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Volkian Federative Republic
Волкскийская Федеративная Республика
Motto: "Мы всегда свободны."
"We are always free."
Anthem: "Nasha Rodina"
Volkian Federative Republic (dark green)
-in Itur (green)
and largest city
|Ethnic groups |
|97.9% Volkian lupine |
|Government||Federal presidential constitutional republic|
|Chamber of Deputies|
• Grand Duchy
• Grand Principality
|November 9, 1154|
|July 8, 1577|
|April 17, 1888|
|March 2, 1975|
|1,396,700 km2 (539,300 sq mi)|
• Water (%)
• 2020 census
|57.74/km2 (149.5/sq mi)|
|GDP (nominal)||2021 estimate|
• Per capita
|Currency||Korona (Ӄ) (VOK)|
|Mains electricity||120 V, 60 Hz|
|ISO 3166 code||VOL|
Volkia (Volkian: Волкия, tr. Volkiya), officially the Volkian Federative Republic (Volkian: Волкскийская Федеративная Республика, tr. Volkskiyskaya Federativnaya Respublika), is a country situated on the western part of the continent of Itur, with a population of approximately 80.6 million as of 2021. Volkgoroda is the capital and largest city; other major urban areas include Kursavka, Georgiyevsk, Volsk, Zarinsk, Likhoslavl, Kataysk, and Zuyevka.
Volkia is located on the entirety of the western half of the continent of Itur, and shares a land border with South Hills to the northeast and Kurikia to the southeast. Volkia shares a maritime border with Blaskog to the west. The Rotantic Ocean lies to the north, the Volkian Sea to the west, and the Gulf of Itur to the south. Volkia includes 27 administrative divisions that span across an area of 539,268 sq mi (1,396,000 sq km) with a climate that varies according to latitude. It ranges from the southern humid continental climate to the northern boreal climate, with tundra along the country's northern coast. The land cover is mostly a boreal forest biome.
As the birthplace of the lupine species, modern Volkia has been inhabited by various tribes since antiquity. The current capital and largest city, Volkgoroda, was founded during a second set of migrations to the coasts as a stopping point in the 2nd Century. By the 4th Century, some lupine territories around Volkgoroda had been consolidated and formed the Grand Duchy of Volkgoroda. The Grand Duchy continued to expand militarily and economically, eventually declaring the Grand Principality of Volkia in 1154. The Grand Principality continued acquiring territory across the continent and grew its military and economic power, eventually establishing the Kingdom of Volkia in 1577. Internal strife and anger towards the Volkian monarchy sparked the Volkian Civil War and split the country into two camps: supporters of creating a republic and Yuri IV.
Following the conclusion of the Volkian Civil War, citizens voted to abolish the monarchy and approved establishing a federation consisting of provinces located in the western half of the kingdom. The eastern half went on to become the Vozhdom of the Tolpas, and the former royal family fled the country for Blaskog. Monarchists and pan-Volkian nationalists launched several attempts to reestablish the monarchy, culminating in the Northern Monarchist Revolt from 1925 to 1926. The civil conflict resulted in a victory for the federal government and marked the end of major monarchist unrest in Volkia until the country's final monarchist revolt in 1951. Growing corruption and economic instability in the late 1960s and early 1970s destabilized the country, leading to widespread incidents of civil resistance which resulted in the amendment of the constitution.
Today, the sovereign state of Volkia is a federal constitutional republic led by a president. It is a highly developed nation with a very high standard of living, and maintains a strong social security and universal healthcare system, environmental protection, and tuition free university.
The name Volkiya is derived from the name of the ancient Volkiplemeni, one of four western Iturian lupine tribes (along with Yekarians, Vyalovians, and Orlikians) which formed the ethnic core of modern Volkians. Volkiya came into use to refer to the land populated by the Volkiplemeni which is part of modern day Zhukovsky Oblast, Baksansky Oblast, Abarsk Oblast, Okostolitsa Oblast, and the Federal City of Volkgoroda in 1154 with the creation of the Grand Principality of Volkia.
Archaeological finds uncovered in the Silver Caves located in Zhukovsky Oblast revealed that modern lupines began inhabiting Itur about 250,000 years ago, evolving from archaic lupines that lived in Itur. These lupines left behind artifacts that present characteristics common with artifacts found throughout Volkia. The earliest lupines were hunter-gatherers who used stone tools.
The first pottery appeared in 15,000 BCE, and the Cord Pottery culture rose between 2500 BCE and 2000 BCE. It is believed that the rise of the Cord Pottery culture coincided with the start of agriculture. Hunting and fishing remained a key part of the subsistence economy even as agriculture was introduced, supplementing food stocks during crop failures.
The Bronze Age brought about year-round cultivation and animal husbandry that rapidly spread along the coasts, though the colder climate in the northern reaches of Volkia slowed the change. Cultures in Volkia shared common features in their pottery and tools, but local features existed. Commercial contacts that had so far been local lupine tribes in Volkia extended to the rest of Itur and Yasteria, which brought in bronze artifacts between 2100 BCE and 1900 BCE. Domestic manufacture of bronze artifacts started in 1700 BCE with the introduction of Zalari-style bronze axes.
The Iron Age saw a massive expansion of population across Volkia, especially in modern Zhukovsky Oblast. Cultural contacts to the rest of Itur and Yasteria became more frequent. Commercial contacts throughout the Gulf of Itur grew and extended during the 7th and 8th centuries. Main exports from Volkia were furs, precious metals, and castoreum to nations in Yasteria. Imports included silk and other fabrics, and, to a lesser extent, glass. Domestic production of iron began in 700 BCE.
At the end of the 3rd Century, indigenous artifact culture - especially in women's jewelry and weaponry - had more similar features than ever before. This has been interpreted as expressing a common Volkian identity which was born from an image of common origin.
Lupine tribes and the Grand Duchy
The Grand Duchy of Volkia was formed at some point in 365 with the bustling village of Volkgoroda as its capital city.
Expansions and unification
On November 9, 1154 the Grand Duchy became the Grand Principality, with the Grand Duke assuming the title of Grand Prince.
Kingdom of Volkia
Volkia attained the status of a kingdom on July 8, 1577 and cemented its power as a major player in Itur.
Volkian Civil War and building a new government
See also: Volkian Civil War
Various issues in Volkia including economic stagnation, social unrest, and massive crop failures ultimately led to the fall of the Kingdom of Volkia. Crop failures led to widespread famine and food riots, the largest of which occurred in Volkgoroda.
King goes east and civil war breaks out, country splits in two
Tolpas is created and so is volkia's provisional government, king goes bye bye in Tolpas and royal family flees to Blaskog
The Federative Republic's early years
The Constitution of Volkia was approved by the Volkian public via a binding referendum on February 3, 1888. Following approval it was sent to the provinces for ratification, and a majority of the provinces approved it on April 17, 1888. The provisional government, led by former prime minister Aleksey Pushkarev, set an effective date of August 6, 1888 and scheduled the first presidential election for July 9, 1888. Shortly after the elections were scheduled, Pushkarev announced his intent to run for president as an independent. Dimitri Maslov, a staunch monarchist, received the nomination from the Monarchist Union Party to face Pushkarev in the election.
