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A common fear in modern history is nuclear war. The nations of the world have worked hard to avoid a global war, out of fear of a nuclear conflict that could have the potential to wipe out human civilization. There have been numerous nuclear close calls since the end of the Second World War, the most famous being the Cuban missile crisis and the 1983 computer bug in the Soviet Union. A recent but lesser known close call came in the form of the civil war in Ukraine, after the Russian Federation annexed the Crimean peninsula and the controversial referendum the occured there, most nations refusing to recognize Russian sovereignty.
The Russian military intervention in Ukraine and parliamentary elections in October 2014 forced the then recently established government of Arseniy Yatsenyuk made joining NATO a priority. The Obama Administration in the United States signed the Ukraine Support Act, recognizing Ukraine and her territorial claims. The newly passed bill would offer loan guarantees, offer various types of aid, and place sanctions on individuals who were considered to be "responsible for or engaged in actions that undermine democratic processes in Ukraine or that threaten its peace or territorial integrity, acts of significant corruption in Ukraine, or the commission of serious human rights abuses." In August of 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened nuclear war if NATO intervened in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
What if the Western world fought the Russian Federation over the Ukraine? What would this post-war world look like if the two sides ever engaged in Nuclear War?