by Max Barry

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The United Socialist States of
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

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5

Kremlin's Press -- Our Newspaper and Magazine

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16 November 2018


- Citizens starting to wear black for the upcoming Nuclear Remembrance Day

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- Snow is being cleared in the Karanidov Square for the annual Remembrance Ceremony.

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8 November 2018


- Civil servants and party members wearing all black for the upcoming Nuclear Remembrance Day on 18 November

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- The Kremlin Lifeguard Regiment leaving the capital to aid a foreign ally, says the spokesman

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5 November 2018


- An interview about the upcoming election by the independent newspaper Maroyasvet's Today.

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- The weather looks nice, it is snowing in the mountainous regions.

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- The Kremlin Lifeguard Regiment mobilizes, no more context given

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1 November 2018


- The Northern Wind has arrived. Zitravgrad is soon to be graced by Father Winter. Long may he reign over our Providence-forsaken nation. /sarcasm
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- Everything is quiet, except this thing you are reading.

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31 October 2018


It is not Halloween if you do not get your blood sucked out of you. Ministry of Health and Blue Cross International are accepting blood donation at your nearest locations.
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28 October 2018


- Harvest season officially closed. Our harvest is "slightly better plus now we have corns" in comparison to last year.
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- "Spooky dogs" spotted around the city. Much scary. Very ghost.
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22 October 2018


- Whaling and outer zone hunting banned, environmentalists cheer.
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- Sweets sale on the rise, quite foreboding about the end of the month.
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17 October 2018


- A wolf found with half a watermelon, Zitravgradian internet shares the picture for good luck. A
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- Animal rights activists propose banning hunting outside the zones as well as whaling.
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12 October 2018


- University of Providenska celebrates its 513th anniversary by midterm examinations. "I mean... that's what we have done for the last two centuries." says the Rector.
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1 - 10 October 2018


- Harvest season in progress. More about tractors, corns, pumpkins and the like in Pg. 4.
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- The weather is changing course and this country is unpredictable. Take care. Love, Ministry of Health.
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27 September 2018


06:00 - Nationwide nuclear evacuation drill takes place today. Each city demonstrates how to evacuate to the nearest shelters in case of nuclear war. Do not panic. Follow the instructions of the law enforcement. Do not panic. This is the drill! Repeat! This is the drill!
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12:00 - Shops closed. Towns emptied. 70% of citizens in major cities taking refuge in the nuclear shelters as instructed. Extra assistance is being sent to nurseries, hospitals and nursing homes. The Politburo has also moved underground.
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14:00 - The military and the law enforcement are now in the secure position. The Kremlin Radio now announcing standard survival protocals and patriotic messages. Underground trains still working and citizens may move within the underground system to join their families at the usual fee rates. Electricty, water, heating and internet are now being maintained by automated system.
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18:00 - The nation grinds to a halt. Comrades, stand strong. But please keep in my mind that this is a drill. A brawl between construction workers and a group of teenagers at Stolany Station has been suppressed. Any other trouble will be suppressed in similar manner.
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22:00 - Everything comes back to normal and citizens are being moved out of the shelters. | Get a cup of tea at the shelter exits, and leave the paper cups at the designated trash disposals.
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23 September 2018


- The official grain and wheat harvest season will start on the first day of October.
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- A particularly excited agricultural expert: "It seems like our corn fields are not heavily damaged."
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21 September 2018


- The rain has stopped. Visit your nearest medical institution if experiencing irritation or rash.
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- Annual harvest "mildly threatened" by the storm.[/i] .
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17 September 2018


LinkRadio:"Comrades, please prepare yourself and your family for the upcoming rainstorm. Visit the nearest shops for umbrellas, raincoats and rubber boots. Rainfall is heavier than the Zones' containment AND likely to be contaminated."
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15 September 2018


- Record-breaking matryoshka set created in Plovschik, contains 48 dolls.
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- Heavy rainstorms predicted to arrive next Monday.[/i] .
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8 September 2018


- National main source switched to Kremlin's Press.
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- Blue Cross International's Pre-Winter Charity Program starts. "We hope to have enough food and clothing for the less fortunate before winter arrives." .
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3 September 2018


- The tourist dilemma solved by providing birth document "with birth gender".
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- Famous nuclear scientist to give a lecture at Providenska stuck at the border control for other reason. Later allowed in after issue of "name change" settled.
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3 September 2018


" A tourist with passport stating "no gender" denied, later tries to sue Border Control."
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Controversy goes viral after a tourist from Weissenberg was denied entry to the country on the ground of not stating their gender in their passport. Reportedly, the aforementioned tourist is trying to sue the Border Service and its Director. "I sure would love to recognize the aforementioned person. But this is one of several cases that we just can't... it is illegal to leave the gender box blank in documents! What's next? People getting offended for not being able to omit their age from passports?", says Dimitri Yakovich Potyomkin, Head of Department of Border Service. "This is not as much of a gender issue as a problem of documents. Third gender is not recognized in our country. Therefore, any foreigner wishing to enter Zitravgrad will need to provide a document of their birth gender. This is not difficult!"
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The tourist, whose name is closed for now, replies, "Refusing a person for what they decide to be is simply not right. I am utterly surprised that a person with the third gender would not be equal to others in a "socialist nation"." The Kremlin, however, remains largely silent, with one statement from the Chairman's Office -- "My comrades, may this matter be settled with peace, whether this person still wishes to enter our country or not. If yes, we require the documents. If not, we would compensate for the time lost."

