Part 43: Redistribution of Wealth
Chapter 43 - Redistribution of Wealth
There is goon participation in this chapter!
Facing the very real possibility that he would have to kill Eduard Ivanov to take over the Stock Exchange, Piotr Prokofiev decided to forgo any form of assassination or violent removal. With his conscience clean and moral high ground established, he sought to legitimize his position as a man of change by peacefully replacing Eduard Ivanov with Vikenti Anisimov to become the new Finance Minister of Novistrana.
Despite his business acumen and connections, Anisimov was unprepared to replace Ivanov, so Prokofiev and the Novistranan Coalition gave him plenty of opportunity to take over businesses loyal to Karasov and perform favorable deals around Berezina. The time it took to build up Anisimov's worth as a better Finance Minister gave Ivanov a window to destroy some evidence pertaining to the crash of 1994, but thankfully part of it was recoverable and Anisimov was eventually able to replace Ivanov without bloodshed.
With the Stock Exchange finally under their control, it was time for the Coalition to turn their sights to Karasov's remaining support base: the Secret Police Headquarters and the Cathedral. Unlike before, they would not need to merge with another faction, but they would still have to decide what path to power they would take...
* * *
Piotr Prokofiev's Diary - Hundred-fifty-third Entry: 25/04/1996
I have decided that I cannot kill an enemy of our revolution, even if he is allied to Karasov. Doing so will only make me as bad as he is, and I shudder to think what would have happened if I did it... and took a liking to it. A peaceful transfer of power is always possible, and Anisimov is a shrewd man with plenty of contacts in his little secret society. With the proper preparations, I should be able to help Anisimov gain even more power and convince Ivanov to step down before he gets hurt.
My only concern is that the longer we delay, the more time Ivanov will have to destroy any evidence pertaining to the fraud of 1994. I'll need to be speedy and use Churnyeav's own brand of terror to keep him scared and worried we'll do something worse to him. Sometimes, the thought of pain is more torturous than the wounds themselves.
* * *
: Comrades... I've decided to peacefully remove Ivanov from his position as Finance Minister.
: Mr. Prokofiev, are you sure?
: Friends, I cannot bring myself to order his death. He may be one Karasov's toadies and a filthy member of the bourgeoise to boot, but I fear I would just become a second Karasov if I began ordering the executions of my political rivals.
: Sir, with all due respect, you're a fucking coward. How can you say that after what they did to Father Petrov?
: Careful, Churnyeav, or you'll be sorry.
: No, sir, no. You're going soft! You can't bring yourself to sacrifice one man to save the nation! How can you call yourself a patriot?
: Listen here, Churnyeav, are you just saying that because you won't get to use your Alpha Squad?
: No, damn it! You're risking our entire movement and the truth of what happened two years ago because you can't pull the goddamn trigger! Are we just going to let that fucking Ivanov walk?
: Of course not! We're going to play this by the rules, Churnyeav. The rules of change.
: I wished to see some change around here too, but not of this sort! Jesus.
: If it's any consolation, you'll get to torture him.
: Mentally torture. Not physically. You're an imposing presence, Boris. Pull him aside and just be yourself. I'm sure he'll get the picture to step down without any bloodshed.
: We're seriously flying by the seat of our fucking pants here. Christ.
: I'm glad you could restrain yourself, Piotr. It means a lot to me that you think of people first rather than the ends justifying the means.
: I guess I've changed, Tresori. Not three months ago the possibility of killing one of Karasov's inner circle members would have been a dream come true, but now...
: Now you're understanding the responsibility of power. Good. Should we succeed, this will be a lesson you'll be glad to have learned.
: I suppose so...
: Now what, then? You said you'd "peacefully remove" Ivanov, but not how.
: Recruiting Ivanov is risky. There's no guarantee he'd be loyal to us-
: Even if you blackmailed him into it?
: Keep your mouth shut, Anisimov.
: Well, he's right. Ivanov's basically covered from any sort of backlash, and it'd be nigh-impossible to persuade him of our cause. Thus, we're going to go with Josef's plan. Anisimov, you'll do your work for us and become the new Finance Minister.
: Hm. I can't say I'm displeased with your decision. I will accept the role.
: Keep in mind you'll still be doing our bidding.
: Yeah, don't go getting any funny ideas, pig.
: Tch. Such animosity. I should be the one holding a grudge, but I like to think I can see beyond the superficial. It's important for business.