With the monarchist candidate running on a platform of re-establishing the now defunct Volkian monarchy and not much else, the election shifted into an ideological battle between republicans and monarchists. Pushkarev included maintaining the current direction of the country, as well as laying out plans to solve the ongoing food crises and ways to tackle the widespread social unrest. Pushkarev ultimately won the election and was inaugurated as the country's first president on August 6, 1888.
The top priority of the new Pushkarev administration was the ongoing food crisis, which led to an increase in the importation of food as well as the seizure of the successful harvests that was then distributed to areas of highest need. These farmers received compensation from the federal government well below market price, causing further agitation within Volkia's agrarian communities. By early 1891, the famine had ended in most of Volkia and was seen by many in the country's urban areas as a major success for the fledgling government. The successful handling of a major national crisis is considered to be the driving factor that led to Pushkarev's reelection in 1892. Farmers and landowners were less approving of the government's methods, with many demanding additional payment for grain and crops seized by the government. The Volkian Agrarian Party was founded in the aftermath of the famine, which would go on to become the Volkian Conservatives.
Pushkarev declined to run for a third term, establishing the precedence of presidents only serving two terms. The Volkian Conservatives performed well in the 1896 elections, securing a majority in the National Assembly and the presidency.
Volkia entered the 21st Century rather quietly, with minimal societal and general unrest. The ruling Social Democratic Union (SDU) continued its dominance in Volkian politics into the new millennium with few signs of losing power. With the arrival of the millennium, Volkia began seeing a rise in what would go on to be described as new religious cults. Federal and provincial authorities combatted this growing trend among disillusioned youths and elderly people through the media and educational programs. The Lunarist Church joined with the government in trying to prevent vulnerable individuals from joining new religious movements with some success. Those cults considered dangerous were met with law enforcement action, which ranged from arresting cult leaders to full-blown raids on cult compounds.
The "Cult Wars" would continue on into the mid-2000s and the new religious cult known as Yarkiye, responded to the crackdown on "dangerous groups" with the deadliest terrorist attack on Volkian soil. Yarkiye's leaders were arrested, tried, and convicted for their roles in the attacks and were executed on November 19, 2021. The bombings inadvertently led to a dramatic decrease in new religious movement membership and by 2009, the number of groups identified as cults had dropped from nearly 2,000 to 302. Their numbers further declined into the 2020s, with only 112 groups identified as of December 2021. Yarkiye would go on to be designated as a terrorist organization, which allowed for almost unchecked law enforcement action against the group.Volkia entered the Dverian War on May 11, 2014 in support of Tano after the activation of the countries' bilateral defense agreements, and opened its borders to accept a large number of Tano refugees. President Kreskov ordered Volkian troops into Tano on May 12, 2014 and Volkian generals drew up invasion plans of Dveria proper. Volkian troops engaged Dverian troops for the first time on May 13, 2014 in eastern Tano. While a minor skirmish, it resulted in the first Volkian soldier to be killed in combat since 1953. Volkia, along with its wartime allies, helped bring the war to a rapid close, helping establish a democratic government in the north shortly after the declaration of the Vekaiyu-backed nation of South Dveria.
Tensions between Blaskog and Volkia rose to their highest level in over 50 years when Blaskovian ships entered Volkian territorial waters on May 14, 2014, near Shimanovsk Oblast, which nearly escalated into a shooting war between the two countries. Blaskog withdrew their naval forces after Volkian Navy vessels, originally en route to assist Tano in the Dverian War, returned to confront the Blaskovian ships. While it was revealed the intrusion of Volkian waters was accidental, tensions between the two countries remain high.
Support for the Dverian War at home was relatively high, with many Volkians supporting the country's entry into the war to support Tano. However, many felt betrayed when Tano's Sultan abruptly declared the dissolution of the Tanoese government and the annexation of Tano by South Hills. While the government officially denounced this action, President Kreskov signed the Kerilo Accord which included a section accepting the annexation. Shortly after the signing, Volkians launched protests against both their own government and the government of South Hills, with protests taking place outside the South Hills embassy in Volkgoroda as well as consulates across the country. The signing resulted in a drop in popularity for the SDU, who saw their largest electoral loss in their history during the 2014 elections; the party lost almost 40 seats and barely held onto their majority in the Chamber of Deputies.
The 2016 elections were more forgiving to the SDU, who retained their majorities in both the Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Council. They also won the presidency once more with the election of Yuliya Surkova, who was both the youngest and first woman to be elected president. She won reelection in 2020 and the SDU continued to hold both houses of the legislature. These elections saw a marked increase in revanchist and nationalist candidates, with some calling for the use of force to "reclaim old Volkian territory."
See also: Constitution of Volkia
The country is a federation and a presidential constitutional republic, where the president is both head of state and government. In the Volkian federalist system, citizens are subject to three levels of government: federal, provincial, and local. The local government's duties are commonly split between district and municipal governments. In almost all cases, executive and legislative officials are elected using instant-runoff voting. The Volkian Federative Republic is fundamentally structured as a multi-party representative democracy, with the federal government composed of three branches that regulate each other by a system of checks and balances:
- Executive: The President is the Commander-in-Chief of the Defense Forces, can veto legislative bills before they become law, and appoints the Government of Volkia (Cabinet) and other officers, who administer and enforce federal laws and policies.
- Legislative: The bicameral National Assembly, made up of the Federal Council and the Chamber of Deputies, makes federal law, declares war, approves treaties, has the power of the purse, and has the power of impeachment, by which it can remove sitting members of the government.
- Judiciary: The Federal Supreme Court and lower federal courts, whose judges are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Federal Council, interpret laws and overturn those they find unconstitutional.
The president is elected by popular vote for a four year term (eligible for a second term, but not a third term).
The Chamber of Deputies has 472 voting members, each representing an electoral district for a two year term. Seats are apportioned among the provinces by population every ten years and, if necessary, seats are added to the Chamber of Deputies. At the conclusion of the 13th National Census taken in 2012, Kologorsk Oblast, the least populous province, received seven people's deputies while Okostolitsa Oblast, the most populous, received 34. The Chamber of Deputies will be expanded to 505 seats effective 2022 because of the completion of the 14th National Census; Okostolitsa Oblast remained the most populous province and will receive 36 seats while Kologorsk Oblast remained the least populous, retaining seven seats. The Federal Council has 78 voting members with each province having three, elected at-large to six-year terms; one third of Federal Council seats are up for election every other year.
The Federal Supreme Court, led by the Chief Justice of Volkia, has 16 members with a mandatory retirement age of 70. The Chief Justice, as well as the Court's associate justices, are selected by the President and confirmed by the Federal Council.
The provincial governments are structured in a roughly similar fashion. The governor (chief executive) of each province is directly elected. Some provincial judges and cabinet officers are appointed by the governors of the respective provinces, while others are elected by popular vote.
Parties and elections
See also: List of political parties in Volkia
Volkia has been structured as a multi-party democracy since its establishment in 1888, however the Social Democratic Union has held a government trifecta since 1972. For elective offices at most levels, each province administers primary elections in order to choose the major party nominees for the following general election. There are currently six parties represented in the National Assembly but only four parties have held the office of the presidency: the Conservative Party (5), Liberal Party (5), Socialist Labor League (2), and the Social Democratic Union (7). Aleksey Pushkarev, the first president, has been the only president not affiliated with a political party. The president, federal councilors, and people's deputies are chosen by instant run-off voting while lower level elective officers are chosen by a plurality vote in their electoral district.
