, 22 December 2023

When United Poja ran on the platform of formally ending the Konfederacija Poja's last vestiges of semi-isolationism, they hadn't intended for 2023 to be the year that the band-aids were ripped off entirely.  Yet, here it was, a truly eventful year for the Konfederacija Poja and its government.  In truth, the policy shift had begun years prior but that final push began in late December 2022 when President Andrej Petrović decided to involve the Konfederacija Poja in what would amount to its first, foreign, military deployment in support of Gallambrian and Iverican forces in Europa.  By the time that deployment was underway, the Pojački government had received its invitation to join the New Pearl Road and formally applied to become a Partner for Peace with TRIDEN.  Months later, as the summer drew to a close, the Pojački government stepped out once more and found itself supportive of and joining the Council of Democratically-Aligned Nations of Argis or CDANA for those who didn't want to run out of breath, which was set to come into force on 1 January 2024.

          The Velaherian Crisis, on the other hand, had thrust the Konfederacija Poja onto the glubal stage a bit earlier than expected.  What had been baby steps thus far saw a full blown entry as Ambassador Gišić stood upon the podium of the Assembled Nations and denounced the condemnations against the Orioni Empire and stood firm against Velaherian tyranny and oppression.  Now it further went to put CDANA on the wurld stage even before it came into force, which was problematic and dangerous in its own right.  The Pojački government was eager to make its mark but it didn't want to rush into anything either.  When CDANA had been proposed, the Pojački government saw it as an organization that lined up very precisely with the Pojački goals of freedom, liberty, self-determination, and democracy.  Yet, it didn't expect CDANA to be able to do anything on an international stage for years.  These were nations that, though they had relations with one another, didn't have any sort of cohesive command structure between them, had not participated in major exercises together, and had certainly not even begun to lay out the legal framework to any possible operations as a whole.

          Yet, time was of the essence.  The communique from the Confederacy of Walneria was fraught with the anxiety that surrounded eastern Argis ever since the Orinese had toppled the Velaherian government on 18 December.  Nations had risen up to defend the tyrants that rule over Velaheria but thus far nothing had yet happened and the Assembled Nations had devolved into political theater on who could get their shots in against the Orioni Empire while trying to shield their own inactions and hypocrisies.  The communique put forth three basic questions, two of which were simple from the perspective of the Pojački government.  The admission of the Second Kingdom of Gotneska into CDANA was hardly a difficult choice for the Pojački government as the two nations held friendly relations for some time now and happened to share the TRIDENT Partner for Peace bond, though so too did the Kingdom of Seylos, which was adamant about opposing the Orinese in Velaheria along with the Greater Holy Empire of Arome.  There was something to be said about both nations in the eyes of the Pojački government now that they seemed to be endeavoring to be both part of TRIDENT and yet stand on the side of tyranny.  The Gotneskan application would thus receive a solid AYE from the Pojački government.  The second question broached the potential membership of L'República Iverica, another member of TRIDENT, another nation with a longstanding friendship with the Pojački government, another easy AYE from Poja's perspective.

          Thus, that left the third and most difficult question, a humanitarian mission in Velaheria.  The nation had hardly been destroyed by the Orinese takeover, in fact it was mostly bloodless except for sporadic actions here and there.  Governmental services appeared to be continuing and the people supported what was known as the Lily Revolution.  If anything, the Orinese were simply looking to extricate themselves and pass on the check to someone else, which perhaps the Pojački government would have done if the situations were reversed.  Nation building was hardly something that the Pojački government had any experience in whatsoever.  It actually presently a problematic position for the Pojački government.  The Democratic People's Republic of Velaheria was an enemy to Poja, there was no beating around the bush there.  The chance to mold Velaheria into a non-hostile nation was almost too good to pass up and yet it was a path lined with many hazards.

          On top of it all, the infancy of CDANA as an organization and the aforementioned lack of history, command structure, and so on and so forth meant that its mission could rapidly develop into something more harmful than helpful, thus putting Pojački-Velaherian relations right back where they were, or worse.  Walneria had been frank, this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and the Pojački government agreed.  Poja wanted to leap at it but knew it would be beset by dangers.  Some nations would only participate on a humanitarian level, which left an opening for peacekeeping forces, something that would be required.  Poja could do either but, in the wake of the many nations that would fall solely on the humanitarian side, the Pojački government felt it might be better off volunteering for peacekeeping duties instead, utilizing the many, many years of professionalism in forming the modern-day Pojački National Forces to their advantage.  Yet, how would this play out with  Chancellor Jelena Jurić, who only months earlier put an abrupt halt to combat forces deploying to Europa to support Gallambria and Iverica?  Was this the same situation?  That was war, this was peacekeeping, what was the difference?  Was there a difference?

