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.
November 2013-February 2015
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 July 17, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down after flying over separatist airspace in eastern Ukraine. It was alleged that Russian forces or pro-Russian separatists were responsible. 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.
Russian Snap Drills
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.
Latvian Airspace 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.
Initial 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.