: Either way, Comrade Anisimov, it's pretty clear to me you can't just go and get the position tomorrow...
: No, you're right, Nazerov. I need the time to develop the proper contacts. Outside of my circles, that is.
: That's fine. It's what I planned on, anyway.
: You just hurry the hell up, maggot, or I'll be inclined to send the Alpha Squad on you.
: You can't keep this dog on a leash, Prokofiev?
: Fuck you you-
*Nasarov and Prokofiev restrain Churnyeav from jumping Anisimov. Anisimov looks at him with disdain.*
: I have to say you're the first man who's ever been unnerved just by my presence. I wonder why?
: Fuck you!
: Boris, god damn it, calm the fuck down!
: Nazerov, for fuck's sake get Anisimov out of here!
: I'll come with you. *sigh* These army types... Piotr certainly knows how to pick them.
: I can't say I'm happy with that, but whatever floats your movement's boat.
* * *
Now that Ivanov was on the radar, Boris Churnyeav had taken the initiative to show the man just what he thought of him. A few days after the appointment, their loyal supporters in Pasternak Enterprise had spotted the man and identified him as the new Finance Minister. Churnyeav immediately got a hold of his old friends from the Grodnistan War.
"What can we do ya for, Ironman?" drawled Kravtchouk, AKA Woodstock, when Churnyeav rang them up.
"I need to intimidate a maggot, Woodstock," Churnyeav sneered over the phone. "Get Deadeye and see if you can't bring some friends to the party."
Now that nighttime was upon them, Churnyeav had met with three policemen who were friends of Kravtchouk and Karimov. They set up in the mouth of an alleyway hidden in plain sight, waiting to ambush Ivanov as he walked home from a hard day's work of destroying evidence and stealing roubles from the people.
"Remember, check him for anything," Churnyeav called from the alley as he lit a cigarette and took a drag, "We're not going to assault him but I sure as hell don't want him pulling a piece out on us."
"Don't worry sir," one of the officers called back. "We'll pat him down for... Oh shit, there he is!"
Sure enough, there was Ivanov, walking down the street and oblivious to the guards just ahead of him. He was whistling a merry tune, secure in knowing that his position as Finance Minister was unassailable. He knew to expect a few problems, but he had been dealing with the loose ends as they came.
To say the least, it surprised him when the two police officers set up ahead of him suddenly closed off his route, and then one of them whipped out a pistol, pointing it right at him.
"Hands up! Keep your hands up!" the officer with the gun shouted at Ivanov, who quickly complied.
"What the hell is the meaning of this?" Ivanov protested, indignant. "Do you know who I am?"
"No and you'll be dead if you try to pull that shit on me!" the officer growled, waving the gun on his face.
"Hey hey, easy with that thing!" Ivanov pleaded as the officer kept the gun passing over his face. "I didn't do anything!"
"I'll be the judge of that," snapped the officer. "Spread 'em!"
"What?" asked Ivanov dumbly, not understanding what the officer was asking.
"Spread your arms and legs!" the officer commanded. "If you don't then I'll have to do it for you!"
Seething and threatening to take the cop's badge number, Ivanov complied. The officer with the gun patted him down with his free hand. Content that he found nothing of interest, he nodded and stepped back.
"Hands up," the officer ordered again, this time more business-like but throwing the gun on Ivanov's face for good measure. "We have a man who wants to talk to you."
"I'm not talking to anyone," protested Ivanov. "You have already harassed me and found nothing so I'll-"
"Did I stutter?" the officer growled, shoving Ivanov in the chest with the gun's point and then pointing at the alley with the gun. "You're going to walk in there and meet the man, or else they're going to find your body in a trash heap tomorrow morning!"
Suddenly understanding that the officer meant it, Ivanov readily complied, his heart beating fast and feeling faint. He wasn't expecting to be part of a police check... and what kind of "talk" was this going to be?
The officer with the gun followed him the alleyway while his friend stayed on the sidewalk, keeping an eye out. It was dark in the alley, but Ivanov could faintly make out a bulky man wearing body armor (or was the armor itself bulky?) taking a drag of his cigarette, then grinding it to powder after tossing it on the ground. He was flanked by another officer with a riot baton, casually tapping it on his open palm and expecting action.
"Finance Minister Eduard Ivanov," the vest-wearing man growled, stepping forward to speak to him. "I've been waiting for some time to meet you."