While the Social Democratic Union is considered dominant in Volkian politics, there are still strongholds of other political parties. Western Volkia is widely considered to be a Social Democrat stronghold, while Northern Volkia tends to lean towards the Conservative Party. Much of the south supports Liberal and other left-leaning candidates.
Social Democrat Yuliya Surkova was reelected in the 2020 Volkian presidential election after three rounds of counting and has served as the 20th president of Volkia since 2016. Leadership in the Federal Council includes Vice President Vladimir Burmakin, Majority Leader Yefim Luzhkov, and Minority Leader Viktoriya Titova. Chamber of Deputies leaders include Speaker of the Chamber Stefania Nevzorova, Majority Leader Boris Sukhanov, and Minority Leader Stepan Maksimov.
In the 68th National Assembly, the Federal Council and the Chamber of Deputies is controlled by the Social Democratic Union. The Federal Council consists of 48 Social Democrats, 21 Conservatives, five Liberals, and four Socialists. The Chamber of Deputies consists of 283 Social Democrats, 155 Conservatives, 26 Liberals, 21 Socialists, 12 Greens, four Monarchists, and four independents. The National Assembly meets in the National Assembly Building, located in Volkgoroda.
The foreign relations of Volkia are handled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Ministry is currently headed by Foreign Affairs Minister Nikolai Skorobogatov.
Volkia maintains diplomatic relations with nearly all independent nations, and hosts a multitude of foreign embassies in its capital. It is a largely neutral country and tries to maintain independence in foreign affairs, though in recent years it has participated in military engagements near Volkian territory. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides its citizens with travel advisories regarding international travel, placing countries on a scale from Level 1 (exercise normal precautions) to Level 4 (do not travel). Most countries fall within Level 1 or Level 2, though there are some countries at Level 3 or Level 4.
Volkia maintains close ties to North Dveria following the end of the 2014 Dverian War which saw the breakup of the unified Dverian state. While it generally regards itself as friendly with most nations, historical conflict between Blaskog and Volkia have soured relations between the two countries. An incident involving the Volkian and Blaskovian navies during the Dverian War resulted in heighted tensions not seen since the 1950s, and nearly resulted in another conflict.
Volkia maintains a complicated relationship with the Borean nation of Rusanru'a, but has gotten closer to the country following the lupine coup d'état. Previously relations were strained from poor species relations in the country and poor treatment of Volkian immigrants who arrived following the aftermath of the Volkian Civil War. Prior to the coup, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had classified Rusanru'a as a Level 4 country. In the months after the coup it has since been reclassified as a Level 3 country.
Main article: Volkian Defense Forces
The president holds the title of Commander-in-Chief of the Volkian Defense Forces and appoints its leaders: the Minister of National Defense and the General Staff. The Ministry of National Defense administers the armed forces, which is divided into the Army, Navy, and the Air Force. The number of active duty soldiers in 2020 was 323,018. The Reserves and National Guard brought the total number of troops to 570,217. The Ministry of National Defense additionally employed 55,000 civilians, not including contractors in 2020. Volkia's annual military budget in 2021 is $71.8 billion, or 1.65% of its GDP. In absolute terms, Volkian military expenditure is the 11th highest in the world.
Military service is voluntary though conscription can be implemented in times of "national crisis when the voluntary force has been overwhelmed." This is done through the Emergency Conscription System, which provides a list of military aged Volkian males to the Ministry of National Defense. Volkian males are required to register in this system from ages 18 to 30, with penalties for failure to register.
Volkian nuclear deterrence relies on complete independence. The current Volkian nuclear force consists of five Avangard class and two Zashchitnik class submarines equipped with submarine-launched ballistic missiles. In addition to the submarine fleet, the country maintains approximately 150 land based ballistic missiles in nuclear silos and on mobile launchers. Roughly 50 medium-range air-to-ground missiles loaded with nuclear warheads make up Volkia's air based nuclear weapons, 38 of which are deployed by the Volkian Air Force while 12 are deployed by the Volkian Navy via aircraft launched from the country's two aircraft carriers.
The country maintains a classified amount of chemical and biological weapons, with known agents including tabun, sarin, ricin, and botulinum. The Volkian government has stated that it is exploring options to destroy the country's chemical and biological agent stockpile, though it would maintain its nuclear arsenal. Volkian defense doctrine states that the country's weapons of mass destruction are for homeland defense only; the country would only use its WMDs in extraordinary circumstances.Volkia took part in the 2014 Dverian War which resulted in the Kerilo Accord, which created a military partnership with the nations of South Hills, Vekaiyu, and Listonia. Volkia was given control over the northern half of the country, and following the establishment of an independent South Dveria, the Republic of North Dveria was created in 2016. Volkia has slowly been withdrawing its forces from the country, though there are still approximately 20,000 troops still remaining in order to train and provide logistical support to North Dverian security forces.
The country currently maintains a strong domestic defense industry, with the vast majority of equipment used by the Volkian military developed and built by the Volkian defense industry. Its aerospace industry is among the largest in the world. Volkia's defense industry has produced the PV-77 assault rifle, GA-75 multirole fighter, and the Aleksey Pushkarev class aircraft carriers. Volkia is a major arms seller and provides many of its designs for the export market with the exception of nuclear weapons and nuclear-powered devices.
Main Article: Administrative divisions of Volkia
Volkia is a federation comprised of 25 provinces, a federal city, and one territory. Provinces are further divided into districts while the federal city of Volkgoroda is divided into wards for administrative purposes.
The country's 25 provinces (oblasts) are the principal political divisions. Each province holds jurisdiction over a defined geographic territory and shares sovereignty with the federal government. They are subdivided into districts (raions) and further divided into municipalities. Generally speaking Volkia can be grouped into three geographic regions: Northern Volkia, Southern Volkia, and Western Volkia. Provinces have certain rights and obligations that are defined in the Volkian constitution and have a certain degree of autonomy.
Provinces may freely organize their local governments and ratify their own constitutions so long as they are in line with the requirements of the federal constitution. Each province also owns and maintains their own natural and financial resources, though the federal government does own land and resources in each province; this amount varies. Each province has a bicameral legislature, organized in a similar fashion to the federal legislature.
The constitution mandates that the provinces must maintain a representative, republican style of government and obey the constitution. Provinces may not unilaterally secede from the federation and they must remain subordinate to the federal government. Provinces are also forbidden from making war, engaging in their own foreign relations, or printing and issuing currency. Provinces may pass their own laws as long as they do not conflict with a current federal law. If a federal law contradicts a provincial law when it is passed, the federal law supersedes the provincial law. When conflicts arise regarding these situations, provinces have the right to request the Federal Supreme Court step in.
There is one city designated as a federal city in Volkia, which is the federal capital of Volkgoroda. The city is officially known as the "Federal City of Volkgoroda" and has the status of both a city and a province. The city was split from Volkgoroda Oblast in 1956 and the province was renamed to Okostolitsa Oblast. It is headed by a mayor and has a city council, which is the city's legislative branch. Because of its status as a province, it receives full representation in the National Assembly.
The city is the largest in Volkia with a population of 3,218,215 as of the 2020 National Census. The metro area, consisting of towns within Okostolitsa Oblast, has a population of 5,201,583. The city is further subdivided into wards (kupe) for administrative purposes.
