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U.S. President Ronald Reagan does not survive the assassination and his running VP, George Bush is sworn in as the new President. He would remain in that position until 1993.
The shootdown of KAL 007 by a Soviet Su-15 interceptor creates a more tense situation between the United States and Soviet Union.
Able Archer 83, a NATO military exercise brings the Cold War to its hottest moment since the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Realizing the deteriorating health of Yuri Andropov, Mikhail Kryuchkov, the First Deputy Chairman of the KGB, lays out plans for a coup to occur in the midst of Andropov's death. Using bribery, threats, and deception, Kryuchkov is able to get the majority of the Politburo to agree to his self-proclaimed inauguration when his coup commences. Victor Chebrikov, the head of the KGB, disapproves of his plan, despite the fact that both the majority of the KGB and Red Army officers support it.
The day after Andropov's death, Kryuchkov initiates the coup. With the help of Colonel General Vladimir Arkhipov, the District Troops and 13th Guard Corps secure all major government buildings, including the Kremlin, and Kryuchkov is able to convince the people that he is the new General Secretary.
Kryuchkov establishes himself as both General Secretary and Premier of the Soviet Union, effectively giving him absolute control of the government.
- Kryuchkov orders all government officials opposed to his rule to be arrested. Nearly all the officials are found guilty of treason and conspiracy, and are executed. Among them included the former KGB head, Chebrikov.
- Chebrikov is replaced by Dimitri Makarov as the KGB Chairman.
- Kryuchkov establishes a seemingly warm policy towards NATO.