World War III, also known as the Eurasian war was a global war that took place in Europe and Asia between March 9, 2016 and May 15, 2019. It involved many countries in Europe and Asia, who split into two opposing military alliances: the allies, led by NATO, and the members of the Pact of Volgograd (colliqually known as the axis), led by the Russian Federation. Although the Russian-led axis ground forces made advances at first, their air and naval forces proved to be ultimately inferior, resulting in an allied victory on May 15, 2019.
The war begins
Fighting began in Serbia after the Serbian government launched an invasion on its secessionist territory of Kosovo on March 9, 2016. This was following a long dispute over the status of this territory, which began almost 20 years earlier. Infuriated by this, several NATO forces deployed troops in the region to counter Serbian forces five days later. This move was heavily criticized by Russia, a Serbian ally who declared war against the NATO forces, deploying air and ground forces. NATO forces took control of Kosovo on May 3, and debated on whether or not to try to conquer all of Serbia. Eventually, they came up with a plan to capture Serbia and depose of the current government, making way for a more pro-Western democratic one. Their initial efforts were unsuccessful as they were outnumbered by Russian ground forces. The allies soon changed tactics, ordering bombings on strategic government buildings and military bases. As the war spread to Russia and Eastern Europe, allied forces eased pressure on the Serbian front, and the Serbian government did not fall until June 2018.
Spread of fighting
On June 25, NATO air forces launched strikes on Crimea, a region recently annexed by Russia. The Russian government said the strikes were a direct attack on the Russian Federation, and would require involvement by its fellow members of the CSTO - the Russian counterpart of NATO. Though uneasy at first, Russia's five CSTO allies - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Belarus and Armenia - deployed aircraft to defend Russia, officially declaring war against NATO, calling themselves the Pact of Volgograd, known in the west as the axis. At first, fighting took place mostly in the air, however on August 14, 2016, Russia launched a ground invasion on Estonia and Latvia, and Russia's ground superiority showed as it was able to fully occupy these countries by November 2. The United States pleaded for other NATO countries in Eastern Europe to enter the war, however some of them - notably Bulgaria, Romania and Lithuania - refused due to their dependence on Russia as a trading partner. Russia did its own pleading towards Uzbekistan, Syria, China and Mongolia and as a result, Uzbekistan and Syria joined the axis. However, China and Mongolia refused, saying they had no interests in Europe.
Fall of Armenia
Georgia, an enemy of Armenia, joined the allies on January 11, 2017. With assistance from other allied nations, it launched an invasion of Armenia on February 26. Since Armenian defense forces were among the weakests of the axis and it had little combat support from Russia, the Armenian government surrendered on June 1.
Attack on Belarus
Allied forces launched a large attack on Belarus on May 13, 2017. The Belarus armed forces suffered significant losses, but the government refused to surrender. When Russia decided to move many of its troops placed in Belarus to Latvia and Estonia, Belarusian forces stood no chance. Belarus was conquered by allied forces on November 19, 2017.
Allied offensive (2018 - 2019)
Entrance of Japan and South Korea
NATO's longtime allies Japan and South Korea joined the allies on January 5, 2018 and began attacking Russia from the East. As axis forces were forced to fight a war on three fronts, its forces were beginning to suffer losses. Russia lost a major naval battle against Japanese-led forces in the East on May 7, 2018 and part of Russia's Khavarovsk region was occupied by allied forces. Japanese forces met American and Canadian forces in Alaska in preparation for a large-scale offensive against Eastern Russia on May 20. The offensive began on May 31 and allied forces were able to quickly advance Westward from there.
Move to Central Asia
Allied forces used Georgia as a starting point for an invasion of Southern Russia, which began on August 28, 2018. Allied forces crossed the Caspian Sea toward Kazakhstan on September 21 and began a campaign against the members of the axis in central Asia. The first country to fall under allied control was Uzbekistan, which fell on October 17. It was followed by Tajikistan on November 14, Kyrgyzstan on November 21 and Kazakhstan on January 2, 2019.
The war comes to a close
Although Russia had lost significant ground in the East, it still occupied Estonia and Latvia up until January 18, 2015, when the allies launched a massive offensive beginning in Estonia, and eventually moving to Latvia and Russia. Russian forces were pushed back on three fronts - from the East, West and South until allied forces arrived in Moscow on May 15, 2019 and the Russian Federation surrendered and Russian leaders were captured. Upon hearing this, Syria, the last remaining member of the axis, negotiated an armistice with the allies, officially ending the war in an allied victory.
Although World War III was not quite as deadly or destructive as World War II, it still caused significant damage, particularly in Russia, Central Asia, Serbia and the Baltic countries. Leaving 26 million killed, it is still among history's deadliest conflicts. Financial losses were also widespread, leading to recession in many countries involved. The defeated countries were split into occupational zones and democracies were established in eac of them.