Warning: This fic includes references/allusions to many historical events such as the Armenian Genocide, the Nagorno-Karabakh war, the Romanian Revolution, the Prague Spring, the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, the Islamic Revolution of 1979, and the invasion of Belarus in WWII. Those, along with the Cuban Missile Crisis and general Cold War issues. If any of these are particular sensitive issues for you, be careful whilst reading.

Lies My Brothers Told Me

He's not surprised by Romania turning up. Why wouldn't he? While Russia's away and not enforcing the rules, and everyone thinks they might die, so it's as good a time as ever to start following around your little brother.

"Mol." He feels the arms clinging to him possessively, and shivers a little.

"Hey, brother," he says, shaking him off. "What are you doing here?"

Romania grins, baring that fang. "I need a reason to come see my little brother?"

"Officially, yes. Unofficially, there's still a reason, but the reason is: Russia's not here to stop you."

Romania smacks him on the arm. "Don't be smart."

"You're a terrible brother, discouraging my education like that." Romania rolls his eyes, and Moldova laughs (well, it sounds more like a giggle but nevermind). "Anyway. So. Um…"

"…Hmm." He doesn't know what Romania's thinking about, and that's never a good sign. The man might have raised him since he was a child, but Moldova doesn't understand his brother in the slightest.

They stand around for a second, awkward. "So, what do you think Russia's doing in Cuba?"

Romania laughs bitterly. "Did you have to bring that up?"

"…Okay, good point." Moldova ponders. "Why'd he take Bela and Ukraine with him?"

"How would I know?"

He shrugs. "I didn't expect you to. I just need someone to hypothesise with."

"Right." Romania is smiling at him, an affectionate smile that he used to give when they were young. It should make Moldova happy. Brotherly love and all that. But it's unsettling in a weird way he can't get hold of; maybe it's the fang. Moldova would like to go live with him, or at least he'd like to not live with Russia. But there's something wrong.

He sighs and steps away. "Anyway, should I get you something? Bread? Drink? Eternal happiness?"

"Don't distract me," says Romania. Moldova rolls his eyes.

"I didn't realise there was some grand issue to be distracted from."

"Of course not. We just sit here obeying orders, right?" There's an instability in his eyes, one that makes Moldova wonder what Romania would do if they ever did make it out. "The world might end, you realise?"

"Don't be dramatic. There's no use worrying."

"Right. Better be practical." He falls silent for a moment. "If we get away from him… You could come back."

"If," Moldova says bluntly. "Anyway, he forced you to hand me over once; he could do it again."

"…Right. Anyway… Time to distract ourselves?"

"Mm-hmm," and Moldova stands up, deciding to look for something to eat. Are his favourite foods still like mine?

"Bread and circuses," muses Romania. "Panem et circenses."

"Don't speak Latin at me."

One thing she's learned over the years: Azerbaijan is physically incapable of staying still.

"He wouldn't, he wouldn't," she's muttering, pacing back and forth, stopping intermittently to punch a wall. "Dammit!"

"Would you stop it? You're making me dizzy," she says, not moving at all.

Azeri spins around like it's a dance, just to glare at her (she's always been dramatic). "Will you shut up? This is nothing to do with you."

Armenia rolls her eyes, resisting the urge to say Of course it's to do with me. That would probably be counterproductive. "I live here too. If America has the capability to strike us with nuclear missiles from Turkey, that means we're both in danger."

Azerbaijan looks dumbstruck. "You really think that's what I'm worked up about?"

"No. But it's all you should be worked up about."

"You are such a bitch!"

"And you are a moron." She has to laugh at Azeri's gaping mouth. "You really do trust him a lot, don't you?"

"…Of course. He's my brother, after all."

Armenia swallows hard, willing herself to be calm. "Well. Good for you. God knows, maybe he'll leave you alone."

"Stop it! He wouldn't do anything, okay? He's just going along with America! You don't like being in this stupid union either! And everyone knows you're just lying about him!"

Stay calm.

