Podolia has had human inhabitants since at least the beginning of the Neolithic period. By the tenth century, the area had come under the rule of the Kievan Rus, and later the Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia. In the 13th century, the Mongols plundered the area. Lithuania, freeing it from their rule following their victory at the Battle of Blue Waters of 1362, annexed it to their territories. Polish colonization began in the 14th century. Most of Poldolia became part of Poland in 1430, with the exception of its eastern part, which remained in Lithuania until its union with Poland in 1569. Apart from an Ottoman occupation, the Poles retained Podolia until the partitions of their country in 1772 and 1793, when the Habsburg Monarchy of Austria and Imperial Russia annexed the western and eastern parts respectively.
With the collapse of Austria-Hungary following World War I in November 1918, western Podolia was included in the West Ukrainian People's Republic, but came under Polish control in 1919, staying there despite being briefly occupied in 1920 by the Soviets during the course of the Polish-Soviet War. Rebellions against the Soviets during 1927 in the area caused many deaths. In 1939 after the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union and the Soviet invasion of Poland on September 17, 1939, the area became part of Soviet Ukraine. Many local inhabitants were deported to concentration camps. It was occupied by Germany and Romania after 1941, resulting most of the large Jewish population being killed off.
In 1944 the Soviets regained Podolia and in 1945, when Poland’s eastern border was formally realigned along the Curzon line, the whole of Podolia remained in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Most remaining Poles and Jews fled or were expelled to the People's Republic of Poland.
While the western parts of the Ukrainian region of Podolia, the eastern parts made it through the events of Doomsday fairly intact. There was still some strikes in the area, however:
Belaya Tserkov, for its military bases and industry.
Cherkasy, for its industry.
Derazhnia, for the nuclear base there.
Kirovohrad, for its industry.
Khmelnytskyi, for its industry.
Pervomaisk, for the nuclear base there.
Ribnita, in Moldovia, for the steel mills there.
Smila, for its factories and railways.
Uzyn, for its air base.
Vinnytsia, for its industry.
In the south-central Ukraine, what is believed to be the only successful evacuation of a regional head of government after Doomsday in the Ukraine occurred when the First Secretary of Vinnytsia Oblast received word - having apparently had some sort of high-up contacts - of what was happening, and fled eastward, out of the city. From there, he, his family, and a small group of officials, continued traveling eastward, eventually arriving in the city of Haisyn, near the eastern borders of the oblast. Here, they set up a government, which they believed would be temporary until contact with higher-ups could be made - it never came.
Luckily for the secretary, the grain grown in the area had not been completely sent off to the major cities yet - and just enough of it remained for them to survive the winter.
Yet, in an unfortunate turn of events, the same could not be said for the next winter. Fallout from strikes to the southwest, in Romania and Hungary, while not rendering the area uninhabitable, as large swaths of territory had been to the southeast were later discovered to have been, but crop yields that year - and even for several more thereafter - were much lower than usual.
The Secretary, along with several of his fellow travelers from the capital, would die during the winter of 1985 - the slightly radiated crops, when combined with the fallout and radiation received fleeing the blast, had been too much. The local officials, along with the survivors from the capital, maintained the government they had previously established.
This meant that the government had to explore outwards, in order to find better sources of food. In doing so, they encountered similar groups from the city of Uman, which had suffered similarly. Upon meeting with the government of that city, as well as their partners in the city of Talne, the governments there quickly put themselves under the officials in Haisyn, since they were highest remaining representatives of the actual government present in the area.
The winter of 1986 would be just as bad - the remaining officials from Vinnytsia died. With only local officials left in the government, proposals for reform quickly rose to the forefront of government business. Not having heard anything from any higher authority - and with many of its members local Ukrainians, detesting the Soviets, a republic was soon declared. It was decided to call it the Republic of Podolia, after the area of the Ukraine that much of the territory they controlled lay in.
To the South
In the summer of 1987, it was decided that a small force would be sent along the roads southward, to investigate rumors of a thriving and intact city. By the end of summer, they would find the rumors true, but greatly exaggerated - the city of Bershad, following some ingenious methods that the local agricultural officials had come up with for keeping crops safer to eat, had managed to keep its people alive, even taking in refugees.
They had even shared them with the nearby cities of Haivoron and Tetiiv, keeping them alive as well. Glad for some sort of outside authority, at last - most of the local officials held no desire to wield such power - they joined the Podolian government, sharing the semi-successful tricks they had come up with.
In the end, while these methods helped, they could not remedy the entire problem in the north. This would hamper the state for several years to come.
Over the next decade, the government, dealing with bad harvests, only sent out small exploration parties. These parties found little in Vinnytsia itself, hauling what they could back to Podolia. To the south and east, intact territory was found, though the nation was not strong enough to annex it at the time - and beyond that it was judged to be habitable, though incapable of growing foodstuffs in any quantity.
Yet, in 1998, after more than a decade without outside contact, one of these parties encountered a similar group from further north, near the ruins of the city of Uzyn. They professed to be from a government calling itself the Polesian Republic that had risen to power west of the ruins of Kiev.
