|United Kingdoms of Vozh
Slutsanay Kroljene Vozha
|Motto: S Nami Bog!|
|Anthem: God Save the High King|
|Recognised regional languages||Avannarian
|Ethnic groups||67% Vozhsk
|-||High King||Elisaveta II|
|-||Prime Minister||Stanislas Kaminski|
|-||Proclamation of Homel||February 22, 1872|
|GDP (nominal)||1993 estimate|
|Gini (1989)|| 29.87
|HDI (1989)|| 0.759
|Date format||dd-mm-yyyy (AD)|
|Drives on the||left|
|ISO 3166 code||VZH|
Vozh (Vozhsk: [vɔʐ]), officially the United Kingdoms of Vozh (Vozhsk: Slutsanay Kroljene Vozha [sl̪ʲɨts̪ən̪ɛ krɔl̪ʲɛnɛ vɔʐə]) is a sovereign state located on the contient of Halkegin. Vozh is a federal monarchy, with the monarch retaining considerable executive power. Its capital is in Hroljehrad, with large urban centers including Novohrad, Sinsk, Homel, and Mohilov.
Vozh has long been in conflict with other powers. For much of its earliest history, it was subjugated by various Atmoran and other neighbouring warlords. The Vozhsk are now the largest Slavonic state in Halkegin. In the southern coastal region, Shia Muslims, now mostly assimilated into Slavonic customs, form the in some areas. Referred to as the "Muslimani", they are the descendants of Muslim refugees fleeing invasion who were granted sanctuary and permitted to settle the islands by King Yeroslavi the Great. Nowadays, they form two Principalities within the High Kingdom.
Vozh's international reputation is marred by widely reported civil rights abuses and a largely authoritarian federal government. It is currently subject to a military rivalry with the neighbouring state of Irav. It is a member of the Halkeginean Commonwealth.
The origin of the word "Vozh" is unknown, as it has no known cognates in any language. The current most accepted theory among scholars is that it is a clan name stemming from a legendary patriarch of unknown ethnic origin. This may have eventually come to refer to all similar peoples, and the original tribal association was lost.
The earliest evidence of human habitation in what is now called Vozh dates back to approximately 60 thousand years ago. These earlier settlers are believed to have been mostly carnivorous and predated on the local seals and fish. There is evidence that they may have had the knowledge of how to cure and render shark flesh fit for human consumption. These people were later assimilated into the Western Avanarrian culture. During the Avanarrian era of Vozh history, the Vozhsk Archipelago was just part of a vast fractal of Avanarri empires stretching across the continent of Halkegin.
Slavonic tribes are believed to have first arrived on the continent in the early 2nd century BC. By the 1st century AD, they had come to dominate a large portion of Halkegin, though the Avanarri continued to prevail in the north. The clan confederations that eventually came to be the modern Vozhsk mostly lived in the central mountainous region of the continent. Consequentially, they they were known to their brethren in pre-Atmoran Halkegin as "Horyeni" or "Highlanders". However, the modern day Vozhsk sub-ethnicity known as the "Coastmen" are known to have lived in the lowland forests during this period.
During the early medieval period, the Slavonic warlord Yeroslavi the Great allowed the settlement of several thousand Muslim refugees in Vozh. Today, their descendants are mostly Vozhsk speaking and secular, making up about 60% of the population in some southern regions. It is also during this time the Jewish people arrived in Vozh, of unknown extraction.
For a time, the modern Vozhsk clan of the Vyatichi controlled a vast empire, encompassing most of Halkegin and parts of the Iravian coast and present day Weco.
After Atmoran colonization, the Vozhsk people were gradually pushed out of the West. Finally, the Banishment Decree of 1505, in response to a failed Vozhsk rebellion, forcibly resettled the people previously known as the "Horyeni" to the modern Vozhsk homeland. Here they experienced perennial famine and raids by pirates from Weco and Irav; as well as many invasions by the Atmoran settlers. During periods of Atmoran rule, the colonial authorities often attempted to abolish the clan system. As a consequence, today about one third of Vozhski do not know their clan affiliation, and approximately another third do not register association with their clan.
The authoritarian nature of the Vozhsk government is thinly concealed at best. Citizens have a relatively large number of personal liberties, but attempts at governmental reform have been met with harsh crackdowns by the authorities. There is little or no freedom of the press and much of the national media is controlled to some degree by the Commisariat for Information and Education. Activists and independent journalists are subject to harassment and arbitrary detention, with some disappearing entirely under suspicious circumstances.
The government has shown a persistent fear of perceived communist aggression by Irav, and much of the state's focus is on preparing for the possibility of the Iravians resuming hostilities. Nationalist propaganda permeates all media and posters adorn most street corners.
The modern Vozhsk armed forces can trace their heritage to the Vozhsk tribal armies such as that of Clan Vyatich. These fierce warriors were feared by the neighbouring Halkeginian peoples, and secured the Vyatichi a dominant position in central Halkegin.
Later, after the colonization of Halkegin by the Atmoran Empire, Vozhsk tribal levies, under the command of Atmoran colonial officers, shouldered much of the responsibility for defending their homeland from potential threats to the south and east. The most famous of these units was the "Empress' Own VII Colonial Legion" raised from the Zlitsani clan in the 19th century. It saw action in numerous conflicts during the last three centuries of Atmoran rule.
During the Vozh War of Independence, the modern Vozhsk military was mustered via the merger of several civilian militias into a single force. After the World War, the Vozhsk army was renamed to the "Unified Security Forces". There are six branches of the USF. These are the National Army, Naval Militia, Aerospace Militia, Cavalry, National Guard, and Gendarmerie. Each of these are responsible for different sectors of the battle field, though their roles often overlap. The Aerospatial Militia will often have ground force elements to defend its airfields, the National Army will have air units to allow for better integration of forces during close air support missions and so on.