There is a single territory (territoriya), which is located in the country's far north. Kurilsk Territory is the country's northernmost and least populated. It joined the federal republic in 1922 as an unincorporated territory. It has since organized a local government, though federal authorities are responsible for many services. While individuals born in Kurilsk Territory are full Volkian citizens, those who are residents of Kurilsk are not able to vote in the presidential elections due to the islands' territorial status.
The territory sends two nonvoting representatives, known as delegates, to the National Assembly: one to the Chamber of Deputies and one to the Federal Council. Previously these positions were appointed by the president; today the residents of the islands choose their delegates.
LawMain article: Law of Volkia
Volkia's legal system operates on common law and has a written constitution which provides for a federal constitutional republic. The federal court system consists of the Federal Supreme Court, the Courts of Appeals, and the District Courts, all of which apply Volkain federal law and hear both criminal and civil matters. The provincial court systems are set up similarly, with minor differences between each province; all provincial court systems consist of a supreme court, appellate court, and a trial court. Provincial courts try the vast majority of criminal cases in the country. Trials for serious offenses must be tried before a jury unless a plea bargain can be reached. The Federal Supreme Court and federal Courts of Appeals have the power of judicial review across both federal and provincial law and actions, while provincial supreme courts and appellate courts may only review laws and actions within their province. Except in exceptional circumstances, court hearings must be held in public.
Law enforcement in Volkia is generally the responsibility of local police and sheriff's departments, with provincial police providing broader services. These departments are responsible for all aspects of civil policing, both in terms of territory and infrastructure. Each department may be set up slightly differently, though generally speaking they will be headed by either a Chief or a Sheriff who may be elected or appointed. Most uniformed officers carry a handgun while military-style firearms are reserved for specialty units. There is a federal police force, the Volkian Federal Police, which is responsible for a wide variety of tasks including general crime prevention, railway and aviation security, protection of certain federal officials, and combating serious, complex, and organized crime. Other federal agencies, like the Volkian Border Services Agency, will typically have more specialized duties.
While much of the world has abolished capital punishment, it is sanctioned as a legal punishment for certain crimes at all levels: federal, provincial, and military. The Volkian public has generally supported the death penalty, with a 2018 survey reflecting 72.1% believing it to be "permissible" while 21.4% said it should be abolished. Executions happen relatively infrequently, likely due to the extensive appeals process and infrequency in which the death sentence is applied. Death sentences are typically given out in cases of multiple murder, though in extraordinary cases individuals who have committed a single murder have received the death penalty. Executions could take place years after sentencing depending on the length of the appeals process; the average time from sentence to execution is about six years. Executions are carried out by hanging or lethal injection.
Roughly 87% of residents have confidence in Volkia's security institutions. The overall crime rate in Volkia is relatively low, though some types of crime are above average for a developed nation, such as homicide. Corruption in business and government overall remains low, largely thanks to sweeping anti-corruption reforms passed in the early and mid-1970s in response to rampant corruption in the 1960s.
Main article: Geography of Volkia
Volkia's core territory is situated on the western half of Itur, and the archipelago of Kurilsk to the north is also part of the republic. Lying between latitudes 50° and 70°, and longitudes 60° and 90°, Volkia is one of Urth's northernmost countries. The capital city, Volkgoroda, is one of the world's northernmost capitals. The positioning of Volkia has afforded it a large, rugged coastline containing numerous bays, inlets, and fjords. To the east, Volkia is bordered by South Hills and Kurikia.
Volkia's landscape varies greatly, with the country experiencing elevations ranging from under 600 feet to over 6,000 feet. Much of Volkia is over 1,000 feet, notably in the east, while large swaths of the country's interior are near sea level. Volkia's east contains a great deal of natural features caused by prehistoric glaciers and also contains the Velikiye Steny. This mountain range is home to the highest point in Volkia, Mount Kanchelski, which is 10,052 ft (3,064 m) above sea level.
The number of islets and islands across Volkia are estimated to be some 3,812 (including those in lakes). Two of the largest islands in Volkia are Shimanovsk and Khorovstrov, which make up Shimanovsk Oblast. The Kurilsk Archipelago are the northernmost islands in Volkia and support an arctic tundra climate.
Volkia has over 850 lakes, most of them being very small while the largest is Clearwater Lake in the north of the country. The country's landscape is also home to many rivers, the longest of them being the Wolf, Tar, and Pine Rivers.
Volkia's land is largely made up of granite and gneiss rock, but slate, limestone, and sandstone are also common. Significant natural resources include iron ore, coal, potash, timber, uranium, copper, natural gas, salt, and nickel. The lowest levels of elevation in Volkia contain marine deposits, and several large fossils have been uncovered in these areas. Due to prevailing westerlies and warm sea currents from the Sea of Itur, Volkia experiences higher temperatures and more precipitation than expected at such high latitudes, especially along the country's western coast.
Due to the wide variety in varied topography and climate, Volkia hosts some of the most diverse habitats in Itur. There are roughly 70,000 species in Volkia and its adjacent waters (excluding bacteria and viruses). The Volkian marine shelf ecosystem is considered highly productive.
Much of Volkia lies within the boreal zone, which is characterized by warm summers and freezing winters. Most of the country experiences four distinct seasons. The western and southern coasts are fully exposed to the Volkian Sea's storm fronts and as such have more precipitation and milder winters than the country's north. Some areas around the Velikiye Steny are within a rain shadow, and as such receive less precipitation than the rest of the country. The western coast is typically the wettest while the southeast experiences the highest temperatures throughout the year.
Volkia has several climate zones but is mostly continental. Winters range from cold and snowy to mild and generally overcast with little precipitation in the north, while summers tend to be cool and rainy. The country's western regions have prevailing westerly winds that bring in moist air from the Volkian Sea, moderating the region's temperature and increasing the amount of precipitation. A small area of the country's south, mostly Lopatino Oblast, has warmer summers, cooler winters, and has less precipitation than the west. The north experiences the most extreme cold temperatures. A very small portion of the country's east experiences alpine tundra while much of the northern coast experiences arctic tundra.
The highest temperature ever recorded in Volkia was 103.3 °F (39.6 °C) in Sharlyk on July 1, 1968 and the lowest was -61.6 °F (-52 °C) in Erzin on January 12, 2002.
Main article: Wildlife of Volkia
The territory of Volkia can be split up into three ecoregions: Volkian coastal conifer forests, Iturian mixed forests, and Iturian taiga. The north is covered by boreal forests while the western coast contains conifer forests, of which have some small areas of temperate rainforest. The rest of the country is dominated by Iturian mixed forests, which contain broadleaf and conifer forests. As of 2015, 45% of Volkia's land is dedicated to agriculture, while 37% is forested and 18% is covered by settlements or infrastructure.
Volkia also has an extensive and diverse range of fauna. There are at least 80 native mammalian species, 315 breeding bird species, over 150 fish species, and 20 reptile and frog species present today. Many of these species have migrated from neighboring countries thousands of years ago. Large and widely recognized mammal species found in Volkia are the gray wolf (the national animal), brown bear, moose, caribou, and wolverine. Some of the more striking birds include the golden eagle, the white-tailed eagle, which is the national bird of Volkia, the snowy owl, and the gray heron. Of the more than 150 fish species, the northern pike, perch, trout, and others are plentiful in Volkia's rivers and lakes. Fish present along the coast include cod, flounder, turbot, and numerous others. Iturian salmon remains a favorite of fly rod enthusiasts.
