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Bistravia

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Bistravian Republic

Бістравска Републіка
Bistravska Republika
Bistravian flag
Flag
Bistravian Coat of Arms
Coat of Arms
Motto: 
"Хродость a усіловность"
(tr.) "Hrodost a usilovnost'"
"Pride and diligence"
Anthem: 
"Ґлас народу"
(tr.) "Glas narodu'"
"Voice of the people"
MediaPlayer.png
CapitalMiensk
Official languagesBistravian
Ethnic groups
(2021)
83.2% Bistravians
7.2% Soravians
9.6% others
Demonym(s)Bistravian
GovernmentUnitary Semi-Presidential Constitutional Republic
• President
Viktor Križ
• Prime Minister
Martina Ovoječka
• Speaker of the Rada
Artur Martin Halent
LegislatureRada
Establishment
• Principality of Vyzemia
597
• Tengarian rule
1350
• Soravian conquest
July 27, 1650
• Bistravian FSR
March 11, 1936
• Independence
February 4, 1980
• Current Constitution
May 17, 1982
Area
• Estimate
171,288.32 km2 (66,134.79 sq mi)
• Water (%)
13.41%
Population
• 2020 census
Decrease 10,422,100
• Density
60.85/km2 (157.6/sq mi)
GDP (PPP)2020 estimate
• Total
Increase $238,760 billion
• Per capita
Increase $22,909
GDP (nominal)2020 estimate
• Total
Increase $123,710 billion
• Per capita
Increase $11,870
Gini (2020)Positive decrease 23.1
low
HDI (2020)Increase 0.818
very high
CurrencyBistravian Orol (BIO)
Time zoneUTC-1
Date formatdd-mm-yyyy
Driving sideright
Calling code+32
Internet TLD.bi

The Bistravian Republic (bi. Бістравска Републіка, Bistravska Republika), also known as Bistravia (bi. Бістравско, Bistravsko) is a landlocked country in central Euclea. It is bordered by Vedmed to the north, West Miersa to the east, Champania and Amathia to the southeast, Tengaria to the south and Radushia to the east. Bistravia has a hilly landscape that covers over 170,000 km² (66,000 sq mi) with a mostly temperate climate. The capital, Miensk, is also the largest city in the republic. Other major urban areas include Kraljovice, Ružyn, Světi Hora and Andřejovice.

Several early feudal Marolevic states fought for the control over the area after fall of the Solarian Empire, with Vyzemia gaining an upper hand in the late 9th century, following the support of the Empire of Arciluco and introduction of the Sotirianity in the region. The Principality of Vyzemia, a client state of the Empire, controlled most of the eastern coast of lake Min until its vassalization by the Empire of Tengaria in 1330 by Ivan II. During the Iconoclast Wars the population of modern-day Bistravia, prone to religious conversion, supported the Iconoclasts, mainly the Realm of Thorns. Tengarian intervention ended the rebellion and installed Tengarian nobility on the principal seats. During the Tengarian golden age, many towns were founded, mostly along the coast of lake Min, as well as mines, latifundiums and universities. Fall of the empire saw the emergence of Tengaro-Bistravian and Amathian nobility, which created an independent Verominian Principality in 1549. Increasing Soravian and Amathian influences in the late 16th and early 17th century ultimately ended with the partition of the state in 1650.

Bistravian lands were subjected to heavy industralization in the second half of the 19th century - mining, manufacturing and textile industry developed in the area. The region, comparatively undeveloped, quickly turned into an important industrial sate of the Soravian Empire. During the late 1800s, a Bistravian nationalism emerged, focused mostly on the rural population, which had less privileges and opportunities than Soravo-Bistravian and Amathio-Bistravian burgher class. Bistravian nationalism would be hindered by the Great Collapse and the Great War, though, eventually, a Bistravian Federal Sovereign Republic was created in 1936, the first Bistravian ethno-state. The Soravian civil war resulted in the Bistravian declaration of dissolution on 4th February 1980, while a new constitution was signed in 1982. Since then, the republic is a democratic and independent state.

