The Second Cold War is the name given to a resumption of hostilities between the United States and Russia. After the return of Communism in Russia, the United States was forced to re-evaluate its approach to a Post-Soviet Europe. Many consider this to be a continuation of the Original Cold War, but most agree this is something new.
Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, each of the fifteen Republics of the Soviet Union became independent states. Russia, whose territory was defined by the administrative boundaries of the defunct Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, emerged as the sole legal successor to the Soviet Union. Russia inherited the USSR's UN Security Council permanent membership seat as well as most of its military nuclear capacity. The Cold War definitively ended with the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991. Relations between Russia and the West warmed further during the 1990s
Things however, changed in 1996 when Gennady Zyuganov was elected President over the incumbent, Boris Yeltsin, who was seen as a corrupted politician who brought about the worst in Russia.
Zyuganov declared the reinstatement of the Russian SFSR and the end of the federation. Zyuganov began fighting the West in a number of areas, including the NATO Expansion. In 1998, the Alliance-Free Zone was established in order to prevent NATO's expansion into Eastern Europe with Poland and the Baltics serving as a limit for NATO's expansion.
Russia began pursuing the reconstruction of its military, Sergey Shoygu, a former Yeltsin supporter who was pardoned as part of The Great Compromise (Velikiy kompromiss) was appointed Minister of Defense for its expertise in the field. Zyuganov, on advice from one of his closest allies, launched a campaign into Chechnya and began a massive attack to neutralize the threat and managed to route the threat out.
Russia announced its plans to open up military installation in Serbia and was expected to purchase land in three other countries along the coast of the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas.
In the US,Islamic Extremists attacked three sites in 2001, and sent troops to Afghanistan. Russia, deployed its available resources to support the American campaign and allowed for NATO Forces to maintain its presence there until 2014, when they were forced to withdraw.
Eastern Europe began trying to assert itself in the political climate. In 2003, Europe began further political integration and the countries were allowed to join the EU, as it was not a part of the neutrality agreement signed in 1997.