The largest predator found in Volkia's waters is the sperm whale, and the largest fish is the basking shark. Both species are protected under Volkian law. The brown bear is Volkia's largest terrestrial predator, while the moose is the largest animal found on land in Volkia.
Much of Volkia's land is protected in national parks and nature reserves, compromising nearly 27% of the country. There are 35 national parks and 125 nature parks in Volkia. More than 250 zoos operate in the country, the largest of which is located in Nikolayevsk.
Attractive and dramatic landscapes can be found throughout Volkia. The northern coast presents some of the most visually impressive coastal sceneries in the world, which is made up of numerous fjords and dramatic terrain. The northern regions of the country experience the natural phenomena of the midnight sun (during summer) and the aurora borealis, attracting thousands of tourists a year. TravelVolkia, a domestic tourism magazine, consistently rates the country's north as a top tourism destination for domestic travelers.
Volkia's east is largely dominated by the Velikiye Steny, which is a popular destination for those who participate in winter sports. Skiing and snowboarding is popular, and there are several resorts dedicated to winter sports that dot the mountainous landscape. Hiking and camping is popular as well across Volkia, which have plenty of options thanks to government support at both the provincial and local levels. Campgrounds are present on much of Volkia's federal land that is managed by the Ministry of Land Management, and dispersed camping is permitted as well with some restrictions.
Much of Volkia's environment is protected in the form of national parks and nature reserves, and numerous endangered species receive protection from the government under the Protect Endangered Species Act of 1965. Volkia has received praise in some international studies for its protection of such species and their environment, though it has also received harsh criticism for its over-exploitation of the country's fisheries, as well as extensive gas and oil drilling and mining.
EconomyVolkia has a mixed economy, which has resulted in a prosperous capitalist welfare state with a combination of free market activity and large state ownership in certain key sectors. This was influenced first by liberal and socialist governments in the late 1920-30s and fully implemented by Social Democratic administrations starting in 1972. Public healthcare is free and parents receive 40 weeks of paid parental leave. Volkia also guarantees its workers a minimum of 30 days paid vacation (20 paid days off, 10 public holidays). The unemployment rate is 3.4%, with 66% of the population aged 15-74 employed. Nearly 8% of the population aged 18-65 receives a disability pension and 18% of the labor force are employed by the government. The vast majority of workers are unionized, totaling nearly 73% of the labor force in 2020.
The wage difference between the lowest paid worker and the CEO of most companies has been kept relatively low compared to other industrialized economies due to Volkian society's egalitarian values. The federal minimum wage was raised to Ӄ30.00 an hour ($15.00 SHD) in early 2020, and many of Volkia's provinces have minimum wages that exceed the federal standard. Olyutorsk Oblast has the highest minimum wage, with a 2021 provincial law setting it at Ӄ37.50 an hour ($18.75 SHD). Volkia has a progressive federal income tax rate with relatively complex tax laws, with much of the tax burden falling on corporations and the highest individual earners. Most provinces levy income tax as well, but are typically significantly less than the federal tax rate. Some provinces, such as Kologorsk Oblast, Orlik Oblast, and Yekartovsk Oblast, have no provincial income tax; these provinces rely on income from their natural resources.
Volkia has a highly skilled workforce, low levels of corruption, and a relatively high level of innovation. The service sector contributes approximately 68% of the total GDP, industry 30.5%, tourism 1.8%, and agriculture 1.5% as of 2019. Volkia holds significant timber, mineral (iron, chromium, copper, nickel, and gold), and freshwater resources. Forestry, paper factories, agriculture, and mines are important for rural residents and the national economy. The Greater Volkgoroda area generates nearly 10% of Volkia's GDP.
The state maintains large ownership positions in key industries such as the forestry sector (Kirishi Group), mining sector (Vyska Group), hydroelectric energy (Volkiya Hydro), natural gas sector (VorkutaGas), Volkia's largest bank (VSB), and the largest telecommunications provider (Volktel). The government controls roughly 25% of the stock values at the Volkgoroda Stock Exchange through these large companies. When non-listed companies are included, the state has an even higher share in ownership. Volkia is a major shipping nation and controls a sizable merchant fleet, with over 1,600 Volkian owned vessels.
Around 91% have a mobile phone and 88.4% have internet connection in their home. Cities and towns are encouraged to build their own broadband networks with technical and financial assistance from the federal government and Volktel.
Roughly 45% of Volkia's land is dedicated for agricultural uses. For the most part Volkia's agriculture has been efficient and productive when compared to farming in neighboring countries. Agriculture in Volkia has been characterized by the northern climate and self-sufficiency in most major agricultural products. Large farms are responsible for the majority of agricultural goods produced, though small, family owned plots still play a major role in the growth of Volkian agriculture. Agriculture's share of GDP has declined in recent years when compared to other industries.
A wide variety of crops are grown in Volkia, including wheat, rye, barley, oats, potatoes, sugar beets, turnips, peas, hay, and silage. Volkian wheat, rye, and to a lesser extent potatoes are used in the production of Volkian vodkas.
Agriculture in Volkia's north is mostly restricted to animal husbandry due to the colder climate that makes it difficult to grow crops. Cattle and chickens are the main species preferred by Volkians, though other animals raised include pigs, sheep, goats, and horses.
Volkia produces a large amount of electricity thanks to the country's natural gas reserves, which has been used for export and for fueling its own power plants. There is also a large network of hydroelectric power that powers roughly 35% of the country. Natural gas plants produce 40% of Volkia's electricity, while nuclear power plants produce the remaining 25%.
Volkia's first nuclear power plant was built in 1990. Since then it has become one of five currently operating nuclear power plants in Volkia. Four of the nuclear power plants in Volkia are privately owned, while Popov Nuclear Power Plant was built and is currently owned by the state. All nuclear power is highly regulated and monitored by the Ministry of Energy. The Ministry of Energy has supported increasing the amount of hydroelectric and nuclear power produced, seeking to produce 100% of Volkia's electricity through renewable means by 2050.
Currently under construction is the Polskala spent nuclear fuel repository located in northern Norindzhik, which will be used as the national spent nuclear fuel repository. In early 2020 the Ministry of Energy approved an application for two additional reactors at the Yozhikov Nuclear Power Plant, located in Kalinibinsk Oblast.
Volkia's roadways are utilized mostly by internal cargo and passenger traffic, and as of 2015 totaled about 620,000 miles. The Volkian federal highway system is known colloquially as the Шоссе (Shosse). It is officially known as the Федеральная система автомобильных дорог (Federal'naya sistema avtomobil'nykh dorog, abbreviated FSAD), which translates as "federal highway system." It connects the major cities and is marked by blue colored signs and their own numbering system.The main international passenger gateway is Volkgoroda International Airport, which handled about 30 million passengers in 2015. Likhoslavl International Airport is the second largest airport, handling about 21 million passengers in 2015. The country has 32 major airports, though the total number of airports and airfields total over 250. The flag carrier and largest airline in Volkia, Air Volkia, is based at Volkgoroda International and provides both domestic and international services. The total length of common-used railway tracks exceeds 35,000 miles (56,327 km). Most of this railroad is electrified, and additionally there are more than 18,641 miles (30,000 km) of industrial non-common carrier lines. Like most of the world, Volkia uses the standard gauge for their railroads. High speed rail serves most major cities, and plans are in place to expand the system.