By the end of 2000, the various nations in the Western Ukraine had established reasonably secure lines of communication with each other, and independently determined that outside of small villages, no more large concentrations of survivors were likely to be found in the areas they occupied. However, armed disputes between explorers from the states had begun to occur over what territory belonged to which nation, even though none were capable of controlling most of it.
After a particularly bloody and alarming encounter between Volhynian and Podolian scouts in late 1999 near the former town of Khmelnik, it became painfully obvious to the governments of the four nations that some sort of solution was needed - with the knowledge that the Soviet Union still existed in some form in Siberia, they knew that they needed to be strong enough to resist when it eventually worked its way back to them. The presence of the semi-aggressive Russian Confederacy between the two did little to help matters, either.
As such, representatives from the four nations agreed to meet over the winter of 2000-2001 in the city of Halych, an old capital city of the region inside Galician territory, since all could agree it was the strongest of the four nations, despite its loose nature. At this conference, they would decide how to divide up the region fairly, in order to prevent outbursts of violence from occurring between them and to keep the peace.
After much debate, it was decided to generally follow the old boundaries between oblasts, with a few small adjustments - Podolia was the biggest recipient of these adjustments, successfully arguing that the old Podolian capital of Kamianets-Podilskyi should be included in its claimed territory, despite the distance from their territory and it being so close to Galican-controlled territory. This gained them claims over much of former Khmelnytskyi Oblast, though it cost them parts of Zhytomyr, Kiev, and Cherkasy Oblasts. Large tracts of land were also granted to them to their south, with a rough line drawn as to the limits of their expansion and anything further left to later debates, though it was considered likely that another nation would be set up there.
Given how successful the Halych conference went, it was agreed to meet there again over the next winter, to discuss some sort of military alliance. At this conference, a agreement was made to establish an alliance - which they called the Ukraine Republican Coalition, despite the protests of the Duke of Halych - with the primary goal of rebuilding the Western Ukraine and policing the uninhabited regions between them, though with the message that the Siberians were not welcome there being an incredibly obvious reason as well. The headquarters of the Coalition was established in Halych, as a concession to the Duke.
In 2008, with the realization that they were by far each others biggest trading partners, given the situation in nearby countries, this time in the Polesian capital of Fastiv. The goal was to further the trading netwroks being established, and to make it easier for it to occur. The eventual end result of this was the addition to the military alliance of an economic alliance, with a common currency - the Ukrainian Grivna - to be established by the fall of 2009. It would be launched on October 12, 2009, to much fanfare.
Most recently, Podolia has been focusing on expanding westward, to make good on its claims to Kamianets-Podilskyi, lest someone change their minds over the matter. They also have detachments of troops investigating the ruins of Odessa and Nikolayev alongside Crimean forces as well.
Government and Politics
Podolia is a unitary republic, with little to no local divisions beyond towns and cities below the national government.
Overall, the government is run by a Premier, who is nominated by the Assembly of the Republic and then voted on in a referendum by the people.
The Assembly itself is run by the Chief Minister, who is the senior member of the chamber. No political parties are allowed, and the senior-most members of the chamber after each election becoming the ministers of the government.
Currently, debate is beginning to occur, given the extent of Podolian territory, over the question of reforming the government to allow the formation of some sort of provincial unit.
The Podolian Defense Force is an infantry force in all but name, without any artillery to speak of. From the ruins of Vinnytsia various aircraft parts have been excavated, though have not been put together as of yet and given the extensive damage nothing is expected from it for quite some time.
The extensive radiation from around Vinnytsia prevents much from occurring there, but the military is hopeful that they eventually find more planes, as well as maybe even a nuclear device of some sort, though that is considered unlikely.
Like most of the URC, much effort is being placed into the rebuilding of train facilities in the area, with the eventual goal of establishing lines between the members of the URC. Besides the tracks themselves, a train repair workshop in the area is being reconstructed, with the goal of it being made functional again by sometime in 2012.
Aside from this, the Podolian government is working on excavating the uranium mines just east of their territory which were abandoned after 1983, with the dual goals of supplying fuels for Volhynia and possibly finding gold as well.
Podolia is the most agriculturally productive state in the western Ukraine, regularly hauling wheat overland to the coast, meeting up with Crimean and Greek merchants, as well as selling it to other URC members, and to Transylvania. They are also the main supplier of sugar in the area, through the extensive farming of sugar beets.
As with the rest of the URC, Podolia has declined to even apply to the LoN, since they know any attempts to join will be blocked by Siberia.
Unlike the rest of the URC, relations with Transylvania are poor. The reasoning for this is that parts of the region of Podolia were included in Moldovia, which is effectively controlled by the Transylvanian Army, that they would like to be given to them despite Transylvanian refusals.
Relations with Crimea, however, are very good, which has lead to Podolian calls for their inclusion into the URC, as well as their recent addition to the alliance. They are also cooperating with efforts by the WCRB to explore the central Ukraine.