She knows what to expect from Azerbaijan, after all. She usually just ignores it, but today…

She's panicking too. The world could end, after all. And worse: Turkey could kill her. That brings memories, things she doesn't even want to think about but she keeps having to, just to have people acknowledge they happened. The urge to hurt Azerbaijan – stupid, adoring little girl; how did Iran put up with her for so long; she wants to make her suffer, wants to make her understand what her fucking beloved big brother is–

Armenia's shocked by the violence of her own thoughts. Would she really hurt Azerbaijan? She hates the girl, but she's not a violent woman; she's old and she's meant to be smarter than that. She understands why Azeri is panicking anyway. If she had a brother, she would react much the same way. If it were any other two people in this situation, she'd find it heartbreaking. But not them. Never them.

Azeri is still sulking, pouting. "Nevermind. I'm going," and she storms out, slamming the door as she goes. Armenia sighs, and lies back on her back. She waits for the music, the footsteps; Azeri's expressing her emotions again, because she's always been dramatic.

Everyone's so upset now. They sit around on someone's rug, probably Turkmenistan's, and Kazakhstan decides not to think of the impending possible nuclear war or what Russia might do as revenge for his anger or the way things used to be when they were all nomads wandering around Central Asia (well, except Uzbekistan). Instead, he focuses on a bird out the window. It's quite pretty, though not that brightly coloured – but it's brown feathers catch and reflect sunlight and...

"Kaz, are you even paying attention?"

He's brought back to reality, like he always is, by Kyrgyzstan snapping at him. "This is a serious situation, and you're likely the worst off from it of all of us, so the least you could do is focus."

He has to smile at her pouting and folding her arms. He probably shouldn't, because she's angry, but it hasn't turned into violence yet. So he's safe.

Uzbekistan sighs and adjusts his glasses. "I thought you thought this wasn't such a big deal?"

"I – I didn't!" She swallows hard and looks irritated. "Russia's always saying he'll do something or other to America, and Turkey – why should we even care about Turkey? Everything will be fine."

Kazakhstan sees Turkmenistan flinch, but decides to ignore it. It can only end badly. "Indeed," Uzbekistan says, nodding slowly like he must consider Kyrg's words with the utmost care. It's sort of creepy, to be honest.

"...Don't stare at me like that!"

Uzbekistan rolls his eyes, and Kazakhstan ponders. "If something does happen... I'm a big target, aren't I? Russia keeps all his nuclear missiles in m– in my lands."

It's Kyrgyzstan's turn to flinch. "I... guess so. You'd be the worst off of all of us. But nothing will happen, so don't worry about it!"

"Kyrg, this is no time for denial," says Uzbekistan. She glares at him.

Kazakh's somewhat-existent senses perk up, and notice something. Turkmenistan hasn't actually said anything. He's holding his body close in, frowning sullenly. He thinks. The Western Turks, the Oghuz branch; how Azeri keeps shouting and crying and dancing, and what "Turkmen" even meant to begin with. If something happens because Turkey harbours America's missiles, Kazakh won't be the worst off. Of course not.

It's a bad idea, to reach out. But Kazakhstan's never been one to shy from ideas just because they're bad.

"Turkmen? Are you okay? You're being quiet."

Kyrgyz spins to give him a look like Are you insane? But it's alright; Turkmen grins, keeping any trace of tears from showing. "Oh yeah, I'm fine! I don't think this is such a big deal either, Kyrg; I mean, no-one'd actually do something. They're not that stupid!" Turkmenistan laughs, loud and boisterous and an awful lot like somebody they used to know. Kyrgyzstan looks irritated. Uzbekistan looks resigned. Kazakhstan doesn't know how to look, he just knows he doesn't want anyone to cry (because he is the one in most danger, and if someone else cries what will stop him crying?)

He stares out the window. It's a very pretty bird.

"Latvia? Are you alright?"

The boy is quivering and shaking, but he's always like that so it's no use. Still, he feels like he has to ask – especially as Estonia seems to run off to, er, somewhere or other. Where did he go? (And will he come back? Could Russia make him?)