OOC: As I mentioned it's a bit of a struggle so tl;dr to above is that we are in favor of Gotneska & Iverica and have some reservations [see last 2 paragraphs] to the CDANA mission but agree wholeheartedly with the Walnerian message


• • • † • • •

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  • 2 weeks later...

It wasn't a dark alley, nobody wore a black coat, and there was no Bond-esque villain with an overly thick posh accent with a cigar in one hand and an overpriced glass of whiskey in the other. Yet that whole meeting screamed conspiracy.

A RNTV investigative reporter Katarina Grénholm, invited to an emptied out street, was nervously hobbling from one parking space to another, trying to kill time. From time to time, she checked her pager just to notice no new messages — who would choose such a place at 4AM on a Wednesday in January?

Her career had seen brighter moments for sure; only a few years ago, her reporting caused the then prime minister Lókass Kacënbóm's abdication; officially, he resigned because of “Ill health and a need for more free time for recreating and his family”, but unofficially, she had unofficial reports about LPR having connections to the Secret Service.

After that, it was downhill. She was famous, gave one interview after another and slowly worked her way up the ladder, being hailed as a role model for new reporters. Then, the hype died down. Nobody would let her work on any political cause; she was too famous (or in LDP infamous) to be seen as impartial, to everyone in the field, she was the girl that brought down the prime minister. Should've stayed anonymous, she thought.

Looking into the windows of the closed shops, she could see only her reflection in the street lights; a tired woman in her 30s with one government behind her belt and a sense of misbelonging. Then, somebody tapped her shoulder.

“I've seen your work. What you did 5 years ago is honorable, even though you are paying a price for it now” said the man. He didn't need any disguise, no hat or dark gloves, the shadows caused by the dim street light showed only a poorly cut brown hair and a bushy beard.

“Excuse me? Who are you?”

“Here, have this.” said the man, handing her an inconspicuous white envelope with a red-blue border that screamed aerial post and turned around, walking away.

She was too smart to follow him. If he was the one whistleblower she had received her note from, following him would be counterproductive; if he was not, dangerous. She didn't know the stakes, but they may very well be really high.

She looked at the envelope. It was addressed to the Ambassador Emeritus Pro Tempore for Velaheria's second Consul-General, a load of words meaning “That person that is the lowest ranking representative that our government felt safe sending into a war zone”. It was marked as “Diplomatic communiqué” and while missing on the envelope, the set of four papers inside were all marked with two words: “Confidential” and “Copy”.

She flipped through the papers and noticed something odd. She read a single paragraph and blood drained from her face. She sporadically flipped through the papers, looking at the bottom of the fourth one. She looked at the sender. Her jaw dropped. She dialled a number she had engraved in her muscle memory.

“Hey. Yes. I know it's 4:20AM. Trust me, it's worth it. I'll be at your front door in 20 minutes, be ready. I'll buy you a breakfast if you get up now. I said now!”

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  • 2 months later...

Sunday, 31 March 2024

It has been a busy few months, but Katarina has seen finally some productive work, the first in years. The whistleblower was only a tip of the iceberg, and as it usually happens, the board in her room slowly gained more weight as additional notes, newspaper clippings and printed articles were added to it, first in columns, then on top of each other, all connected through yarn. Only one thing was missing from the ideal of a mad scientist on a brink of the discovery of a supraluminal drive from any 1980s sci-fi: Katarina was still paying attention to her visage. Even though her eyes looked tired, and she resigned to wearing sweatpants so she does feel as comfortable as possible, she tried maintaining her personal hygiene and did her hair almost daily. But finally, she was finished. A TV broadcast on her laptop was broadcasting some round table discussion on the national television about a new military continent in Velaheria and what that means for Walnerian troops that are in these units. She cracked her fingers and prayed that she knew what she was doing. And just like that, she unleashed a ticking time bomb due to explode in three days' time, once it is cleared and published. After that, the military mission would be secondary, and prime time would be filled with screaming and unapologetic rambling.