Bistravia is a unitary, semi-presidential republic and a developing country comprised of 13 regions (bi. краjе, kraje). Its market economy is largely based on services, though industries (such as machinery or mining) and agriculture still play a major role. Bistravian Republic is a member of important international organizations: Community of Nations, International Trade Organization and, most importantly, Samorspi. The country faces several socioeconomic problems: poverty is still prevalent throughout the nation, while corruption and nepotism affect political institutions on national and local levels. Bistravia is considered a flawed democracy, with many of the human rights below the level of other Euclean nations in the east.

Etymology

History

Antiquity

Tribal period

Middle Ages

Soravian Empire

Great War

Bistravian FSR

Independence

Geography

Climate

Environment

Biodiversity

Politics and government

Government

Foreign relations

Judiciary and Law Enforcement

Military

Administrative divisions

Demographics

According to 2020 census, the population of Bistravia was 10,422,100, making it 16th most populous country in Euclea. With a population density of 60.85/km2 (157.6/sq mi), it's also one of the least densely populated nation on the continent. After peaking at 11.2 million people in 1998, the population of Bistravia is continuously decreasing, with nearly 800,000 inhabitants less in 2020 than it was in 1998. This is, partially, due to very low total fertility rate, estimated at 1.55 children per woman, much below the replacement rate of 2.1 children per woman, combined with high numbers of reported abortions. The other reason is a negative net migration rate of -2.2, with insufficient living conditions, low quality education and lack of job perspectives cited as the main causes. People migrate mostly to countries like Soravia or Amathia but there is also a significant number of Bistravians in Eastern Euclea. Bistravia is one of the few countries in Kylaris that suffers from population decline. It is expected to reach 10 million by 2030 and 9 million by 2050. The life expectancy is 73.14 years (68.53 years male; 77.87 years female). Bistravia has one of the lowest male-to-female ratio, at 0.87 males/females. In 2020, there was 4,869,118 males and 5,552,982 females living in the republic. Every year, more boys are born than girls and until the age of 39 there are more men than women. From the age of 65, there are over 2 times more women than men.

Bistravia can be considered relatively homogeneous, with 83.2% of the population considering themselves Bistravian. The group is of Marolevic origin and has inhabited area since at least 4th century, though the Bistravian ethnic identity has formed only in late 19th century, following the rapid industrialization and mass migrations of rural population to city centers. Soravians are the largest minority, constituting for 7.2% of the population - these are mostly descendants of Soravian or Soravian married families that moved to the coast of Lake Min during 1950s and 1960s to work in newly developing aerospace, logistics and energy industries. Other notable minorities include Tengarians, Vedmedi, Savaders (also called Hercí) and Vysemians, who distinct themselves from Bistravians by the usage of Vysemian language (sometimes treated as a dialect) and belonging to the Syčavite Church that rose to prominence in the Bistravian eastern highlands during the Iconoclast Wars.

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1850 2,500,000—    
1910 4,070,000+0.82%
1936 5,588,000+1.23%
1950 6,728,715+1.34%
1960 7,661,830+1.31%
1970 8,897,441+1.51%
1982 9,780,645+0.79%
1990 10,386,488+0.75%
2000 11,187,644+0.75%
2010 10,742,876−0.40%
2020 10,422,100−0.30%

Languages

Bistravian, regulated by the National Language Council, is the sole official language of Bistravia, according to the Constitution of 1982. Belonging to the Rutto-Marolevic branch, it is close to Ambrazkan and Miersan languages, although, due to geographic proximity and historical influences, it bears many similarities both to Soravian and Tengarian languages as well. As of 2020, 82.4% of the population declared they use Bistravian at home, while 98.6% claimed they use it on daily basis. It's the only compulsory language taught in schools, starting from kindergarten. The National Language Council classifies only one dialect of Bistravian, sometimes considered a separate language, which is Vysemian, from the medieval Duchy of Vyzemia. Spoken mostly in the sparsely populated east and southeast, it was first introduced to the census data in 2010, when 3.4% of the population declared it their home language. The figure increased to 4.1% according to the 2020 census, though the exact extent is unknown, due to lack of proper classification and definition of the dialect. Vysemian is characterized by its resistance to Soravian and Tengarian influences, which shaped Bistravian to a higher degree and is sometimes described as "indigenous" language of the region or proto-Bistravian. The activists fight for its recognition as a regional or minority language, however, it is yet to be achieved.