"Who are you?" Ivanov demanded. "Do you know who I-"
"I don't give a fuck who you are and I sure as hell don't have to tell you who I am," the man, Churnyeav, interrupted menacingly. "Tonight we're two men who are going to talk a little bit about your takeovers around the town and your little job as Finance Minister.
Before Ivanov could think of something to say, the man had whipped out a long knife, cruelly running his finger up and down the blade.
"Quite a sharp thing, this little beauty," Churnyeav said in a low voice, the guttural tone greatly frightening Ivanov. "It can cut before it even touches the skin."
"W-what are you doing?" Ivanov asked, trembling and looking around helplessly at the officers who just watched in fascination.
"Shut up!" Churnyeav shouted, lunging forward with the knife. Ivanov stepped back in panic to avoid getting cut, but all Churnyeav did was hold the blade right over Ivanov's throat. "I could bleed you here and now."
"Why are you doing this? I'm the Finance Minister! I'm a friend of Karasov's! President Karasov's!"
Churnyeav pulled the blade back, apparently realizing who the man was.
"A friend of the President's?" he mulled with fake understanding, but Ivanov was too relieved the knife was pulled back to hear the sarcasm.
"He's next!" Churnyeav yelled out, rapidly swinging the knife wide above Ivanov's head on purpose and making the Finance Minister duck in quivering fear.
"W-w-what are you doing?" repeated Ivanov, looking up at the man and protecting his face. "Why are you-"
Churnyeav began to bark his cruel laughter, making Ivanov duck even further and keep his head well away from Churnyeav.
"Did you really think that I would try to kill one of Karasov's men?" Churnyeav asked, luring Ivanov to face him again.
"I FUCKING WOULD!" screamed Churnyeav right in Ivanov's face, his own expression one of pure hate and malice being accentuated by the low light of the alley. The unquestionably demonic visage made Ivanov stumble back in pure terror, and he fell to the ground feeling like he had been cut by the knife.
"Fucking pitiful," one of the officers commented on the situation. "Really fucking pitiful."
Churnyeav spat on Ivanov, putting his blade away as he did so. "Take a look, men. This is Karasov's precious Finance Minister. A thief, a money-grubbing shitheel maggot, and a goddamn coward."
Ivanov had remained silent, looking up at the two officers and Churnyeav, the Kevlar-wearing man. He couldn't say anything but felt the hot tears stream down his face.
"You keep doing what you're doing, and I'll give you something to cry about," Churnyeav threatened the man as he began to walk out of the alley. "We're watching you."
After Churnyeav and his officers had left the alleyway without confrontation, Ivanov shakily got to his feet, sobbing. He suddenly burst out crying at having been so violated, his mind agonizing over the torture that was and that could have been.
As Churnyeav was riding the patrol car home, he gave himself a grin of cold satisfaction.
* * *
The Novistranan National Archive - Berezina Herald Article on New Business Deals: 28/04/1996
MULTIPLE BUSINESS DEALS OPENING NEW MARKETS IN BEREZINA
On the heels of Eduard Ivanov's appointment to the Stock Exchange as Novistrana's new Finance Minister, a sudden flurry of financial activity has begun taking place throughout the capital, from Berezina Central Square to Marat Manor.
A group of investors has begun to finance new business deals following the Konstantino-Coalition merger, evidently lured by new markets and new opportunities opened by a new Finance Minister appointment.
These investments have been taking place in short meetings, and there are speculations that these multiple business deals are nothing but trade-offs of cash and a build-up towards a monopoly.
As these deals have been virtually private and mostly untraceable until the money pops up, some citizens and owners of small mom-and-pop stores are worried that these major corporations lumping together will threaten their livelihoods as the threats of buyouts and takeovers continue.
"It's pretty scary when you think about it," Anatoly Glebov, a local grocer in Poltova Manor cautioned. "All that big business going around and some so-called entrepreneur financing all that... I'm afraid we're gonna get some local tycoon trying to buy the entire street out."
However, analysts have been optimistic about the stocks these new companies are bringing, and cite the repeated and constant deals by these investors as a sign that the economy is getting healthier. "I speculate that investors have faith in the new Finance Minister," an analyst from the Stock Exchange was kind enough to inform us. "Right now, what matters is that business is taking place and the money is flowing."
Speculation ranges that these deals are being financed by the Novistranan Coalition thanks to their merger with Konstantino, but these are but rumors, assert businessmen involved in the deals.
