In 1985, OTL, Mikhail Gorbachev was elected the General Secretary of the Soviet Union. In this ATL, Gorbachev, who in OTL and the ATL, was born into a peasant family in the U.S.S.R, and henceforth he contracted, along with the rest of his family, a fatal case of influenza, ending his life before he could speak or walk. As he never grew into adulthood, the Soviet Union continued on without electing a General Secretary in 1985 for the next ten years.
1991- 1994 Recovering Diplomacy
In the year 1990, the Soviet Union still exists, but the Cold War has ended with a peace treaty signed in 1989. The EU, US and the USSR join a neutral-party World Commerce Expo, which they use to trade their respective resources to each other and other smaller nations. This helps establish a long-term trust for each other. In the year 1992, the EU launched its first component for a space station to orbit Earth. In November of that year, the USSR invaded Afghanistan, again, and took over the country in less than a month. In the Spring of 1993, a terrorist bombing in Washington D.C. destroyed the Washington Memorial. This served more for shock value than actual damage. The aftermath of this event was the CIA traced phone calls and purchases from various chain drug stores. After three months of research, the FBI was sent the information that the CIA accumulated and arrested thirty-four people over the course of two days. The information "extracted" from these individuals was astounding; the terrorists were fanatics of the Communist Party of America.
When the CIA started to question the fanatics more, they found out that the base of operations for the CPA was in the city of Mayfield, Utah. After months of preparing for the crackdown, FBI field agents and one company of the National Guard converged on the area surrounding Mayfield. A forty-mile radius around the town was blocked off, and when media reporters tried questioning the officers in charge, all they got was a shove from a soldier and ten minutes to get out of the area. On June 12, 1994, the government officials and National Guardsmen converged on the city. What they found was a heavily fortified fortress of buildings and streets, with anti-air defences shooting planes and helicopters alike out of the air. The Guardsmen suffered heavy losses and pulled back, but the CPA was not going to let them go so easily. Several buried IED's blew up at least twenty more Bradley Armoured Personnel Carriers. This was not a small incident.
July 1994 - January 1995
While the news of the Battle of Mayfield spread beyond the North American continent, the diplomacy between the American and Soviet governments had degraded quickly. On August 8th, 1994, NATO intelligence showed that Russian researchers were trying to send a space station of their own into orbit around the Earth. The NACOP (North Atlantic Covert Ops), formed in January of 1993, infiltrated the Soviet Space Center, where they proceeded to sabotage the rocket carrying the components for the first section of the space station with an explosive made of sodium. The rocket was launched and went 2000 feet into the air, where the cold and snow and water finally reacted with the sodium explosive and destroyed the rocket. Over 3.5 billion USD was lost in the destruction of the rocket. The Soviet government blamed the attack on the United States, and the diplomatic relations were nonexistent. The Soviets finally made one last demand: The American and NATO governments were to pay the equivalent of 60 billion USD to avoid open war between the factions. Naturally, the United States and NATO rejected the demand and braced themselves for attacks. The Third World War started officially on January 2, 1995.
World War III
Diplomacy had failed the world, and now World War III had started. The first attacks occurred in Turkey. The missiles had been removed in 1962, but now the military complexes in Turkey proved to be "influential in the decision to attack".