Soravian is the second most common language in the republic, spoken by around 15.5% of the population on daily basis. This conflicts with the percentage of the citizens claiming Soravian as their ethnic identity, however, it can be attributed to a long period of Soravianization of Bistravia during the UPSR and popularity of the language in business, international relations and professional work fields. It is widely used in the media: 4 out of 9 most popular newspapers publish in both Bistravian and Soravian and several TV stations use it as a support language. Soravian language music, movie and TV series subtitles and video games make it popular within the younger generations, too. Every high school is obliged to provide courses for at least one foreign language, with Soravian present in over 95% of schools, and most primary schools offer either mandatory or voluntary Soravian courses as part of their curriculums. The language was granted an official minority language status in 1984.

There are 5 other officially recognized minority languages. To be provided that status, a language must have "historical roots and presence in the Bistravian cultural heritage". Tengarian was recognized as such in 1984 along Soravian. According to 2020 census, it's spoken by 1.1% of the population daily, mostly along the southern border of the country. The variety of Tengarian used in Bistravia can be classified as Visoclesian, however, the governments of Tengaria and Bistravia consider it a dialectal form of Tengarian language. Savader, called Herski is spoken by the Savader populations scattered around the republic, with most of them residing in the northeast. The real number of its users can vary, as many Savaders only use the language at home but rarely in daily communication. Major Savader populations migrated to Tengaria or Soravia after the dissolution of the UPSR, while some of them assimilated with the Bistravians, leaving only a portion cultivating the culture. Other recognized minority languages include Vedmedi, spoken mostly in the north, Miersan, used along the border with West Miersa and Amathian, present in the southeast of the country.

Gaullican, Weranian and Estermish gained significance in the first decade of the 21st century, a result of globalization and exposure to the international media, including Eastern Euclean ones. Gaullican is the currently rapidly gaining popularity, with over 50% high school students learning the language and 12% of the population claiming they are able to hold a conversation in it. Weranian and Estmerish, while not as popular, are often available to learn in larger cities, though both languages are currently known by less than 10% of Bistravians.

Religion

Religion in Bistravia

  Episemialist (88.9%)
  Other Sotirian (5.2%)
  Irreligion or Atheism (4.9%)
  Other (1.0%)

The national constitution states that the republic allows freedom of religions and does not restrict its citizens from practicing faiths, as long as the practices do not involve hate speech, government criticism and violence or its promotion. There are 34 officially recognized faiths and churches in Bistravia. Most of the population belongs to the Episemialist Church. Sotirianity spread to the region of modern-day Bistravia in the 6th century and has played an important role in the regional politics ever since. Over 88% of Bistravians is Episemialist, with the numbers continuously dwindling since the 1990s. Bistravian Episemialist Church is organized under Soravian Episemialist Church, though there is also the autocephalous Sychavite Church that does not report to any higher ranked institution and is considered heterodox by other Episemialist Churches. Around 3.5% of the population reported their adherence to the Syčavite Church, mostly in the east and southeast of the country. There are small Solarian Catholic communities in Bistravia, centered around the capital city of Miensk.

Religious cultural heritage, especially Episemialist, is of high importance due to its unique aesthetics and historical meaning. Bistravian landscape is often accented by religious architecture, including churches, cathedrals and monasteries.

Urbanization

There are 3,046 localities in Bistravia: 925 cities and towns (Bistravian term: město, plural: města; the terminology does not distinguish between these two terms), with one of them above 1 million inhabitants, further 5 cities above 100,000 inhabitants, 13 above 50,000 and 298 above 5,000 people. The urbanization rate is 75.4% and is projected to reach 80% by the end of 2035 due to large rural-urban migration flow, especially to the coastal region of the country. There are over 2,000 villages throughout the republic, however, the number can change as any village can be elevated to a town status by act of the President - in 2020, 5 villages were granted that status. The largest village, Šumnica, has 4027 inhabitans, while the smallest town, Vihný Rog, has a population of 1112. Bistravian Statistical Office distinguishes 4 agglomerations (or early stage agglomerations) areas - these are Miensk, Kraljovice, Ružyn and Andřejovice.