"The Lodge sees this as opportunity for the small and the large alike," one deal-maker claimed. "It truly speaks volumes about our free market spirit when a common citizen of Novistrana can become the owner of a corporation overnight."
Finance Minister Eduard Ivanov vowed to pursue the money trail when concerns of political maneuvers came to his attention.
* * *
The Novistranan National Archive - CIA Agent CENSORED 's Daily Report to Langley: 30/04/1996
Things have been really quiet here as of late, at least metaphorically. Karasov's arrests are still ongoing but they're slowing, and Prokofiev's kept off the face of things ever since the candlelight vigil they held. A strong code of silence and misinformation campaign's being waged to keep their activities a secret.
As far as I can tell since meeting with Agent CENSORED , ever since Karasov installed his man into the Stock Exchange, Prokofiev and his Coalition have been working behind the scenes, trying to form new connections with businesses in the area. We have reason to believe Vikenti Anisimov of the CENSORED is trying to use his acquaintances and friends to expand his business empire. With the Konstantino merge maturing, he's set to become Prokofiev's pet tycoon, maybe just to take over the Stock Exchange with a lot of cash.
There have been no hits yet using Churnyeav's Alpha Squad. Maybe Prokofiev decided not to use it, or maybe Ivanov of the Stock Exchange is too hard to reach. Either way, we won't have to worry about any bloodlust yet.
* * *
The Novistranan National Archive - Berezina Herald Article on Eduard Ivanov's Retirement: 01/05/1996
IVANOV STEPS DOWN AS MINISTER OF FINANCE
Minister of Finance Eduard Ivanov has stepped down today, having lasted only a week as the nation's new Finance Minister. Vikenti Anisimov was appointed by the Stock Exchange board as his most qualified successor. Analysts have been stunned by the announcement that the tycoon outsider could come to hold a post so closely associated with President Karasov.
Eduard Ivanov, like his predecessor Sergei Shkvartsev, cited poor health and pressure from the nation to hold results for an ailing economy, but according to workers and businessmen employed in the Stock Exchange, Ivanov has been suspected of insider trading and intimidation of his business rivals. Rumors that we could not confirm, but we feel we must report, hinted at a darker purpose for Ivanov's original appointment and his reasons for his sudden retirement. Anisimov was already being considered for the role even before Ivanov was made Finance Minister, affirms a source who wished to remain anonymous.
Investigations by the Herald reveal further shocks. Vikenti Anisimov has close ties to the banned movement known as the Novistranan Coalition. The general consensus is that this can only be bad news for the economy and for President Karasov as he appears to lose control over the financing of the country.
There is also an ongoing investigation from our dedicated news team to see if there is any link between the appoinment of Anisimov as Finance Minister and the step-up in business deals in the past week. The Herald will report more as it develops.
* * *
"How the hell did this happen?" Karasov exploded, making Ivanov wince and wish he could dissolve into his chair. "How did you get removed after just one fucking week?"
"I... I was told by the board that I had to step down," Ivanov shook as he squeezed out his answer, like a balloon letting air out. "I was trying to scrub the evidence and they just..."
Ivanov had entered the office knowing that Karasov would take the news badly, but what he had never gotten used to was Karasov's sudden switch to full-blown anger when he took bad news so gravely and neutrally at first. From the moment he told him that he had been dropped by the Stock Exchange, Ivanov was waiting fearfully for the moment, but even so he was caught off-guard. Karasov's roaring presence was nothing short of mythical.
"And why did you?" continued Karasov, getting up and viciously throwing aside a heavy paperweight like it was made of plastic. "Why didn't you refuse and tell those fuckers to take it up the ass and like it?"
"I couldn't! Please, sir, please!" whined Ivanov, now begging. "All I did was what you asked, but then they just told me to go!"
"You are a fucking useless piece of garbage!" Karasov whirled on Ivanov, surprisingly keeping his hands off his throat despite wishing for all the world he could just strangle the man's neck and twist it into a knot. "I give you the world and you shit all over my face!"
"Get out! Get! OUT!" Karasov pointed at the door, stabbing in the air with his finger repeatedly. "Get out of my fucking face before I TEAR OFF YOUR HEAD AND SHIT DOWN YOUR NECK!"
Even before Karasov had finished, Ivanov was already up and running out of the room. Karasov picked up a ceremonial sword hanging on his wall and swung it repeatedly at Ivanov's chair, eventually splintering it in two.