The majority of international cargo shipments are handled at Volkia's ports. Major sea ports of Volkia include Izumrud, Volsk, Shipunovo, Korkino, and Zuyevka which are located on the Sea of Itur and the Volkian Sea. In 2015 the country owned over 1,600 merchant marine ships. Icebreakers keep the northernmost ports of the country open year round. Ferry services connect mainland Volkia to its island possessions.
Major Volkian cities typically have well-developed systems of public transport, with the most common varieties of exploited vehicles being bus, trolleybus, and tram. Most major Volkian cities have underground metros. The Volkgoroda Metro and the Kursavka Metro are the oldest in Volkia, opened in 1925 and 1935 respectively. These two are among the fastest and busiest metro systems in the world, and are famous for rich decorations and unique designs of their stations.
Tourism in Volkia grossed $78.5 billion in 2018 with an increase of 4% from the previous year. Of this, $19.9 billion (41%) came from foreign tourism. In 2018 there were 21.8 million overnight stays of domestic tourists and 12.7 million stays of foreign tourists. Much of the growth can be attributed to increasing globalization of the country and increasing awareness. Yasteria is still the largest market for foreign tourists, though the biggest growth came from Borea and Aurora. Tourism contributes roughly 1.8% to Volkia's GDP.
Tourist attractions in Volkia include the natural landscape found throughout the country as well as urban attractions. Volkia is covered with thick pine and conifer forests, hills, and lakes. Mountains are present in the eastern areas of the country. There are 35 national parks present throughout Volkia from Shimanovsk Oblast's shores on the Gulf of Itur to Kurilsk Territory's frozen tundra in the north. Outdoor activities include skiing, snowboarding, golf, yachting, lake cruises, hiking, kayaking, among others. Bird-watching is a favorite of those fond of avifauna, though hunting and fishing are also widely popular. Moose, hare, and deer are common game while trout, pike, and perch are common freshwater game fish. Cod, salmon, and flounder are common saltwater game fish.
Volkia's urban areas also host numerous cultural events and activities. Volkgoroda's tourist attractions include the Eternal Forest Temple, the Petrenko Theater, and the Volkian Museum of HIstory. Sretensk in Lopatino Oblast hosts the annual Sretensk Folk Festival, and the old towns of Kursavka, Georgiyevsk, and Okha attract thousands of visitors.
Main article: List of cities in Volkia
According to the 2020 National Census the total population of Volkia is 80,641,743. The population density in 2020 was estimated to be 149.5/sq mi (57.74/km2). Volkia's population has an average age of 39.8. The 2020 National Census revealed that 21,549,479, or 26.72% of the population, lives in one of the 20 largest cities.
Volkia's population has always been concentrated in center and south of the country, a phenomenon which became more pronounced with urbanization in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The capital and largest city, Volkgoroda, is located in the center of the country and had a population of 3,218,215 in 2020. About 80% of Volkian citizens live in urban areas (including suburbs); about half of those reside in cities over 50,000. In 2020, 86 incorporated places had populations over 100,000. There are six cities with populations greater than one million, one of which with a population over three million and one with a population over two million. Of Volkia's 20 largest cities, 16 of them are located in the southern half of the country.
Nearly the entirety of Volkia's population is made up of Volkian lupines. Minority races make up 2.1% of Volkia's population and include vulpines and humans, who tend to live in the country's larger cities.
The country's largest urban area is located around the capital city, Volkgoroda.
Largest cities and towns in Volkia
2020 Volkian National Census
|Rank||Name||Administrative divisions of Volkia||Pop.||Rank||Name||Administrative divisions of Volkia||Pop.|
|1||Volkgoroda||Federal City of Volkgoroda||3,218,215||11||Venyov||Abarsk Oblast||825,194|
|2||Likhoslavl||Olyutorsk Oblast||2,179,120||12||Okha||Baksansky Oblast||795,672|
|3||Sharlyk||Lopatino Oblast||1,950,523||13||Georgiyevsk||Kalinibinsk Oblast||752,672|
|4||Izumrud||Vladinsk Oblast||1,364,166||14||Zuyevka||Ozyoretsk Oblast||712,076|
|5||Zarinsk||Zhukovsky Oblast||1,182,752||15||Beryozovka||Khivlyar Oblast||696,205|
|6||Petrovskoye||Osinsky Oblast||1,001,556||16||Volsk||Shipayetsk Oblast||682,789|
|7||Kursavka||Yekartovsk Oblast||970,812||17||Svetlogorsk||Akusha Oblast||670,629|
|8||Kataysk||Okostolitsa Oblast||902,124||18||Sigayevo||Makushin Oblast||652,018|
|9||Korkino||Akusha Oblast||872,075||19||Nikolayevsk||Khivlyar Oblast||647,659|
|10||Poltovka||Shimanovsk Oblast||851,572||20||Bakhta||Lagan Oblast||622,230|
The traditional family structure in Volkia would typically consist of a family support system involving two married individuals providing care and stability for their biological offspring, usually with the assistance of the extended family. The extended family, consisting of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, will typically live in their own residences, but remain close with one another and will assist in raising the children of the family. This has become less prevalent, but remains the primary family structure in Volkia. Nontraditional family forms have grown more common, and include same-sex couples who choose to raise children.
Same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide in 2002, though same-sex civil unions with the same rights as traditional marriage had been performed since 1987. Same-sex marriages today have the same rights as heterosexual couples; same-sex couples are also allowed to adopt with the same requirements as heterosexual couples. According to the 2020 National Census, there are approximately 700,000 same-sex married couples in Volkia, according to the 2020 National Census.
Women were traditionally considered "homemakers" and thus did not often work outside of the home. As laws were passed granting women more rights, such as the right to vote and equal pay legislation, more and more women began working outside the home and challenging the traditional gender roles. Today, the majority of women work outside the home and also earn a majority of bachelor's degrees. Additionally, the Legal Abortion Act of 1982 cemented women's right to choose in Volkian federal law after years of court challenges. Since legalization the abortion rate has continued to decline, with about 120 abortions per 1,000 live births in 2020.
The teen pregnancy rate is 14 per 1,000 women. In 2020, the average age at first birth was 26 and 39.2% of births were to unmarried women. The total fertility rate (TFR) was estimated for 2020 to be at about 2.25 births per woman.
Divorce was legalized in 1947, but there was significant stigma around the practice that remained until the 1970s. The Elder Council of the Lunarist Church issued a statement in support of the practice during the Church's liberalization period in the 1970s and 1980s, which also led to the Church's acceptance of same-sex relationships. Polygamy was practiced widely prior to the spread of Lunarism, and was punishable by death until the establishment of the federal republic. It remains illegal nationwide and is now punishable by a fine, imprisonment, or both depending on the laws of the province and circumstances of the case.
As of 2020, approximately 52% of Volkian citizens were married, 8% were widowed, 12% were divorced, and 28% had never been married.
LanguageSee also: Volkian language
According to the constitution, the official language of Volkia is Volkian. Roughly 79.3 million, or 98.5% of the population aged five years and older, spoke only Volkian at home in 2020. While Volkian is by far the dominant language in the country, Volkians are becoming increasingly multilingual due to globalization. Roughly 51% of Volkian citizens claim to be able to communicate at least one foreign language, while 22% claimed to be competent in at least two. The learning of Volkian is a requirement to become a naturalized citizen.