"Hm? Oh, I – I'm fine." Latvia gives him a nervous smile, and Lithuania sighs, kneeling down before the boy.

"It's okay if you're scared."

"I'm not scared."

"...Really? I'm terrified." Lithuania smiles, and Latvia has to giggle. That's a relief.

"...Alright, yes, I'm a bit scared."

"I thought as much." Lithuania stands up again. "But one way or another we have to get the laundry done, so you know."

"Yes sir." It's said jokingly, with a little mock-salute, completely unlike how he squeaks in fear around Russia. Lithuania can't help but feel good, but really, hasn't he done something good? He comforted Latvia. God knows the poor boy needs to be comforted sometimes.

They work in silence for a little while, washing and folding (they really need to get Belarus in to fix the washing machines in soon. Preferably without throwing a knife at them). Latvia cuts himself on a sharp metal edge on a broken washing machine, and hisses in pain. Lithuania stops.

"Are you okay?"

"I cut myself." And there is a lot of blood, enough to concern anyone.

"Let me see."

"Oh, I'm fine. I just need a bandage, that's all." Lithuania rolls his eyes and grabs the hand, despite Latvia glaring at him (well, as much of a glare as he can manage, with his shakiness).

"Okay then; I'll get you one–"

"I don't need you patronising me!"

It's a shock. It makes Lithuania jump. He drops his hands, feels ashamed, which makes no sense because he's trying to help. "Sorry," he says. "I'm was just worried."

"Why? It's a cut. It's a cut, a stupid cut, and there are much worse things that you and I have no control over so don't you act like you can fix anything because you can't–"

"Latvia calm down!" Latvia's not stuttering, but he's shaking more than ever and it all sounds insane. "Is – is that what this is about? What's happening with... with America's missiles? Because I'm sure it'll be okay–

"Don't lie to me!"

Lithuania sighs. "Look. We don't know what will happen. But... don't give up hope yet; they can solve things – nobody really wants the world to end, after all. Even Russia's not that crazy."

Latvia falls quiet, looking at the floor. Lithuania resists the urge to smash his head against the wall. Where's Estonia when you need him? Estonia's always been the one to take care of Latvia and his – issues, just because they've been together longer. Or more consistently. Or something.

It's strange. Technically he's closer related to Latvia than anyone – well they're both Baltic at least, whereas Estonia still belongs together with Finland, even if Russia won't even let him see the poor man. But Lithuania doesn't understand Latvia at all. They're different, their lives are different – Lithuania supposes his is more stable. It's mostly been Poland and Russia. He's lost count of how many people have taken over Latvia (and Estonia), and maybe that's why Latvia gets the way he does. Instability. But he doesn't know; he doesn't know what makes Latvia who he is because he doesn't know Latvia. And that makes him guilty.

"S-sorry," mutters Latvia, sounding much more like his usual self. "I didn't mean to – lash out at you. I'm just f-frightened, that's all."

Lithuania smiles. "That's fine. We're all scared, after all. Come on, I'll get you fixed up."

He stands to lead Latvia to the bathroom, and Latvia slips his hand (the non-bloody one) into his. Lithuania's a little confused, but squeezes the boy's hand warmly.

"You want to fix me, don't you?"


Does he? Lithuania's been accused of having a martyr complex – a higher number of times than the general average. He wants to take care of people; is that a crime? The world might be ending, after all. He might as well make his last acts ones of kindness.

Latvia smiles, mysterious. "Nevermind."

Lithuania sighs. No, where's Estonia?

She seems surprised to see him. Not unhappy, but surprised. "Hey! Come in!"

He steps into her house, examines the walls. Various items of communist significance hang on the walls – Russia would become irritated if they weren't there, and he's here often enough to check. She sees him and seems embarrassed, tries to distract him.

"So what brings you here?"

"Hmm? Oh." Now it's his turn to be embarrassed, looking for a good (ie. not-creepy-sounding) explanation of what he's doing here. "Um... I just thought I'd visit, that's all."

