Second Soviet Civil War
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The Second Soviet Civil War (March 2011–March 2014) erupted following the assassination of Premier Oleg Tikonov and engulfed the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and its Warsaw Pact satellites. Liberal and conservative Soviet factions fought one another for control of the USSR's moribund empire, and also battled anti-Soviet nationalist rebels in Eastern Europe. The conflict was finally ended by NATO intervention, resulting in the final dissolution of the USSR and the global supremacy of the newly formed Western Alliance.
By 2005 the Second Cold War had brought the Soviet Union and NATO to the brink of World War III. The ascension of the moderate Oleg Tikonov as Soviet Premier heralded a respite for both sides, as Tikonov undertook policies which eased international tensions and his own country's economic woes. These efforts culminated with the Tikonov Accords of January 2011, which pledged liberal reforms and free elections throughout the Warsaw Pact.
Just four hours after the Accords were signed, Tikonov was assassinated by a suicide-bomber - an act carried out not by hardline Communists who were his chief opponents, but a Islamic militant named Mustafa Khemar Rhasori. A power struggle erupted as members of the Politburo and KGB sought to either realize Tikonov's vision or return the USSR to purer Communist roots. Non-Russian nationalists soon added to the volatile situation; on March 3, ethnic Ukrainians seized control of Kiev and announced the secession of their homeland. Two weeks later, East Germany and Czechoslovakia declared their intent to withdraw from the Warsaw Pact.
The Second Soviet Civil War
As these nationalist revolts threatened the very integrity of the USSR, the KGB Director, Admiral Sergei Tarantoff, assumed control of the Soviet military and declared the Soviet Union to be under martial law. His brutal methods only fanned the flames and in short order the enormous Soviet military split into liberal and conservative factions, openly battling one another for control of the USSR. 
Poland at this point seized its chance to finally end sixty years of Soviet oppression, with Polish freedom fighters adopting as their symbol the upraised clenched fist. Under this sign they fought a losing battle against the Soviet army until the popular uprising was brutally crushed. Nonetheless, their heroism earned the Poles the sympathy of the Western nations.
The fighting dragged on for three years as the liberal and conservative factions battled one another and secessionist regions, with the threat of a full-scale nuclear exchange between the Soviets and NATO an ever-present concern for the world. Western nations tried to render humanitarian aid without actively participating in the war itself, although one British ancestor of House Davion, Brigadier Arthur Davion, is noted as being a hero of the Battle of Moscow in 2013 (in what capacity he was present is unknown). However, by early 2014 NATO finally felt compelled to intervene.   
NATO Intervention and the War's End
NATO forces began by liberating Czechoslovakia and Poland. In a gesture of solidarity for the latter's people, NATO soldiers (particularly armored vehicle crews) took up the defiant fist symbol themselves. Of interest to later historians, ancestors of future rivals House Steiner and House Marik were both recorded as participating in these operations. Five Steiners were among the West German forces sent into Poland - and adopted the clenched fist symbol that would become the Lyran Commonwealth's motif - while Major Jan Marik returned to his ancestral Czech homeland as one of the peacekeepers and later settled in Prague.  
The Western powers then sought to further assist the liberals by mounting amphibious landings at various points along the Soviet coast, most notably the Latvian city of Riga, in January 2014. Coupled with recent defeats at Minsk and Leningrad which they attributed to "capitalist freebooter" aid to their enemies, this led to Soviet conservative officers launching a limited nuclear strike against both West and East Germany and NATO bases. The Western Orbital Defense Network (WODeN), housed on Crippen Station, played a pivotal role in destroying the ICBMs and thereby saved humanity by averting the full-scale nuclear exchange this would have precipitated. 
The Soviet Navy then opposed the NATO landings in the Baltic and the Kola Peninsula in what proved to be the last large ocean battle in human history. During the fighting, conservative naval commanders razed Riga with chemical weapons, but this atrocity drove the final nail into the hardliners' cause. By March 2014 the last of the holdouts had surrendered to Western forces.
The Second Soviet Civil War resulted in over fifteen million civilian deaths and vast destruction across the USSR. It also gave rise to momentous political changes for humanity that were felt both then and later.
Meeting in Kiev, leaders of various Soviet political and ethnic groups formally dissolved the USSR. In its place arose seven independent nations organized in a loose confederation: the Democratic Republic of European Russia, People's Union of Kazakh, Islamic Republic of Turkmen, Soviet Socialist Republic, Democracy of Yakut, Magadan Socialist Republic and Confederation of Free Orient Peoples.
In newly-reunited Berlin, leaders of the various Western powers, led by the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, merged NATO and the European Common Market into the Western Alliance. The United States of America and the former Soviet states both soon joined the Alliance, and throughout the 21st Century this organization promoted world peace, prosperity and scientific progress. By 2086 its membership had grown to the point that the union could rename itself the Terran Alliance. It was under the Terran Alliance that humanity first developed the Kearny-Fuchida Drive and the subsequent colonization of the Inner Sphere.
The effects of the Second Soviet Civil War were still being felt over two centuries later in the neighboring Scandinavian nations. At first, hordes of refugees wrought serious economic and social havoc in their host states. Later, in rebuilding the former Soviet states, the Terran Alliance practically ruined Norway, Sweden and Finland through heavy taxation. As a result, emigrants from these lands fled to the outer reaches of the Inner Sphere, forging the Principality of Rasalhague.
- Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 138-139
- The Periphery, p. 7
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 18, "The Steiner Fist"
- The Star League, p. 7
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 14
- Handbook: House Marik, p. 11
- The Star League, p. 9
- Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 139-143
- Handbook: House Kurita, p. 20, "We, Rasalhague"