Education

The National Academy in Miensk is the most important university in the country.

Education in Bistravia is largely based on Soravian model and, since 1982, has been subjected to various reforms. Government spending on education has reached 4.2% in 2020 and is among the lowest in Euclea, although the number of students has been continuously increasing since 2004. Many students study abroad, mainly in Soravia and Tengaria, who offer scholarships and student exchange programs for Bistravian students, especially those aiming to study sciences.

Children start their education at the age of 5 and are obliged to learn until they are 16. First two years are described as kindergarten (bi. prědškola), where pupils attain basic knowledge and skills, such as reading, writing and counting. From ages 7 to 11 kids enter primary school (bi. počatkova škola) and finish it with exams that determine which high school they are eligible to attend. First five years of high school (bi. sredni škola) are considered "general" and consist of the same curriculum - however, all students can pick other subjects to learn for the final two years and write a maturity exam (bi. matura), that allows them to apply for college or university. All higher education institutions also require a preliminary test to be taken by applicants.

Higher education consists of state-run and private universities, with tuition free in Bistravian language for firs-time attendants until the age of 26. The university courses take from 2 to 6 years, depending on the degree. There are 22 public universities in Bistravia, with most of them focusing on sciences, such as physics, engineering or computer sciences, as Bistravia was one of major technical research centers in the UPSR. The largest university is the National Academy in Miensk, followed closely by the Jandóv University of Kraljovice, the oldest in the republic.

Health

Bistravian health system is fully state subsidized and available for free to any Bistravian citizen and registered resident. Since 1990s, the private sector started expanding in the healthcare sector, providing a paid but often better-quality services. Bistravian healthcare system suffers from underfunding and brain drain, with many professionals seeking job opportunities abroad.

All of the country's hospitals and medical service providers are subordinate to the Bistravian Ministry of Health. They are organized along the administrative regional structure. Thus, most cities and towns have their own hospitals, as well as many larger settlements have an additional hospital serving their related district. Many specialized medical complexes can be only found in either Miensk or Kraljovice, especially those providing aesthetic medicine, orthodontics or dentistry services.

Bistravian healthcare system and the general population face several problems. The republic is considered to be in a demographic crisis, with high death rate and low birth rate. A relatively high abortion rate further increases the gap - due to lax regulations, many women decide to perform the procedure due to health, mental or economical concerns. High mortality rate, especially withing the working male populations is attributed to stress, alcoholism and smoking. 39.6% of the population admits to smoking, one of the highest rates in the world, with some people starting the habit as early as in high school. Alcohol consumption, established to be around 12.8 litres per capita, is a troubling issue, resulting in, often lethal, health problems such as cancer, liver or heart diseases. A number of reforms has been introduced in the 21st to decrease the alcohol consumption - including prohibition of sale of alcohol after 8 PM in stores and markets and increasing excise - as a consequence, many Bistravians started preparing alcoholic beverages in unregulated home environments, with the drink often exceeding 40% of alcohol or containing methanol instead of ethanol.

Economy

The Bernárdin district in Miensk is the largest business center in the country.

Considered to be a developing country, Bistravia is one of the smallest economies in Euclea, with a GDP PPP worth $238,760 billion in 2020. Of all Samorspi members, the country is behind Soravia, Vedmed, Kantemosha or Tengaria and has a similar economic output as West Miersa. The republic has a very high Human Development Index at 0.818 and a low income inequality, measured by a Gini coefficient of 23.1, one of the lowest in the world.

Historically dependent on agriculture and herding, Bistravia underwent rapid industrialization under Soravia in the 1880s and the 1890s, with its central position on the continent and proximity to foreign markets contributing towards development of infrastructure, namely railway, as well as logistics hubs and storage centers. Many factories were opened, with textile and machine industries dominating the production landscape of the region. The Great Collapse had a negative impact on Bistravia, halting its economic growth that was partly restored by answering to new demands (mostly those of the arms industry) as the Great War period approached. Bistravia experienced an economic boom while it was a part of the All-Soravian Union of Republics between between 1936 and 1982. The newly moved capital of Miensk became an important center of many industries, particularly astronautics, with many leading education facilities and research institutes forming in the area surrounding Miensk and Lake Min. The fall of the Union and the Sostava War damaged the Bistravian economy, resulting in a decline that lasted until late 1990s, when the planned economy shifted into a mixed economy, with many fields undergoing privatization.