She raises an eyebrow. "So, Russia's run off to almost destroy the world and you're taking advantage to see the distant family?"

"...More or less, yes," he says.

"Makes sense. Romania did the same thing with Moldova... though they're very closely related, but y'know."

Estonia nods. "Yeah. Though Mol seemed for awkward than anything after that, but..." in retrospect, that's not a good omen.

Hungary just smirks. "Haha."

"Very mature."

"Hey, he is just as mature when he's here. You should see us."

Have I ever talked to Romania? He wonders. He doesn't know much about the man, other than he's Moldova's brother and Hungary hates him – he's never figured what to make of that. "Uh, okay," he says.

A pause. She sighs, and he starts fidgeting with his glasses. "I thought you'd go to Finland."


She shrugs. "Well, he's your best friend. And geographically closer. And you've actually spoken to him within the last century."

Estonia winces. I thought of all that. "It would have been too must of a risk. Russia would kill me."

"He's not going to be happy about this either honey. Especially not with my..."

"I know, but you're still one of his. That's the sort of anger I might survive."

"You probably won't survive anyway. None of us will."

Oh right, that. "We don't know that anything will happen..."

"But it probably will?"

He sighs, pulls out a nearby chair. "Yes, pretty much," he admits. "Should I have gone to Finland, then?"

She shrugs. "Depends how much hope you do or do not have left."

"I'd probably just make him panic anyway."

"I'm not sure; he's less nervous in a crisis than he appears."

"Still, impending nuclear apocalypse? That can reduce the best of us to hysterics." He pauses, drumming his fingers on the table. "I panicked like hell when I figured it out. Before anyone else did – me and my logical mind. Locked myself in my room and screamed and cried. Made myself cut it out when I realised I was making Latvia panic too – more. Panicked is kind of his default state."

Hungary smiles a little. "I haven't had to do that much. My own house. I mean, Poland and Prussia have shown up a few times – even Romania, just for the sake of it – but mostly I can wail hysterically as much as I like."

Estonia considers this. "Your own house. You know, after everything, I'm not sure why he'd let you have that."

"Well he has to keep up appearances."

"True." He pauses, looks out the window. "Do you miss Austria?"


"Do you?"

She furrows her brow. "Of course."

"He's right there, you know. Right over that fence. You could go to him – well, sort of. It's barbed wire; it's not Prussia's wall."

She scoffs. "Yeah, and I'd get Russia to kill me."

"...So you haven't given up hope either then?"

She stares at him. Then she giggles. "You and your logical mind; you always notice these things, don't you?"

"It's what I do." He's never known what to do with it, this grasp of systems and information beyond what anyone else can do, but still – it's his. If nothing else it's handy for learning languages (which, given how many people he's belonged to over the years, has been helpful).

"...I tried to get away from him once, you know."

Estonia winces. "Yeah, I know." Everyone knows. Nobody could say anything, but when that started – when Hungary, and Czechia and Slovakia later, started breaking away – it was like hope. Russia was still scaring them, but the longer he let it go on – even as he brooded and none of them knew what to expect – the more they drifted, the more they felt that they could escape too. Once, in the night, Azeri approached him – for help smuggling a letter out, to Turkey. He helped her. He admired her guts, knew he couldn't do something like that; she hugged him and kissed him and was so happy. Estonia thought of his family, of Finland mostly, and hugged her back.

Then Soviet tanks rolled in Budapest and Russia was happy, and the Socialist Soviet Republics returned like cowed dogs. Later there was Melbourne, blood in the water and the whole world could see just how angry Hungary was. There isn't the sickle and hammer on her flag anymore.

(Russia never found out about the letter.)

Hungary shakes her head. "No, not him. Not Russia. Austria."

Estonia frowns. "I... that was a long time ago, wasn't it? I don't remember very well, sorry."

She smiles. "That's alright," she says. "Russia was there then as well."

