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Nikolai Gorchakov was the last Governor of the colony of Russian West Antarctica (covering the Viceroyalties of Czarland, Khafar, New Irkutsk and Transantarctica), from 1900 until his Assassination during the Russian Civil War in 1918.
Early Life and Career
Born in 1854 in a small rural town in the Colony; he studied at the University of Murdograd in Russian East Antarctica (the first University on the Continent) and in 1879 became a practicing Lawyer. In 1894, he entered into Politics, and became the Mayor of Novy Irkutsk (now New Washington, Byrdia), the capital of Russian West Antarctica.
In 1900, the Governor of Russian West Antarctica, Vladimir Chernov, died; and Gorchakov was unexpectedly appointed as his successor by Czar Nicholas. This made Gorchakov the first native of the colony to hold the position of Governor, as all of the earlier Governors had been natives (usually Aristocrats) of continental Russia. The fact that Gorchakov was a native of the colony was the principal reason he was appointed; as the Czar apparently knew almost nothing about him, except that he held the highest elective position in the colony (Mayor of New Irkutsk).
Gorchakov himself was surprised by his appointment, as he was a vocal anti-Monarchist, and had frequently expressed his dislike of the Czarist rule and his support for a Russian Republic; so he did not expect the Czar to grant him such a high position.
In the first few years of Gorchakov's tenure, he opened diplomatic relations with the newly-founded nation of Santiago, which included establishing a mutually-agreeable border between Santiago and the Russian Colony. From 1901 until 1911, Russia became one of Santiago's closes allies in Europe, which was largely due to Gorchakov's efforts in Antarctica. However, when Santiago elected the Nationalist President Esteban Sanchez, relations began to sour.
When Germany consolidated its Antarctic claim as "German Antarctica" (now New Swabia), Gorchakov, along with his Russian East Antarctic counterpart, was instrumental in setting up diplomacy between the Russian and German colonies.
World War I
- Main article: Antarctic Campaign
In 1914, Russia entered the First World War, as did its Antarctic colonies; and Gorchakov began the recruitment of as many able-bodied men as possible to fight in the Antarctic Campaign, against New Swabia and Santiago, which were both aligned with the Central Powers.
Russian Civil War and Death
- Main article: Battle of Antarctica
"Communism, as presented to us by Lenin and his Bolsheviks, is no better than the Monarchy"
- — Nikolai Gorchakov
In 1917, over a decade and a half into Gorchakov's governorship, Russia and her colonies were plunged into a Civil War, between Communist and Czarist factions. In East Antarctica, the colony fractured into several smaller states; while in West Antarctica, Gorchakov managed to keep the peace for a few months, before the local Communist Party began a paramilitary operation to remove him.
At first, the Communists had half-expected Gorchakov to declare his support for them, as he was a noted anti-Czarist, but when the War began, he made a speech declaring that he felt that Communists were no better than Monarchists, and he would try to avoid either of them from taking control of his colony.
Until early 1918, the Civil War in Antarctica was fairly minor, but in March, the Communists stepped up their offensive, and the conflict became much more severe. The "Regulators" (the colonial military police) began a vast sweep of the countryside, searching for the Communist headquarters, which resulted in many skirmishes with Communist forces, but didn't succeed in finding their Headquarters until after Gorchakov's death.
By July 1918, it was apparent that the Communists could not win the War in Antarctica without some kind of miracle; and they decided that their only option was to assassinate Gorchakov. His security was minimal, and a lone agent gunned him down on the steps of the Colonial Capitol Building, before being apprehended by Regulators while trying to flee the scene.
In mid-August, American support arrived, and together with the Regulators, they located and stormed the Communist Headquarters, killing or arresting all of the Party's leaders.
Due to the hectic nature of wartime society, Gorchakov was never replaced as governor; and after the execution of the Communist leaders, the colony was divided between American, British and New Zealand occupying forces.