Today, Bistravia is a service-oriented economy, although industries still play a major role in the country. The most important export goods include machinery and equipment, plastics, chemicals, grains and tobacco. The country's highly dependent on Soravia, who is its major trade partner as well as investor, although in recent times, the Euclean Community increased its importance to the national economy. The republic suffers from high unemployment, with over 10% of the population living without a formal income source, corruption, including embezzlement, influence trading and bribes, which slow down development on both local and national level, as well as lack of specialists, with a large portion of a professional workforce migrating abroad.

Agriculture

Sugar beets are one of the most important agricultural produce of Bistravia.

The industrial revolution shifted much of the land use and workforce to newly developing industries, diminishing the role of agriculture in most of Bistravia. Despite that, it is still a vital sector and, for many rural communities, especially in the eastern parts of the country, the main source of income. Today, around 40% of the area is considered arable land, and further 15% as pastures. As of 2020, 3.9% of real GDP came from agriculture, employing 7.2% of total working population.

Farms in Bistravia under UPSR were mostly corporate, with state-run companies owning large parts of the land and organizing most of work. The land reform were introduced relatively slowly comparing to other Samorspi countries, with around 70% of the farms still corporate in the 1990s that only recently had been partitioned or sold to small-scale private owners. Additionally, there has been a shift from livestock to crop farming, deemed more profitable and easily maintainable.

Sheep herders in Poljanicki Kraj.

The nation is a major regional producer of various crops, including wheat, rhye, triticale and oats, as well as fodder. Bistravia is an important exporter of oils of different origins, including rapeseed, sunflower seed and flax, and also of many vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots or onions. Some of these crops are used to for the production of alcohol, mostly spirits, although recently viticulture has been introduced in the south.

Traditionally, sheep and cattle formed the backbone of animal farming, with pigs becoming the dominant animal kept since the late 20th century. Despite that, many communities in the east and southeast still practice extensive sheep and cattle herding, contrary to the more intensive pig farming. Access to Lake Min involves the development of aquaculture, with species such as roach, carp bream or zander common in these waters. Unsustainable fishing methods (mostly trawling) led to a drastic decrease of catch during the Union times. The situation has been gradually improving since the 1990s, with many regulations introduced by the government. Recreational fishing and fish farms are two major forms of fishing, resulting in low overall production and trade potential - most of the lake's produces are intended for the local market.

Industry

A BFA automobiles factory in Miensk.

The industry sector in Bistravia played a main role in the country's development, particularly during the 19th century and later under the UPSR rule. As such, it was hit the hardest after the breakup of the Union and underwent deep structural changes and organizational reforms in the 1990s. Currently, the sector generates 35.5% of the total GDP and employs 30.1% of the workforce.

Mining and metallurgy historically shaped the industrial landscape of the country. During the Middle Ages, many iron and copper mines were opened under the Tengarian landowners, mostly in the country's hilly east, around the towns of Andřejovice and Ružyn. These operated well until the early 20th century, when their profitability decreased greatly and new means of transporting of goods allowed for cheap and large-scale imports of already processed resources from Coius or the Asterias. Today, most of the iron and steelworks produces are used domestically or exported to neighboring states. While the industry was revived during the Great War to meed the arms manufacturers' demands, its meaning to the national GDP is dwindling.

The textile industry gained prominence under the Olsovian Soravia - while raw materials were imported from the New World, increasing mechanization and access to large quantities of soft water of Lake Min and several rivers allowed the factories to develop in Bistravia, where the goods could be exported to the whole Euclea. The industrial centers were focused around the Bistra river and triggered the urbanization boom in towns and cities in the region, including Kraljovice, Tešanec or Níski Most. The Great Collapse and the Great War negatively affected the production and, despite large government's interest in reviving the field in the 1950s and 1960s, the global competition and insufficient funding caused most manufacturers to close their business or relocate them.