Right, Estonia remembers. Russia's troops came in and he returned Hungary to her 'rightful owner', for whatever reason. "I'm sorry."

"Don't be. It was a long time ago."

"Then why bring it up?"

She ponders this for a second. "We haven't done all that well, have we?"

They haven't. Most of his history is being occupied by various people; it's a big part of hers as well. They barely know each other. They barely know each other, they're probably going to die soon and they can reach the people they want to. It's a terrible situation.

He smiles. "True. But at least we're not doing well together?"

He thinks of Finland, who walked out in 1917 and somehow managed not to come back. Finland's been scared – he's had to fight, and he's had to compromise, but underneath it all he's still free.

Hungary returns his smile and takes his hand over the table. "Together. Family."

It's pretty awkward, truth be told. Everyone's off having their grand dramatic moments before the big kaboom and he's just sort of... left there. With Georgia. He doesn't mind Georgia, but still.

The other man seems pretty casual about it all. "Wine?"

Tajikistan winces. "No thanks."

"You sure?"

"I am meant to be Muslim, you know."

Georgia rolls his eyes. "Not really. At least, not according to Russia."

He has a point there. "Nevermind."

"And from what I've gathered you do drink, at least a little. So you know."

Tajikistan sighs. "Nevermind. It's... stupid."

Georgia gives him a curious look. Then, after a few moments, it seems to click: "Ohh. Iran, right?"

He feels uncomfortable. "Um... I suppose. Sorry, it's silly."

Georgia shrugs. "She's your sister. It doesn't seem that silly, really."

"She's far away. She's far away and so damn important to everyone that it seems stupid for me to get worked up about her."

Georgia nods. "Right," he thinks, carefully taking a sip. "So, you don't think she cares about you?"

Tajikistan shakes his head. "No, it's not that, it's just..." he sighs in defeat. "It doesn't matter."

"Okay then," Georgia says, apparently letting the subject die, or at least move somewhere else. "Isn't she meant to be on America's side anyway? Russia would kill you."

"Her boss is on America's side. For her... I don't even know, but I've a feeling she's not happy."

"But you haven't spoken to her lately?"

"Not a word."

They sit around for a few seconds. "I mean, really, if she did something – it wouldn't be me who'd panic. It would be Azeri, and possibly Armenia. They're having enough problems with Turkey. So I should shut up, right?"

Georgia blinks. "That argument makes no sense," he points out. "Also, I wouldn't be happy if she got involved either – she's like right there, after all."

Tajikistan has to laugh. "Practical," he says. "Anyway, I don't know why I'm talking about all this. I don't know why you're listening to me talk about all this."

"Armenia and Azeri are scary?" Tajikistan laughs at that – it's very true. "Besides. I know your sister, very well. I mean she kept invading me for centuries."

"Mm. I think I'd get back in contact with her, if we ever left here," he says. "Not that it'll happen."

"...It might."

"Well, I have a feeling that wouldn't end very well for me," he says. "So nevermind."

Georgia gives him a look. "Why wouldn't it end well? You really want to stay with Russia?"

Oh great. "Okay, look – I don't think of him as pure evil like some of you do, alright? I can live with him. I just have this feeling... when he goes, something bad is going to happen. I don't know what I'll do then."

"Russia is something bad." Tajikistan resists the urge to roll his eyes. Of them all, he guesses he'd say Georgia is the most anti-Russia (admittedly, he has some stiff competition). "Do you really think you're better off here?"

"Maybe," he says.


"Will you stop saying that?"

Georgia sighs. They're silent again. "What are we doing here?"

He shrugs. "We're the leftovers. Everyone else has run off to discuss things with friends and family. Or archenemies. We're just... waiting."

"Oh right, the world's ending," Tajik comments vaguely. "I forgot that bit."

She doesn't know why Russia insisted on taking them with him. He only usually does that for UN meetings, and now she's in this strange hot country and even more nervous than she would be back home about the fact her brother may just be about to end the world.

And Belarus isn't helping either.

