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.
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. President Putin condemned NATO military action and ordered the Northern Fleet to immediately commence unrestricted air and naval warfare against NATO forces in the Arctic.
Countdown to War
The impact from outbreak of hostilities between Russian and NATO forces in the Arctic was almost immediate. The New York Stock Exchange crashed and hundreds of thousands of peace demonstrators took to the streets in all major U.S. cities. The U.S. military upgraded to DEFCON 2 alert as all National Guard and Reserve units are ordered to active duty. The Russian government had begun the process of evacuating a number of major cities including Moscow. Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama were in virtual constant contact via the Moscow-Washington hotline as both leaders attempted to defuse the escalating crisis in the Arctic. The situation worsened as Russian military forces invaded Ukraine and linked up with pro-Russian separatists fighting government forces; several NATO countries, particularly Poland, were now weighing the possibility of deploying ground troops into Ukraine to help them fight the Russians.
The War Begins
Fourth of July celebrations were interrupted when armed men initially believed to be domestic militia seized control of two airports in the Seattle Metropolitan Area. An ATF task force was dispatched to the area to deal with the problem when the unthinkable happened.
Thousands of Russian Marines disembarked from container ships, overpowered the ATF task force, and seized control of the Port of Seattle. Meanwhile thousands of additional Russian military personnel arrived via repurposed long-range bombers at the airports now believed to be held by Spetsnaz GRU rather then domestic militia. With their beachhead secured, the Russians began their assault on the City of Seattle itself.
In response to the invasion, the United States formally declared war on the Russian Federation and invoked Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty; the invocation was confirmed by NATO less then an hour later and the Third World War had begun.
As Russian military forces occupy Seattle, the Pentagon orders the postponement of several scheduled deployments to Europe. All available military personnel in the Pacific Northwest are ordered to the Seattle Metropolitan Area for combat duty.
Eastern European Campaign
The Russian invasion of Seattle turned out to be a diversion to their main objective. On July 10, the Russians launched numerous air and missile strikes against NATO military installations throughout Eastern Europe as well as Denmark and Germany. While the Russians thus far refrained from the use of nuclear weapons, the devastation the attacks inflicted could not be denied.
The Russians coordinated with the air and missile strikes with a full-scale invasion of the Baltic States and Poland. Over 100,000 Russian troops, backed by aircraft and armor support, were involved in this new offensive. The Baltic States as well as the Polish city of Gdansk were occupied by Russian and Belarusian military forces one week into the offensive. With their initial objectives secured, the Russians made their ground push towards the Polish capital city of Warsaw. The Russians at that point employed the dreaded Iskander tactical ballistic missile system, targeting NATO positions in and around Warsaw with conventional warheads. Russian and Belarusian troops entered Warsaw on July 30.
Intense urban warfare was fought between Russian and NATO forces throughout the Polish capital for over a month.