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23 August 2018


"Ministry of Foreign Affairs announces the start of its Embassy Program after months of delay"
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It has been quite a time since the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced its intention to create the Embassy Program. However, the preparation took several months and had been briefly interrupted by the democratization movement early in January. As of now, the Ministry has reserved 25 locations on 4 major streets of Providenska for future embassies.
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Ministyr of Foreign Affairs' Headquarter in Providenska




19 August 2018


Economic planner 'Planirovshchik' listed as 12th most powerful supercomputer in the world
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Planirovshchik is a non-citizen AI whose database and core processing unit are stored within the supercomputer of the same name. Used strictly for central economic planning, Planiroshchik or "Comrade Pavlov" is stored in the Ministry of Economic Development, where over 20 technicians and economic experts work with real time economic reports, both for domestic market and global market.
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(Above) The supercomputer Planirovshchik, (Below) Planirovshchik's avatar, designed after the revolutionary economist Alexander I. Planirovshchik (1956 - 2009)




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Listed in Kalmarener TECHTOP Magazine as 12th most powerful supercomputer in the world, Planirovshchik covers the entire floor of the Ministry and has its own energy supply, making it last more than 24 hour in case of blackout.
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18 August 2018


"Military cooperation sealed with Serezslavia Pact. "
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Following the meeting between top military leaders of Zitravgrad and Sereszlavia Pact on Friday 17th, a pact involving military cooperation and research agreement was signed in Ministry of Defense's headquarter in the outskirt of Providenska. The leading dignitaries are the commanders and ministers of defense from Zitravgrad and other 7 republics in the pact. "The trend for defense industry in Zitravgrad is promising." says the Belovian Minister of Defense Ivan Kappalyk. "As comrades of the USSZ, we are willing to support Zitravgrad in building her military for the purposes of peacekeeping and maintaining stability for her people. Long live comrade Ladoka. [Premier of Sereszlavian Pact]
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(Pictured) Zitravgradian Field Marshal Zhukov, pointing at the map of Eastern Auropia and announcing the plan for the People's Army researches




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The Zitravgradian authority also announces that the new research plans will be "shared" with the Pact according to the agreement.
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12 August 2018


The Chairman attends Rapier Fencing Tournament's Closing Ceremony


After a week of intense, potentially blood-drawing tournament to find out the best fencers of the Eastern Bloc, the closing ceremony takes place at 16:00 -- Providenska time. Among the visiting dignitaries are Vice-Chairman of Serezslavia Pact Maxmilián Kolář, East Bezjanian Generalismo Savatije Golubović, Henellian President Triantafillia Zografou and Kozavian Grand Duke Alexander Nikolyevich. The closing ceremony starts with a brief speech from Minister of Sport and Tourism Mitrofan A. Reshetnikov, thanking the Association of Eastern Auropian Fencing for the opportunity to hold the tournament. The speech is followed by the 45-minute performance from Zitragradian People's Army Choir and the award-giving ceremony.
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The performance by the Zitravgradian People's Army Choir.



The tournament is divided into four parts -- male and female, under 18 and 18 or older. The entire results can be viewed at the website of Association of Eastern Auropian Fencing. Below are the first three places of the four classifications.
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Male Under 18
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#1
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Kliment Grigorievich Suvorkin - Kozavian Empire
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It was more or less expected. Suvorkin is known as one of the best young fencers in the Empire, having started fencing at the age of six. As of now, he is seventeen years old and studying in Sankt Vasily Military Academy, specialized in armored cavalry warfare.

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#2
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Damarion Blanchard - United Colonial Commonwealth of Atlanzia
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Son of Atlanzian ambassador to Wien, Blanchard only applied for the tournament out of curiosity. In his interview, he said that he did not expect to come this far, only losing in the last duel with Suvorkin. Throughout the tournament, he presents himself in the color of the Anglician Empire, rather than the UCCA. "True patriots serve the Empire directly", says the sixteen year-old fencer.

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#3
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Sebastian Stefanescu - Republic of West Bezjania
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Seventeen year-old student of Republican Guard Cadet School shares his experiences in Romanian: "I was slightly nervous. Everyone looks like a professional. But Mr. Marcovici [his mentor] held me by the shoulders and said that Republican Guards fear nothing. I have nothing to fear."



