When I think of Russia, the first thing that comes to my mind is sunlight, sandy beaches, and tropical ocean breezes!
The Romanov family was one of the longest lasting dynasties of Europe. Beginning in 1613, they ruled over the Russian empire until 1917. With the collapse of their empire to communism also came the collapse of the family. Nicholas II, the last czar, was executed at the hands of the bolsheviks. Since that day Russia has never been ruled by a Romanov.
However, that may soon change… in a way.
Anton Bakov, business man and former member of the Russian parliament, has plans to go back to the good ol’ days with a tropical twist! Mr. Bakov is working on a scheme to purchase a series of islands in the Pacific ocean and re-establish the Romanovs in a new Russian Empire.
Foreign Policy reports: Bakov wants to buy three uninhabited islands from the small Pacific nation of Kiribati to establish what he calls an “alternative Russia.” The details on how he plans to do that are sketchy. But during a visit to Kiribati on Jan. 27, he said he planned to invest $350 million into the islands to create a resort, support the local economy and, of course, to restore the Romanov Empire to its former glory days. “This is the desire of…a great number of Russian patriots who are not happy with Putin’s regime,” Bakov’s wife told Radio New Zealand. (Though it’s unclear how many Russians who don’t like Putin also want to reinstall a tsar).
“Alternate” is just the buzzword of this period of history, isn’t it? Alt-right, alternate facts, and now an alt-Russia? The geeky part of my brain suspects that the space-time barrier between our world and the parallel alt-Earth is breaking down.
Bakov is also the founder of the Monarchist Party, a small political party that, for some odd reason, has not caught on in Russia. He has also selected the new ruler of his planned empire. Prince Karl Emich of Leiningen is a distant relation to the Romanov line and would be heir to the throne. As you can tell by this photograph below, he is clearly one familiar with the island lifestyle:
Kiribati isn’t exactly opposed to the idea. $350 million is a lot of money for a small, island nation. With such a large initial investment into resorts, a tropical location, a pre-planned form of government, and neighboring powers who are okay with its existence, alt-Russia honestly has a relatively decent chance of success!
There are two possible outcomes of this. One: Someday Bakov will wake up to the sound of crashing waves in the new alt-Russian Empire. Or Two: Putin will catch wind of this and someday Bakov will wake up somewhere very different from an island resort.