* * *

Novak is a war criminal

Written by Katarina Grénholm – Wednesday, 3 April 2024

Zimón Novak, the current prime minister of Walneria, poised for reelection this August, has been known as a skilled politician and former businessman, but every coin has two sides. We have seen the mask slip in the past, when Mr. Novak's antics caused a trade war with Stedoria and Velaheria only a few years ago and greatly tarnished our reputation in Argis. This move, while justifiable on its own given the circumstances of that time, was only a harbinger of the things to come — this that are still unraveling today and that will lead to a great realignment in Argis and in the wurld at large.

I have received a note from an anonymous source working at the Ministry of the Interior a set of documents that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the current government, and personally Zimón Novak, the Minister of Defense Leni Grossa and the current emergency attaché to Velaheria Karl Johan Ifkiss have been involved in a conspiracy with @Orioni to overthrow the government in @Velaheria through military force. There are more than a few proofs — Walneria was only one of the very few nations that evacuated their embassies before the coup d'état took place. The emergency representative, Ifkiss, was a police officer with ties to businesses in which Novak had been involved prior to switching from business to political career.

On the day of the coup, based on the call I had with Jan Goriss, Mr. Ifkiss not only was fully aware of the situation despite the phone breaking down, but was relatively calm and eventually, the next day, disappeared without a trace for two days, claiming that he was trying to locate local authorities and facilitate humanitarian support from Orioni. Eventually, after a deal was reached with @Stedoria and the refugees were moved to Walneria proper, some Walnerian businesses, who would under any rational thought stay as far away from Velaheria as possible, especially given the tarnished reputation of that national even from before the coup, rushed to gain lucrative contracts on some Velaherian industries. Communication towers in Bastaria region were bought out by Blanov TeleCom, several agricultural kolchozes were bought out by Agronaut Branch Walneria using a shell company Agronaut Branch Velaheria and the former company of the Prime Minister — TechMech Inc. — bought the Koinsburg metalworks. While in case of TeleCom and TechMech, I have failed to find the original copy of the documents, Agronaut agreement was signed by Ifkiss on behalf of the collective organizations, because he managed to secure the power of attorney from the respective district official of the national council's committee for agricultural production.

Many representatives of these Velaherian public companies and organizations have been listed between “refugees accepted for permanent residency within the Confederacy of Walneria” under the evacuation measures. While in fact most refugees are probably genuine, there are cases where insider trading was used as a precondition for VIP treatment and expedient path to Walnerian citizenship.

And finally, the military intervention. While it does not contradict the neutrality clause of the Walnerian constitution, it is a political show to cover most of the previous actions carried out under the pretences of national safety. It has been long assumed that the Walnerian Secret Service is in contact with various other nationalities and cooperating with many other nations on behalf of the national interests, unofficially violating the neutrality clause. From the documents leaked to me by the anonymous source, Walneria has been involved in foiling the coup d'état attempt in @Zaxar in 2011, cooperating with various other nations, most notably Dazhdinia, during the civil war in Dolchland and coordinating with nations such as @Delamaria against the communist bloc, a plot that has been carried out last year.

While some involvement is understandable, it must be done clearly and without dubious intentions, something that the current government has failed to prove. 2024 is an election year in Walneria, and it is many analysts' opinion that an expedient resolution to the Velaherian crisis lead by Walnerians that both removes the thorn in Walneria's side and allows Walneria to grow on the international stage would be a winning ticked for the LPR and the ChDPR to once again win a majority of seats and keep power for an additional term, if not two. Not only was the crisis conveniently timed, but also planned out in a way that it retrospectively justifies the economic war started at the beginning of the term.

For all we know, despite being a fellow party member, the president has been kept in the dark about the planning, and is likely not involved in the situation at all. Because of this, a general hesitancy should be considered when next elections are held — who do we wish to keep in power and for how long? Are we willing to close our eyes and pretend that nothing has happened? Has the good outweighed the bad in this whole affair? Do ends justify the means? There are no simple answers.

One thing remains clear — we are in a new era, for the good AND for the worse, This will change and Walneria would have to evolve, as we have opened a Pandora's Box. It is our responsibility to no stray from the path that we have so effortlessly blundered ourselves onto. We must do our best in our new situation. Not only for the people of Walneria, but for the people of Velaheria as well. We owe them that much, if not more.

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