Male 18 or Older
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#1
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Francišak Abecedarski - Union of Socialist Republics of Serezslavia
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A policeman aged 31, Abecedarski hails from Byelorian Republic, westernmost of the Serezslavia Pact. "Fencing has been my favorite pastime. It has something to do with my everyday police duty. We did not ask further. You know, Eastern Bloc's law enforcements are discreet.

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#2
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Maksym Bronislavovych Chernysh -United Socialist States of Zitravgrad
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The host takes the second place! A civil servant in Ministry of Agriculture, he sports the Kremlin's parade uniform for the tournament. "I would have preferred a sickle." mentioned the 28 year-old agricutural expert.

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#3
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Dominik Štěpánek - Republic of East Bezjania
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He might look dandy in cavalry's uniform but this 33 year-old fencer is in fact a schoolteacher in rural area of East Bezjania. "The principle called me", he said in Serbian accent, "He said he would show the video of me fencing to my new class this semester, if they get rowdy. I didn't know that anyone from the school would be watching. The school starts next week for God's sake."



Female under 18
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#1
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Kapitolina Vasilievna Vyalitsyna - Kozavian Empire
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Another young Kozavian aristocrat taking the first spot! Vyalitsyna is only sixteen years old and studying in Convent School of Nallysa. When asked how she worked herself to the first place, she said "Oh, my good sir! It is not difficult. The German lady , in the second place, said I looked older than sixteen. She tried to slash, I thrusted my epee into her chest. Friendly match."

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#2
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Margret Hartstein - Principality of Sehnnausberg
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Fifteen year-old Hartstein is as stone-hearted as her name. A well-known name in where she comes from, she fenced her way to the near top with her fast, elegant style. "I refuse to comment about the convent girl in the first place."

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#3
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Catalina Popescu - City State of Molvana
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Sharp and decisive, a seventeen year-old Molvanian took the third place in the tournament, virtually unknown and unexpected. "Finally, people will know that Molvania is on the map!", says Ms. Popescu.



Female 18 or Above
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#1
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Josefin Malmquist - Imperial Union of Kalmaren
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Thirty-six year-old Royal Kalmaren Guard is an unexpected winner -- applying independently from a nation outside the Bloc. "In the north, there is only the Union, so this is one of the few tournaments I can join", she shares her thoughts in the interview.

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#2
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Eva Ruutli - Union of Baldreatic States
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The forty-one year-old lady is also a fencing instructor in the northern city of Lintarr, which is why it is not entirely a surprise for her associates. "I still got it, my dear. 41 is not old, yet.", she says in the interview.

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#3
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Nymphadora T. Degtyareva - Union of Socialist Republics of Serezslavia
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Another fencer of the Pact, Mrs. Degtyareva seeks excitement outside her job as a state accountant. Twenty-five year-old accountant says, "Fencing is one of my favorite hobbies. It keeps me fit and energetic after a boring day of work."

05 August 2018


"Second-handed books and "Wasteland souvenirs" for sale at August Fair on Krasnik Street."


August is the last month of summer, and our nation prepares for the autumn (and winter) by shopping for the essentials at the state-run supermarkets. But August Fair is special -- it is one of the few places that people could set up their own little stall and sell their second-handed items without being tackled by our economic commissars, which is comparable to 'garage sale' in western nations.




Autumn is the season of reading! That is why you should come and see the books at the Krasnik Street. All kind of books are being sold and bought. And once you come, never miss Uncle Dima's Cheburek stand just around the corner!

04 August 2018


"Eastern Bloc's Rapier Fencing Tournament is starting. Stay tuned on Channel 12!"

This will be the first time that the Tournament will be held in Zitravgrad. The Rapier Fencing Tournament has a long history, originating in the year 1951, only a few years after rapier fencing was listed as sport by the League of Nations. Rapier fencing is different from Olympics' competitive fencing -- it is an old-fashioned sport descending from gentlemen's dueling and fraternities' academic fencing. However, Eastern Bloc's tournament is even more unique thanks to the aesthetics present in the event. The fencers fight in their nations' respective military or palace guard uniform, with their protection gears worn underneath instead of over the uniform.



Fencers from Austerreichener Empire in Weinsburg Guard uniform.



The sport is commonly enjoyed among military officers who feel fancy, men of academic career or high social standing. Despite being seen as more violent than conventional martial arts, rapier fencing tournaments are held all over western worlds, both nationally and regionally. The basic rules are the same and it is not counted as a duel in legal terms. The protection gears include: gloves, knee pads, elbow pads, vest and rubber tip (put at the sword tip). In this tournament, steel goggles and nose guard are worn.


Example of steel goggles and nose guard.



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