"Natasha?" she asks, as the two lie parallel on their beds.


"...Do you think we'll survive this?"

Bela doesn't respond for a moment. "...I'm sure Brother Russia has our best interests at heart."

Ukraine resists the urge to scoff. It makes her feel guilty, because when she thinks about it – Russia is insane, so really him having their best interests at heart and him actually keeping them alive are two complete separate things. "That's not really what I asked, Bela," she chides gently.

Bela sits up, turns to glare at her. "Then what did you ask?" she says. "Be careful, sister. Ivan is under a lot of stress at this moment; it wouldn't do for you to become disloyal."

Ukraine shivers. Her sister sounds so cold nowadays; like something impenetrable, and Ukraine will never be able to get through to her. "I'm not being disloyal..." she says, trying very hard not to provoke Bela's temper (or knives). "It's just – surely you know how dangerous this is?"

"How dangerous what is?"

"The current situation! If Russia does put missiles here–"

"America put his missiles in Turkey and Italy; Brother Russia is just defending himself."

"It doesn't matter! If a nuclear war happens, we would all die; don't you care?"

...Okay, that's certainly going to provoke her temper. She readies herself to duck. But Belarus becomes quiet, looks away. Ukraine starts to worry. "Russia is smarter than that," she says.

"Is he?" She understands Natasha has a lot more faith in Russia still than she does. She's even jealous, a little – she loves her little brother, but after everything that's ever happened she wishes sometimes she could just... go. Go somewhere no-one ever heard of Russia, of Ivan Braginsky; begin anew and forget she ever had a little brother.

She doesn't know what would happen to Belarus in that scenario.

Belarus sighs and closes her eyes. "Things will be fine. I know they will."

"You cannot possibly have that much faith in him, Bela!" Ukraine exclaims. "Or haven't you been paying attention? He and that – island country – they've completely forgotten anything outside themselves and America. He's not protecting us, Bela."

He never did. Belarus doesn't speak, and Ukraine fidgets. Has she gone too far? Will Natasha tell Ivan what she said? Oh god, what will he do to her for it?

"Natalya? Natalya, say something. Please. I – I know you're madly in love with him, but–"

"I am in love with him. I am not mad." Belarus finally meets her eyes again, and Ukraine is awfully confused. "I don't want this war more than you do. There are things even I won't do for him."

It's an odd statement, especially given the lights in Bela's eyes, but Ukraine is relieved anyway. It's the first sign of sanity she's seen from her sister in awhile. "Then... why do you accept these things? Why do you defend his actions when they're clearly going to...?"

"What am I meant to do? Fight?" Belarus asks. She shakes her head. "I'm not a fighter."

You're awfully violent for not being a fighter, thinks Ukraine, but she's being harsh. "I don't mean... fight him, exactly." It's at this point in the conversation she begins to realise she doesn't know what she means. Oh dear. "But surely you're better than to just accept things? I saw they way you've fought before, Bela; when we were invaded–"

She's cut of by a knife rushing past her head. She jumps, watches stunned as it embeds itself in the wall. She turns back to Belarus, who looks at her as coldly as she's ever seen. That last hint of sanity is gone.

"Katyusha," she says. "I'd rather you not bring that up."

Ukraine cringes, feeling awfully guilty. Belarus, after all, probably was the worst off in the war out of all of them – and they all suffered dreadfully. Belarus fought, she fought so hard and they were all so proud of her for it. But... Belarus wasn't proud for fighting. She did not come back with pride and power like Russia; she didn't have a fighting history like Ukraine. She came back with little but her own life, and has spent every day since praying she won't have to do it again. Why would Ukraine bring that up?

Belarus sees her thoughts written on her face, and smiles softly. "Anything but war, sister," she whispers. Ukraine thinks she hears whispers – Russia and the island, Cuba is his name; he seems a rebellious man himself and Ukraine does think he's rather likable. "Anything but war."

And that's what the Cold War means, she thinks. She hears Cuba whisper at her brother and hopes for anything but war as well.

