Located on the peripheries of Turkey, Iran, and Russia, the region has been an arena for political, military, religious, and cultural rivalries and expansionism for centuries. Throughout its history, the Caucasus was usually incorporated into the Persian world. At the beginning of the 19th century, the Russian Empire conquered the territory from the Qajar dynasty.
Ancient kingdoms of the region included Armenia, Caucasian Albania, Colchis and Caucasian Iberia, among others. These kingdoms were later incorporated into various Iranian empires. In 95-55 BC under the reign of Tigranes the Great, the Kingdom of Armenia became an empire.
Zoroastrianism had become the dominant religion of the region except for in the Kingdom of Armenia, which was the first nation to adopt Christianity as state religion along with Caucasian Albania and Georgia. With the dominance and influence of the Christian entities in the region, Christianity began to overtake Zoroastrianism.
With the Islamic conquest of Persia, the region came under the rule of the Arabs, and soon the Emirate of Armenia was formed. But after several rebellions in 884/885 AD, the Kingdom of Armenia became independent with Ani as its capital, the city of "1001 churches". It was at its peak under the reign of Gagik I, when it stretched from the Byzantine Empire to Caucasian Albania, and from Caucasian Iberia to Mesopotamia until in 1045 AD when the kingdom was conquered by Byzantium.
In the 7th century, the Georgian king David the Builder drove the Muslims out from Caucasus and made the Kingdom of Georgia a strong regional power. In 1194–1204 Georgian Queen Tamar's armies crushed new Turkish invasions from the south-east and south and launched several successful campaigns into Turkish-controlled Southern Armenia. The Georgian Kingdom continued military campaigns outside of Caucasus. As a result of her military campaigns and the temporary fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1204, Georgia became the strongest Christian state in the whole Near East area. The region would later be conquered by the Ottomans, Mongols, local kingdoms and khanates, as well as, once again, Persia, until its subsequent conquest by Russia.
The region was unified as a single political entity twice only – during the Russian Civil War (Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic) from 9 April 1918 to 26 May 1918, and under Soviet rule (Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic) from 12 March 1922 to 5 December 1936.
Following the end of the Soviet Union, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia became independent in 1991. The Caucasus region has been subject to various territorial disputes since the collapse of the Soviet Union, leading to the Nagorno-Karabakh War (1988–1994), the East Prigorodny conflict (1992), the War in Abkhazia (1992–1993), the Black Sea War (1994-1997), the AUE-Abkhazia Conflict (1994-1996), the Russo-Chechen War (1995–1997), the Russo-Ossetia War (1997), and the Eurasian 100 Days of Blood (1999-2000).
In the night of 9 June 1994, Turkey conducted a clandestine deep underwater nuclear test in the Black sea under its strategic nuclear arms program. However a problem occurred with the weapons system and the nuclear warhead exploded before even reaching 200ft. The succeeding events were beyond everyone's expectations and even what could scientists calculate and estimate. A large hole, named the "Black Pearl" by the media, was left on the site of the explosion due to the underestimated yield of the nuclear explosion.
"We were only evaluating what we expected to be a nuclear explosion with a yield of less than 10 kilotons to be used for economic practices only and not for it to be developed into a weapon."—TAF spokesperson
But the hole was not just the damage done by the explosion. It also caused a great acceleration of net outflow of the Black Sea which gave it a severe negative water balance, gushing out the sea's waters to the Aegean sea. With the danger that it could receive the same fate as the Aral sea, the Turkish government with the help of numerous international organizations and governments, spearheaded an effective plan to prevent the water from leaving and to save the dying sea. Within three months a grand dam was built in the Dardanelles and Bosphorus and tons of aquatic animals and plants were transferred to other compatible habitats.
Still though, it left the Black sea and the countries surrounding it with severe environmental and economic problems. Shipping and fishing businesses, ports, shipyards and docks, and fish plants around it were forced to shut down due to the severely decreased water levels of the sea. Another strange environment damage of the nuclear explosion is that it left the area around the hole hydrophobic. The ground itself is rejecting contact with the water around it creating a large dry patch of land in the middle of the dying sea which was named by the media as the "Land of the Black Pearl".
The incident also left a political crisis. International and internal pressure was mounting on the Turkish government as it is being criticized world-wide for the incident. An international investigation was launched alongside a separate Turkish one. Rumors and conspiracy theories about the event were viral in the internet which included a plausible scenario.
"It is possible that an unknown entity sabotaged the totally planned and coordinated nuclear test during that fateful night and it is being considered by the investigators. We would not like to point our fingers until the investigations have been thoroughly reviewed."
Also, the incident revealed a secret underwater military installation within Bulgarian littoral zone that is being operated by Greece with two new submarines stationed in it. Bulgaria quickly denied allegations that it was having a secret deal with Greece to jointly control the Black sea and to annex Crimea, Georgia, the Gallipoli peninsula, and the Russian districts of Southern Federal District and North Caucasian Federal District. This revelation raised suspicions for Greek interests in the area, along with the other Black sea countries' roles in the incident, and the crisis is rapidly turning into a military conflict.