The Volkian Government does not regulate the choice of language in publications by individuals but requires the state to operate in Volkian. Print media, public notices, road signs, and state services are provided in Volkian.
Codexian is the second most spoken language in Volkia and is often taught as a second language to Volkian students. Recently there has been some push to begin displaying Codexian with Volkian in major public spaces to help encourage tourism and to make traveling for tourists easier. Conservative groups within Volkia have opposed these plans while liberal groups are more receptive.
ReligionSee also: Lunarism
The lupine religion of Lunarism was historically the state religion of Volkia's predecessor states, starting with Grand Duchy of Volkgoroda in 365 CE. This trend continued all the way through to the Kingdom of Volkia until the establishment of the Volkian federal republic. Today Volkia has no official religion. However, Lunarism remained dominant within the political landscape until the amendment of the constitution in 1947. Volkia's current constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion and forbids the government from passing any laws that violates this protection.
Today, Lunarism remians the most commonly practiced religion in Volkia. As of the 2020 Volkian National Census, 87.45% of Volkians practice the religion. Ademarism is the most commonly practiced minority religion in Volkia, with 1.32% of the population stating they practice the religion in 2020. Atheists make up 1.86% of the population while those who consider themselves "unaffiliated" or "irreligious" are 8.67% of the populace. An additional 0.7% of people practice other religions.
Although the government may not show favoritism towards any particular religion, four of the ten federal holidays coincide with religious holidays. Challenges as to the status of these holidays have been rejected by the Federal Supreme Court repeatedly, with the Court maintaining the holidays (established before the 1947 constitutional amendment) have grown their own meanings among those who don't practice Lunarism. The religion continues to play an important part in the lives of many Volkians, and the number of Lunarist churches within Volkia far outnumber the minority religions combined.
HealthMain article: Healthcare in Volkia
Volkia's healthcare system dates from the Liberal governments of the 1930s and 1940s. Since the mid-1930s, provisions and reforms strengthened and overhauled the system to transform it into the robust universal healthcare system that is in place today. In 2020, Volkia spent 12.6% of its GDP on healthcare. Approximately 82% of health expenditures are covered by government funded agencies while the remaining 18% are privately funded.
Generally speaking, healthcare is mostly free for Volkian citizens and residents, and totally free for people suffering from chronic diseases such as cancer, cystic fibrosis, or hepatitis. Lupines tend to have slightly shorter lifespans than humans, though thanks to medical advancements and a dramatic decrease in inter-lupine violence Volkia's life expectancy has increased nearly 20 years since the 1930s. Today it now matches or exceeds that of other developed nations. As of 2020, the average life expectancy at birth is 70.6 years for men and 75.1 years for women. The infant mortality rate is 3.2 deaths per 1,000 live births while the maternal mortality rate is 5.2 per 100,000 live births as of 2020.
In 2020, the principal cause of death was cardiovascular disease, at 39%. Obesity and other lifestyle-related diseases are on the rise within Volkia, with the government citing these as major health issues. A study in 2020 showed 53% of the adult population was overweight or obese. The number of musculoskeletal diseases and cancers are increasing as well, although the cancer prognosis has improved.
Main article: Education in Volkia
Education is primarily organized within the individual provinces. Provinces have some control over curriculum, however they must ensure students meet the national standards. Kindergarten is optional and is open to all children between the ages of three and six, after which school is compulsory until the student completes high school or reaches the age of 18. Volkia operates on a K-12 model, wherein elementary school will usually last from ages six to 11, middle school from ages 11 to 14, and high school from ages 14 to 18. Individuals who drop out prior to completing high school have the opportunity to take the High School Academic Equivalency Test (HSAET), which upon passing, provides the individual with proof they possess high school-level academic skills.
The vast majority of Volkian students attend a public school, 82% of the total students in Volkia. An additional 10% of children attend nonsectarian private schools while 5% are enrolled in a parochial school. Approximately 3% of Volkia's children are homeschooled.
Most of the universities in Volkia are public institutions run by either the federal or provincial governments, and students are permitted to study without fee payment. Some universities may charge small fees for administrative costs; these are typically private universities. The general requirement for entrance to a university is a high school diploma or equivalent, like the HSAET. Volkgoroda State University is the oldest university in Volkia as well as one of the world's oldest, established in 1478. Some 89% of Volkia's university students attend a public university.
Of Volkians aged 25 and older, 89.8% graduated high school, 55.2% attended some college, 37.5% earned a bachelor's degree, and 15.1% earned graduate degrees. The basic literacy rate is 99%.
Main article: Volkian culture
Volkian culture is an amalgamation of the cultures of four western Iturian lupine tribes that inhabited Volkia: the Volkiplemeni, Yekarians, Vyalovians, and Orlikians. Volkiplemeni culture was the most dominant, thus many aspects of Volkian culture are directly taken from the Volkiplemeni.
Volkian handicraft, like vyra pottery, Uvat toys, and Tupik painting are important aspects of Volkian folk culture. Ethnic Volkian clothing includes khalat, kosovorotka, and ushanka for men, dzhempka, ochipok, and kokoshnik for women. Common shoes include lapot and valyaniye.
Volkians have distinct traditions when it comes to folk music. Typical Volkian ethnic musical instruments are gusli, balalaika, zhaleika, and garmoshka. Volkian classical composers were influenced significantly by folk music, and in modern times have influenced a number of popular folk bands, like Nasha Prekra.In addition, Volkians have many traditions. These traditions include washing in banya. Old Volkian folklore takes its roots in the pagan religions that were once common throughout Volkia and Itur. Many Volkian fairytales and epic poems have been adapted for animated films.
Volkian cuisine is largely uniform across most of the country, though there are some differences between the regions based on climate and food availability. Volkian cuisine at its heart stems from the western lupine tribes that dominated Volkia prior to amalgamation in the 4th Century, and evolved with Volkian culture and heritage.
Poultry and fish play a prominent role in traditional Volkian dishes from the south of the country, with fish playing a larger role along the coast. Dishes from the country's interior traditionally include beef, mutton, and vegetables. Many regions within Volkia have strongly branded traditionally delicacies, such as Seveliky has sote iz oleniny and Venyov has kuritsa venov.
Volkian foods often use wholemeal products (rye, wheat, barley, oats, and millet) and berries (bilberries, lingonberries, cloudberries, and seaberries). Milk and its derivatives like buttermilk are commonly used as food, drink, or in various recipes like biscuits, sausage gravy, and cornbread. Turnips were common in traditional cooking, but were replaced by the potato after its introduction in the 17th Century.
Soups and stews popular in Volkia include cabbage soup, beet soup, fish soup, settler's stew, goulash, beef stew, and cold vegetable soup. Smetana (a heavy sour cream) is often added to soups and salads. Popular salads include chopped salads, green salads, and chicken salad.
Pirozhki, blini, and syrniki are popular dishes. Popular meat dishes include pelmeni and shashlyk, with chicken cutlets and various beef cuts making popular centerpieces for other meat dishes. Tea is popular with Volkians, as well as domestically produced beers and vodkas.