Historical Notes: In 1961, the US deployed missiles in Italy and Turkey, with the capability to strike the USSR (specifically Moscow) with nuclear warheads. This (along with other factors) led to the deployment of similar missiles in Cuba by the Soviet Union, and the Cuban Missile Crisis (known as the Caribbean Crisis in the USSR).

Romania and Moldova used to be one country prior to the Russian Empire's acquisition of Bessarabia, where most of modern Moldova is located. Immediately after independence, there was a movement for Moldova to rejoin Romania, but this has faded in recent years. Linguists generally agree the language spoken in Moldova to be Romanian, but it is referred to as "Moldovan" within Moldova; the issue of ethnic and linguistic identification in Moldova is very controversial. Romanian/Moldovan is a Romance language compared to the Slavic languages surrounding it (and Hungarian), descended from Latin. Romania was the only one of the Warsaw Pact countries not to transition peacefully, with the Romanian Revolution.

The Armenian Genocide occurred during World War One in the former Ottoman Empire, and is fervently denied by Turkey. Turkey and Azerbaijan have great cultural continuity are close allies. After independence from the Soviet Union, war broke out between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, with multiple atrocities on both sides. Relations between the two are still extremely hostile. Azerbaijan was part of the Persian (ie. Iranian) Empire for centuries prior to being annexed by Russia. Dance is a major aspect of Azerbaijani culture.

The Turkic peoples originated as nomads in Central Asia. The Uzbeks became settled before most of the other Turkic tribes. Seljuk Turks began to settle in Anatolia in the 11th century AD, founding the Ottoman Empire. The Oghuz/Western Turk branch of the Turkic family consists of the Turkmens, the Azeris and the the Turkish. The term "Turkmen" originally referred to all Turks not part of a certain mythological system. It was later restricted to just the Western Turks, and then just the modern Turkmen (and Turkomans of Iraq and Syria). In the USSR, many nuclear missiles were based in Kazakhstan. Amongst the Turkic states, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan are very close whereas Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have tense relations.

Latvia and Lithuania both actually are Baltic in language and ethnicity, contrasted with Estonia, which is Finnic. Latvia and Estonia belonged to many foreign powers over the centuries, including Denmark, Prussia, Sweden, and of course Russia. In the USSR, the industry of Belarus was largely light industry; eg. producing washing machines, fridges, etc.

Estonian, Finnish and Hungarian are all Uralic languages, as well as the only non-Indo-European languages to be the official languages of a country in Europe. Uralic peoples arrived in Europe from the Ural mountains; some migrated north to become the Finns and Hungarians, others migrated south to become Hungarians (also they were mixed with other ethnicities). In the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, Hungarians began protesting the communist regime and beginning reform. The Soviet government allowed this to go on for awhile before sending troops in. Approximately 20,000 people in Hungary were killed. After this there were fights between Hungarian and Russian athletes at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. The symbol of the flag with the hammer and sickle removed was used by protesters, and in 1957 the Hungarian flag really was changed to once without the hammer and sickle. In 1848 Hungarians rebelled against Austrian rule, but on request by the Austrian Emperor Russia invaded Hungary and quashed the rebellion (this led to the Austo-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 and the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary). Since independence, Estonia and Azerbaijan have been working on developing close relations.

Tajik is the one of the five Central Asian former Soviet Republics not to be Turkic in language and ethnicity. Tajiks are actually Persian. Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan were all part of the Persian Empire at points in their history. Prior to the Islamic Revolution of 1979 in Iran, the Shah was a strong ally of the west. Georgia has a large culture of wine-growing. It also has particularly bad relations with Russia, even amongst former Soviet states.

Belarus and Ukraine were granted admittance to the UN along with the general admittance of the USSR (the Soviet Union insisted because of the number of American-allied countries compared to Sovet-allied ones). Peace is a highly prized thing in Belarusian culture, based mainly on the devastation incurred by the area during World War Two – approximately 25% of the population was killed, one of the highest rates in Europe.