* * *
: I have good and bad news.
: Ugh. Let's have the good first.
: The good news is that you're looking at Novistrana's new Finance Minister.
: Great work, comrade!
: And the bad?
: Our waiting gave Ivanov the chance to destroy some of the evidence of the fraud. It will take some time to get it back, but part of it is gone for good. I get the feeling they were working around the clock to find and eliminate all traces of the stuff, but without Shkvartsev's knowledge they didn't know where to look. They were wasting time with dead ends.
: Fucking perfect. The things we do for peace.
: We'll be fine unless they destroyed a critical piece of it.
: As far as I can tell from Konstantino's notes and his own copies of the records, they only managed to clear a few key people. There's still meat on the bone, as it were. Quite a chunk. If they continue to siphon funds, new evidence will form.
: Well, that's not so bad. Do you have the evidence on your possession?
: I sent my men to gather it as we speak.
: Good. I want copies and the originals sent to me immediately, understand?
: Still don't trust me, I see. That's all right. You got me this far, I can do you a favor in return while I continue to serve you. It'll take me three days to get everything, including what was destroyed. Until that time, I won't be able to help you.
: I don't care. Just get everything.
: The Stock Exchange is ours, then! That's great news all around!
: Cool! All right then, what next?
: I was doing a bit of thinking while Anisimov got his contacts set up. Taking over the Cathedral would help get the people's will, but as long as Karasov sits on the Secret Police Headquarters, he'll be able to control a vast intelligence network and keep heavy surveillance on all of our activities. We need to take over the Secret Police.
: That's easy to say, huh?
: The main reason I'm saying this is because after our stint with the Stock Exchange, Karasov's even more worried of an overthrow. He's basically got the military surrounding his palace at all times.
: We certainly can't break that with words and stones...
: God damn it. So how do we go about it, sir?
: Well, we have two options open to us. Either way, it will lead us to taking over the headquarters... the question lies in how.
: Go ahead, Mr. Prokofiev.
: I should begin by saying that Boris, you're going to take over as the Secret Police Chief when we get it under our control.
: Wait, what?
: You're our only military lieutenant. The Secret Police needs men of military background to keep it in order.
: You're saying I'd be the head of the Secret Police all over Novistrana?
: I trust you, Boris. You may have a hot head, but your heart lies with the nation. (I hope.)
: So... we take over the Secret Police, and install me as the head, like you did with the bean counter and the Stock Exchange.
: Hearing him say it... I, uh...
: Err... yes, a perfectly good idea. Right, everyone?
: Aw, come on, comrades. Don't look so scared! I'm on your side, remember? Just don't give me a reason to turn on you, haha!
: Y-yeah... Okay, Piotr, what are our options?
: The first choice we have is to take over the armory, stop the flow of resources to the military blockade, and buy out Alexashenko to convince them to disperse. The man may be a general gone rogue, but he commands a lot of respect.
: No doubt about it, sir, that's the route we should take. Alexashenko is pragmatic, if greedy, but he's got pull with the boys. Also, if we get the military on our side, we could use them to force that fucker Karasov out of the palace!
: The military route would certainly be quick. With the Stock Exchange in our hands, we could always siphon money off it to pay off Alexashenko. I don't like this talk of military overthrow, though.
: I don't know if it's wise to rely on Alexashenko, comrades. He's greedy, yes, but he also has no loyalty. Anyone with a bigger sack of money would get his attention.
: Psh. Remind of you someone, sir?
: My student, we cannot put our lot in with the military. That's a recipe for disaster. Our freedoms and our rights would be in greater jeopardy than they are now. Whatever our second option is, it can't be worse than this.
: I don't see a problem with the military. Buying out a blockade is no different than financing a takeover.
: What's our second option?
: The second option came to me during Father Petrov's vigil. Karasov's human rights abuses have plagued the nation for a long time. Who knows how many unmarked mass graves he's filled, or how many prominent people he's jailed? Or even... even my...
: It's... it's okay, comrades. Thank you.
: What are you saying, Mr. Prokofiev? That we should take these abuses to someone?
: Yes. The United Nations. If we held a charity gala and got the attention of the compassionate and radical, we could get evidence of his wrongdoings. And I mean real hard evidence, not whispers. We could then take this evidence to a representative of the UN and get their assistance.