A Jatin aerospace complex near Miensk is the largest operating space manufacturer in the country.

Bistravia's well developed production sites and its central location on the continent contributed towards the growth of the arms industry, particularly during and after the Great War, when the country provided equipment to Soravia. Initially the goods produced included guns, ammunition and artillery, while it later expanded into tanks, armored personnelk carriers or even aircraft, with a few public entrepreneurs entering the market. The industry still holds its position in the republic, arming not only the members of Samorspi but also exporting vehicles and equipment to Coius. Starting in 2000s, some national military services companies, such as PANS or Edva Motion have spread into cybersecurity markets, providing various surveillence or encryption technologies to the buyers.

Post-war major industries include automotive industry, machine industry and aerospace industry, which quickly developed under the Union to meet the domestic needs. Currently they form around 40% of the country's revenue, among the largest in the world. These industries are centered in and around the capital city, Miensk, as well as further north and south on the shores of Lake Min. Most of the companies are directly descendent from state-owned production companies, now largely in private hands. Important machinery manufacturers are Vesnik (household appliances), Kirna (engines, processors, turbines, pumps) and Kalisek-Benovski (agricultural machinery and vehicles). BFA and Bistra are the flagship automobile manufacturers in Bistravia, however, since 1990s, there has been a shift towards Euclean brands, with numerous joint-venture projects, such as Behnsen, who cooperates with the BFA under Behnsen-BFA Gruppe. Contrary to these, the space industry enterprises are state-owned and work closely with Natkosma, the Soravian space agency, who was initially based in the town of Kosmiňsk on the shore of Lake Min. Within the Union, Bistravia was the key region of the space programs and many facilities were constructed in the country's northwest. It suffered a crisis following the Sostava War but, since late 1990s, was targeted by deep reforms and increased funding, leading to its revival.

Energy

The Kalúny Nuclear Power Plant started operating in 2013 and is the largest nuclear complex in Bistravia.

Bistravia consumes more energy than it produces and so does import it from neighboring states, with nearly 95% of all energy imported from other Samorspi members, mainly Soravia, which offers various discounts on its sales to the republic.

Most of the energy produced comes from the republic's vast coal resources, namely lignite, with 4 large deposits found in the north-east. In the same area, the natural gas and oil are extracted, though these amounts barely meet half of the country's needs, while the rest is imported. Thermal-power plants generate 70.3% of the total power, while 12.1% comes from gas-fueled power plants.

As of 2020, 15.4% of the country's energy production is attributed to the nuclear power, which saw its rise during the Union times in 1960s. Access to Min's and various rivers' freshwater birthed an opportunity to expand on nuclear energy production. Three complexes were built between 1962 and 1978, with two of them decommissioned after the Sostava War due to the public fear of a disaster and low-standards of safety and security measures. Implementation of new policies in the 1990s allowed the development of the nuclear power in the country, concluded with the opening of the Kalúny Nuclear Power Plant in 2013 and the Kalovka-Choróce Nuclear Power Plant, planned opening in 2026. All projects are supervised by Bisatom, a state-owned nuclear energy company under Bisrner, the sole national energy company.

The country has one of the lowest rates of electricity production from renewable resources in Euclea, accounting for 2.2% in 2020. These come from the solar and wind power, as the republic has little opportunities to exploit hydropower - low relative terrain height differences and low annual average rainfall limit the potential of the energy generation. Similarly, there are rare possibilities for a proper implementation of a large-scale wind farm projects and thus the wind turbines are generally utilized on a local scale only.

Infrastructure and transportation

The condition of the rolling stock in Bistravia is below the standards of most Euclean countries.

Bistravia has a strategic transportation position, serving as a crossroads between Western and Eastern Euclea, as well as a route between the Perovo Sea and the Acheloian Sea. Pipelines connecting the Saporspi members run through the country, supplying the republic and neighboring states with natural gas. Aforementioned geographic location allows for a relatively quick and easy transport of resources, resulting in a development of the road network in the country and fueling expansion of railway transport. The country boasts a high road density, divided into four classes, with majority of them paved. Five class-A motorways cross Bistravia, connecting its major cities and leading south to Tengaria and north to X. These are subject to the National Motorway Directorate of the Bistravian Republic (NŘD). There are also class-B national roads, mostly in a good condition, class-C regional roads, and class-D local roads of a little significance and lacking proper maintenance.