Music and dance
Best-selling daily national newspapers in Volkia are Vasha Volkgoroda (with 520,000 copies sold daily), Tvoye Utro and Polden, with around 350,000 copies sold daily, and also Otryad, which is dedicated to sports news and scores. Previously, free dailies had been making a breakthrough with 30 Minut and Stolichnyy distributed at 400,000 copies. However the widest circulations is reached by regional daily Otrazhatel with nearly 900,000 copies sold, and the 30 other regional papers also have high sales. Major cities will often support local newspapers and business journals to compliment or compete with the national dailies.
The most influential news magazines are the left-wing Dlya Lyudey, centrist Nashe Vremya, and right-wing Respublika (more than 500,000 copies), but the highest circulation for weeklies is reached by TV magazines and women's magazines. Like many other industrialized nations, the Volkian print media have been affected by the decline of newspapers.
In 2012, the number of commercial radio stations had grown to 2,751 AM stations and 3,207 FM stations. In addition, there are 874 public radio stations. Many of these stations are run by universities and public authorities for educational purposes and are financed by public or private funds, subscriptions, or corporate underwriting. Volkia Public Radio supplies much of the country's public radio broadcasting. There are nearly 5,000 licensed full-powered radio stations in Volkia as of February 2015, according to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MTC). Volkians listen to radio programming on average for just under two and a half hours per day.
In 2020, around 92% of Volkian households have cable or satellite TV with a variety of public broadcasting and commercial channels. There are three major broadcasters in Volkia: Runov Broadcasting Company (RNV), Volkian Broadcasting Company (TKV), and the National Television Broadcasting Company (NTK). There is also a significant amount of public broadcasting available to Volkian households. Much of Volkia's public television broadcasting is generally supplied by Volkia Public Television, which is a public broadcaster and program distributer. It was founded at the same time as Volkia Public Radio in 1982. According to the MTC, Volkians watch approximately 3.45 hours of television per day.
About 88.4% of Volkian homes have access to the internet, which is supplied either through a privately owned internet service providers or through an individual's city. The federal government encourages and partially funds municipal broadband nationwide, especially to rural areas where current providers may not provide as high quality service. Approximately 51% of Volkia's cities have some form of municipal broadband that directly competes with the privately owned ISPs.
Ice hockey is Volkia's national sport and also considered to be the most popular sport. The Volkian Hockey League (VHL) is the country's top professional hockey league and one of Volkia's major professional sports leagues. It is also the only Volkian sports league to feature foreign teams. The VHL's championship tournament, known as the Polivanov Cup playoffs, are the most watched sports tournament in Volkia. The sport is popular even at the high school and collegiate levels. Various other sports are popular within Volkia, which include football, basketball, baseball, rugby, cross-country skiing, ski jumping, and motorsports. While ice hockey is considered the most popular in terms of television audience, football is considered to be most played team sport in terms of number of players nationwide.
Football continues to grow in popularity in Volkia thanks to the Volkian Premier League, which is the top football league in the country. The league has the highest average game attendance in Volkian sports, and the league's championship game brings in millions of television viewers every year.
Motorsports are also growing in popularity in the country, notably the sport of rallying. The Volkian Grand Prix is an annual rally competition that takes place in various locations in Volkia offering a wide variety of course types that has allowed it to become the fastest rally competition in Volkia, averaging 75.17 mph in 2019. Stock car racing is also rather popular thanks to the Volkian Stock Car Racing Association (VSCRA), which is the best known stock car racing association in Volkia. While not as popular as stock car racing, touring car racing has also been growing in popularity in Volkia. The Volkian Touring Car Championship garners the highest attendance in Volkian touring car racing.
All ten federal holidays are also provincial holidays. A holiday that falls on a weekend is observed on the closest weekday. While the federal government is officially secular, four of the ten holidays are religious holidays. A Federal Supreme Court ruling allowed the religious holidays to remain federal holidays, noting that these holidays celebrate specific events that also happen to be important to Lunarists. These four religious holidays (Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter Festivals) have been increasingly celebrated by non-Lunarists, which have become celebrations of Volkian culture.
Every year on a federal holiday, non-essential federal government offices are closed, stock trading is suspended, and every federal worker is paid for the holiday. This typically applies to provincial government offices as well. As a general rule, banks, schools, and businesses may be closed as well; this is not required. Federal law mandates anyone who works on a federal holiday be receive "time-and-a-half" for all hours worked on the holiday. Additionally, if the day was an otherwise working day for the employee, the employee shall receive vacation time equivalent to one full workday to take at another time.
|Date||Official Name (Volkian)||Notes|
|January 1||New Year's Day
(День нового года)
|Celebrates the beginning of the Gregorian calendar year. Festivities typically begin the previous evening and include fireworks displays, counting down to midnight, and parties.|
|March 20||Spring Festival
|Commemorates the Spring Equinox and the beginning of spring, an important holiday for Lunarists and non-Lunarists alike. Modern celebrations include neighborhood parties, barbecues, dancing, and crowning the Queen of Spring.|
|April 17||Federation Day
|Celebrates the ratification of the Constitution of Volkia. A majority of provinces ratified the document on April 17, 1888, though it would not go into effect until August 6, 1888. Fireworks celebrations are held throughout the nation and other festivities include barbecues and parades.|
|April 29||Presidents Day
|While April 29 is Aleksey Pushkarev's birthday, this holiday honors all of Volkia's presidents. Volkians typically celebrate with parades and barbecues.|
|May 25||Defenders of the Federation Day
(День защитника Федерации)
|Honors all members of the Volkian Defense Forces. Wreathes and flowers are laid on veteran graves and special parties and concerts are held for veterans. Firework displays are held in the evening.|
|June 21||Summer Festival
|Commemorates the summer solstice, a major holiday in Lunarism that is also celebrated by non-Lunarists with various traditions. Typical celebrations include barbecues, singing, dancing, and bonfires.|
|Second Monday in July
|Public holiday held every two years for purposes of federal elections; many businesses are closed or have shortened hours to allow Volkian workers time to vote. The next federal elections are scheduled to be held on July 11, 2022.|
|August 11||Labor Day
|Honors and celebrates the Volkian labor movement and workers. The date coincides with the 1947 general strike that crippled production nationwide and ultimately led to significant rights for workers.|
|September 22||Autumn Festival
|Celebrates the beginning of autumn in Volkia, and is one of the four major holidays in Lunarism. Non-Lunarists celebrate this holiday as well; it is one of Volkia's biggest holidays. Celebrations include parades and feasts.|
|December 21||Winter Festival
|Celebrates the winter solstice. The Winter Festival has its roots in Lunarism but is celebrated by Lunarists and non-Lunarists alike with various traditions. Winter Festival markets are open across many cities and towns nationwide starting December 1.|
|Volkian Federative Republic|
|Main article: Volkia|
|Important Topics: Culture ♦ Lupine ♦ Volkian language ♦ Lunarism ♦ Volkian korona ♦ Defense Forces|
|Government: Federal Government ♦ President ♦ Cabinet ♦ National Assembly ♦ Federal Supreme Court ♦ Political Parties|
|History: Grand Principality of Volkia ♦ Duchy of Volkia ♦ Kingdom of Volkia ♦ Volkian Civil War ♦ Northern Revolt ♦ Volkian Revolution|
|Important Figures (Past and Present): Yuliya Surkova ♦ Aleksey Pushkarev ♦ Stefan Gurkovsky ♦ Ivan Ogarkov ♦ Vasily Tolmachyov ♦ Yulian Lebedev|