: That's a great idea! The United Nations have helped many countries overthrow their oppressors in favor of democracy and a new order. We would certainly qualify for aid of all kinds.
: I'm not inclined to agree with your optimism of their efficiency, but their peacekeepers would disperse the blockade.
: It's not a bad plan, but it's not a good one, either. The UN certainly has a bad track record of "helping" nations.
: I don't think I like this, Piotr. How can we bring the people our vision of a worker's world if we have foreign capitalists looking over our shoulder?
: Sir, I swear, you kiss the UN's ass and I'll skin someone alive. This is Novistrana, for fuck's sake! Let's keep this revolution Novistranan, and keep those meddling maggots out of way! We don't need their help!
: A little... extreme, wouldn't you say, Churnyeav?
: Look here, Vilnov, I'm a patriot, and I care about my country. I don't want to see it get swallowed by some big international gobfest and turn out like some other poor fuckers that got the UN's "help".
: It would be a better option than declaring martial law and risking a second dictatorship.
: I don't care what you pick. The Stock Exchange benefits either way.
: I dunno, Piotr. The military or the capitalists. Rock and a hard place, here.
: I would support the UN path, Mr. Prokofiev. Chances are Parliament would still mean something then.
: So, you'll be the one making the decision?
: That's right. I need to think on this for a while, but I'll have an answer for you soon.
: I do not envy you, Piotr...
* * *
Piotr Prokofiev's Diary - Hundred-sixty-second Entry: 01/05/1996
Replacing Eduard Ivanov in a peaceful transfer of power was very risky, and unfortunately Anisimov is reporting that some of the evidence from the fraud was destroyed because of Ivanov's meddling. This will damage our control over the rich, but I will not risk becoming a second Karasov if I begin to rely on murder to get my will done. At the very least, the Stock Exchange is now fully in our grip, and that's one less support pillar from which Karasov can prop himself up. The military's intervention has become problematic, however, as they have tightened security around the palace to prevent any overthrow.
We must end this crippling blockade! Our first option is to fight fire with fire and get the military on our side, using them to end the blockade for us. If we can cut the military's lines of supply it will be hard for them to continue. As a bonus, we'll then control the military later, as well! The only question is whether we'll have to use them in the future for our overthrow. I foresee martial law and a coup if I decide to ally myself with Alexashenko and use his influence to disperse the soldiers. Can he be trusted?
Our second option is to expose Karasov's litany of human rights abuses to the international community. With UN peacekeepers policing the country, the road to the President's palace would be a lot clearer. Holding a charity gala at City Hall would give us a contact with access to the information and evidence we need. I think the UN would succeed in their task, but will we have to follow their will after the revolution? Will they allow us to keep our sovereignty and let us take the reigns of power after the overthrow?
I must think about this with care. Taking over the Secret Police Headquarters alongside the Stock Exchange will be enough to topple Karasov, and from there... freedom from his tyranny. The question now is, how do we go about taking it?
* * *
Waiting until Anisimov was trained enough to take over paid off, but we did lose some evidence from the fraud (this is entirely narrative and will play a role on the conclusion of the LP's story). At least, Prokofiev did not have to resort to killing in the name of the revolution. With the Stock Exchange in our grasp, we're making quite a bit of money as we "correct" spending and use our new position to feed our movement. This is not enough, though. We need to take over the Secret Police Headquarters in order to overthrow Karasov. Now, we have another diverging choice, one that will affect the rest of our struggle... What path to power should we pursue?
Take control of the armory to disperse the blockade (Force): Novistrana is for Novistranans! Keep the so-called "international community" out! We cannot place our hopes on foreign powers and gamble with our statehood like this. The best way of ending a dictatorship is turning the tyrant's weapons against him! Starving the military of their precious hardware will give us an in with Alexashenko and his army, and thanks to the Stock Exchange we can easily pay him what he wishes to end the blockade to the palace.
Hold a charity gala in order to get the United Nations's assistance (Influence): Using the military makes a second dictatorship much too likely, so bringing humanitarian aid to our beloved Novistrana with UN peacekeepers would be ideal. Moreover, can we rely on Alexashenko's loyalty when someone with more money could tempt him away from us? A high-profile gala will give us an acquaintance to contact and get the human rights abuse evidence from them. Evidence that would certainly rile up the UN and the amnesty crowd...
We're nearing the endgame, folks. Remember, all decisions you have made, from the start until the end, will affect the conclusion of the LP. With that in mind, choose wisely...