Railway network reaches back to the 19th century and the rapid industrialization of country - via cargo trains, many goods produced locally were transported to Soravia. Currently, there is over 5,000 km of lines in usage, with nearly 40% of them electrified. The major rail hub is Miensk, while the most important national lines include Miensk-Kraljovice, Miensk-Dubnice and Kraljovice-Ovčarov. There's also a number of international connections, most importantly to Lenovo, the capital of Tengaria. A high-speed rail project is underway, aiming to connect Istros on the Tengarian coast to Miensk. The Bistravian part is supervised by the Bistravskě Železnice, a state-owned company, who also operates all of the passenger and freight transport in the country.

Air transport revolves around three airports: the Miensk Josip Kłažaj Airport, Kraljovice-Vyzemia Aiport and Lutniki Łukaš Sarnový Airport, with the first one serving as a hub of flagship carrier Bisavia. Kraljovice and Lutniki cater mostly low-cost airlines and pose as secondary hubs for Bisavia. There's also an array of military airports, located mostly in the country's northwest, where facilities of strategic importance are located. Several military bases close to the Bistravian-Champanian border also have airports.

Both historically and currently, lake Min affected the image of the national transportation. It previously served as the fastest transport route between an array of political entities spread on the shore. While its role has diminished in the 20th century, there are still maintained several cargo and passenger routes between Bistravia, Ravnia and Tengaria. Ferries regularly connect Miensk, Lanověc, Vorný and Visnagrad. Recently, a touristic approach has been incorporated into the development of water transport, reviving ports and harbours in many localities along the lake.

The public transport in the republic is still largely dependent on road transport. Only the capital is served by an underground rapid transit system, Metro Miensk, while the largest cities: Miensk, Kraljovice, Ružyn and Andrejovice also developed tram networks. All other areas are primarily functioning on buses, which poses a problem, especially in the rural areas, where lack of funding caused many operators to reduce the number and frequency of lines, while the private companies cannot offer competitive prices and are often discouraged by severe regulations imposed by the local governments.

Science and technology

Historically, the country has been an active contributor towards the world's scientific achievements. These include a screw propeller invented by Martin Malýško in 1839, a variation of a lightning rod erected by Jan Karček in 1842 or a prodiž, a small portable electric oven invented by Jan-Karol Łyžovec in 1958. In the 19th and early 20th century, most of the Bistravian research was conducted in Soravian universities, however, following the space-boom in the Union Republics, lake Min in modern-day Bistravia became the center of the space exploration and linked activities. During this period, the Bistravians achieved significant success in the fields of informatics, microelectronics, remote sensing and aeronautics, such as MIN family of computers, excimer laser or RP-170, one of the most powerful liquid-fuel rocket engine. Some notable figures of this era include Svĕtosłav Borić, who discovered over 520 celestial bodies and Nadia Tuňčova, attributed with naming over 200 minor planets and working on several space exploration missions.

As the state was unable to support scientific research in the years following the dissolution of the Union, many notable organizations shut down, while various individuals moved abroad, especially to Soravia. Increasing interest from the industrial sector sparked anew the government's initiative, which founded the Bistravian National Development and Research Office (BNUdRN) in 2003, a national funding agency responsible for the development, innovation and research. The National Development Plan from 2007 states that one of the long-term goals is to increase the spending on R&D to 2% of the GDP by 2025. Currently, this number sits at 1.39% and is below average of eastern Euclean countries. The main research hubs in the country are located in the metropolitan area of Miensk - Min Technology Park, concentrating on informatics and electronics, Jatin Centre for the Space Research near Kosmiňsk and Lanovec Life Science Cluster.

Tourism

  • holiday destination during the Union - many forests and lake Min were good for health
  • rich Soravians were invited to settle here - casinos, golf clubs, hunting lodges
  • complete fall in the 1980s
  • re-focus: spa and welness tourism, agroturism, folklore
  • gallery of different landmarks

Culture