By 11 September 1994, only two days after the dam that saved the remaining waters of the Black sea was built, the Black Sea Fleet and the Russian military was mobilized with authorization from the Kremlin for the sake of its national security. This was highly criticized by the other countries of the Black Sea, the United Nations, and by NATO.
"We condemn the latest decision of Russia to deploy its military assets in the Black Sea and the Caucasus. This is an act of aggression which could be retaliated back with force and is heightening the already tensed situation in the said region. Stability and peace would not bear fruit unless Russia withdraws its armed forces."—NATO spokesperson
By 12 September, it was pandemonium in the diplomatic community. Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, and Greece all scrambled to get international support, political and military allies, and to mobilize and get their respective countries ready for war. Georgia was able to gain the support of Armenia and Azerbaijan, forming the military bloc Alliance of United Eurasia and officially announcing its existence on 13 September. NATO, which had an obligation to its two opposing members (Turkey and Greece), decided to remain neutral; threatening to suspend or even expel the two countries (or just one of them) in the advent of war between the two. The other countries also requested support from NATO especially Ukraine, who has a partnership with it.
The United Nations Security Council decided to hold a dialogue with the Black sea countries and Greece to ease military tensions and armed presence in the region on 18 September. But the dialogue failed to solve the issue since each country would not back down in asserting its own claims and conditions for the rest. By 19 September 1994, the hostilities concluded to declarations of war from each respective country officially starting the Black Sea War which would eventually end through mutual agreement by 16 April 1997.
This mutual agreement to restore peace, stability and progress in the region, with the included article that each combatant involved is responsible to war reparations by fixing the dying Black sea, led to the Great Restoration; it was also after the war that the AUE declared that it will now be an official sovereign country. Although the treaty, which also formed the Black Sea Treaty Organization, was followed by the Black sea states and Greece, animosity between them still exists. During the war, Romania briefly joined the AUE but left soon after the war while Turkey also aligned itself with the AUE-led coalition albeit it was met with much resent and criticism.
The Eurasian Federation was able to make quick progress following the war and has since established itself as a major player in the region. After the Black Sea War, Crimea, Ossetia and Chechnya became a member of the Alliance of United Eurasia as fellow nation-states. The AUE was able to gain the Russian federal subject Ingushetia (considered a part of Chechnya but administered by the central government), the Greek military base within Bulgarian littoral zone, the Poseidon's Base, and was also given the "Land of the Black Pearl" under a provision in the treaty. The AUE has also occupied several islands in the Black sea after the war. The central government itself is administering Black Pearl City and has turned it into the capital of AUE for political reasons (to avoid favoritism to any nation-state). With huge funds dedicated in developing Black Pearl and the area around it, the city is now considered a growing metropolis and is regarded as a triumph in solving a dire environmental-economic problem. Black Pearl City is acting as the hub for socio-economic growth as well as the center of political and military power.
Two years after the war, on 19 September 1999, while the country is celebrating and honoring the past that formed the country, simultaneous terrorist attacks on each nation-state including Black Pearl, killed 139 civilians, 5 local government officials, and 27 security personnel while injuring hundreds of innocent bystanders. A joint statement made by the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and the Republic of Abkhazia (Apsny) soon claimed responsibility for the attacks which involved IED explosions, bombings and direct action. This started the first day of the Eurasian 100 Days of Blood, a grueling campaign launched by the central AUE government in retaliation.
There was immediately a media frenzy regarding the announcement and the attacks. Moreover, two hours after the statement was uploaded online through the internet, reports coming from AUE outposts in Nagorno-Karabakh and Abkhazia flooded the central government's military command claiming that they were overrun by hostile unknown forces which effectively meant that AUE lost control of the areas. The Eurasian Federation quickly identified the two as insurgents and acknowledge the declaration of hostilities made by deploying its armed forces "to regain control over the areas attacked". Security forces during the attacks were able to pursue and arrest two suspects involved while the others were killed or ultimately fought back. The insurgents were popularly called as "Zero Angel" by the media, after its AUE IFF military code name, NGL 00 (Non-Governmental Liaison)."We would like to announce that the special forces division of the joint military command of the republics of Nagorno-Karabakh and Abkhazia have just conducted a successful operation against the Alliance of United Eurasia. We would like to make a declaration of war to the Eurasian Federation who have unlawfully annexed us forcefully and without due process and negotiations. For the sake of liberating our lands, Nagorno-Karabakh and Abkhazia have joined forces to bring down this invader in an epic David-versus-Goliath battle. We would not lay down our weapons until the AUE have withdrawn itself from both countries as we rightfully claim it as ours. May the heavens above smile upon us!"—Quote from the joint statement uploaded through the internet
The Eurasian Federal eventually gained control over Nagorno-Karabakh and Abkhazia on 28 December 1999, approximately 99 days after the initial terrorist attack that sparked the separatist war. The masterminds and collaborators for the deadly killings and the war that followed were arrested and were given the death sentence. On the same day, Nagorno-Karabakh and Abkhazia were reintroduced to the AUE as separate nation-states.