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World War III (often abbreviated to WWIII or WW3), also known as the Third World War, is an ongoing global war which had begun in 2015. The initial opposing military alliances were the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). A number of non-NATO countries quickly sided with the NATO alliance including Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, etc. North Korea and Russia became reluctant allies against a common foe.
The Euromaiden was a wave of demonstrations and civil unrest which began on November 21, 2013 when Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych choose to suspend the signing of the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement in favor of maintaining closer ties with the Russian Federation. The movement was initially limited to minor protests until a police crackdown led to a full-scale riot. The increasing unrest eventually led to the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution which ended with the ouster of President Yanukovych from power. Masked Russian soldiers without insignias took over the Supreme Council of Crimea and occupied strategic sites across Crimea. The Russian Federation annexed Crimea a few weeks later. In August 2014, Russian intervention in the War in Donbass became more visibly apparent due to numerous border crossings by Russian military forces into eastern Ukraine without permission from the Ukrainian government.
In response to Russian intervention in the internal affairs of Ukraine, NATO launches Operation Atlantic Resolve. American troops and vehicles are deployed throughout Eastern Europe, most notably the Baltic States. On March 16, 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the military to go on full readiness alert in snap drills throughout Russia and the Arctic. This order was given just one day after Putin revealed in a Russian television documentary that he was prepared to order a full nuclear alert in the event of NATO intervention in response to Russia's annexation of Crimea the previous year. The Russian military snap drills including the deployment of bombers and ballistic missiles to Kaliningrad and Crimea.
March 2015 Baltic Sea Air Skirmish (POD)
On March 17, 2015, seven Russian military aircraft were intercepted by NATO aircraft over the Baltic Sea. Despite warnings one of the Russian aircraft strayed into Latvian airspace. The intruding aircraft was quickly shot down; the others acted almost immediately and an intense air battle commenced. The battle was swift and ended in a matter of minutes. The Russians lost three fighter aircraft while NATO lost only one. The surviving Russian aircraft disengaged from the skirmish and returned to Kaliningrad where the incident was reported.
Growing Diplomatic Crisis
President Putin strongly condemns NATO for the attack and authorizes fighter pilots to use their own discretion when facing close-up interception by NATO aircraft. President Obama in turn condemns the actions of the Russian military and holds Vladimir Putin personally responsible for the Baltic Sea skirmish. Less then 24 hours later, the United States and the European Union imposes additional sanctions against the Russian Federation. On April 1, Russia is expelled from the G-20 and will not be invited to take part in the upcoming summit in November. This expulsion further isolates the Russian Federation diplomatically and the country is threatened with a possible economic recession. Starting on May 4th, NATO commenced Operation Lightning Strike, a four-day military training mission designed to test troop readiness to react to a clandestine military incursion similar to the one the Russians used in Crimea in 2014. When the 2015 Moscow Victory Parade was held on May 9th to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the capitulation of Nazi Germany, the United States and the European Union refused to take part in the parade due to Russian intervention in the Ukraine over the past year as well as the March 2015 Baltic Sea Air Skirmish. On May 26th, NATO launched massive Arctic military drills in the Nordic countries; Russia responded by commencing its own Arctic war games.
On May 28, a pair of armed Russian fighter aircraft buzzed a U.S. naval destroyer. After the Russian pilots ignored all warnings, the commander of the American destroyer gave the fateful order to shoot down both hostile aircraft. Russian President Putin denounced NATO for their unprovoked attack on Russian aircraft and ordered the North Sea Fleet to immediately commence unrestricted warfare against NATO warships and aircraft in the Arctic. As open naval warfare erupted throughout the Arctic, U.S. President Obama stated that Russian Federation had committed an act of war and would go to Congress to request a formal declaration of war.
Start of the Third World War
On May 30, Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty was invoked with NATO declaring a state of war with the Russian Federation; the Third World War had begun. In response to the war declaration, the Russian Federation launched a ground invasion of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Despite NATO efforts to defend the Baltic States, Russian numerical superiority quickly won out. Roughly one week after the start of the war, the Russian military occupied the capitals of all three countries. The Russians attempted to seek a peace settlement but the offer was rejected.
It was widely believed that Poland would be Russia's next target so NATO was preparing accordingly. Western leaders were therefore shocked when Russian military forces launched an amphibious invasion of the United States on July 4, specifically the City of Seattle in northwestern Washington State. However, it eventually turned out that the attack on U.S soil was a diversion to Russia's primary objective. That began on July 10th when Russian military forces launched a full-scale invasion of Poland. Gdańsk and much of northeastern Poland had been occupied. NATO and Russian forces fought for weeks over the Polish capital city of Warsaw. NATO was eventually able to beat back the Russian attack on Warsaw, liberate Gdańsk, and eventually drive the invaders from Polish territory. Combined U.S. and Canadian forces were able to liberate Seattle from Russian occupation by this point.
With Russian offensive actions in Eastern Europe halted, NATO rallied in Poland for the upcoming liberation of the Baltic States. In late August, NATO forces launched a ground and amphibious invasion of the Russian-occupied Baltic States. The NATO campaign lasted nearly a month; the capital cities of all three countries were greatly devastated during the fighting primarily due to intense urban warfare as well as heavy bombardment by Russian airstrikes and artillery. The death toll was extremely high with most of the civilized world accusing the Russian military of unforgivable war crimes. During the fighting, the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad was completely surrounded and a number of conventional airstrikes were made on military installations.
Russian Bloc Campaigns
North American Theater
NATO Bloc Campaigns
- Iranian Campaign
- North Korean Campaign
- Syrian Campaign
- Baltic Liberation
- Belarusian Campaign
- Russian Campaign