The unthinkable happens in 2016. A nuclear exchange in the Middle East kills 20 million people and cripples the world's oil supply. Crude oil prices spike at $800 a barrel.
One year later, Russia creates an advanced missile defense system and becomes the world's primary supplier of energy, thereby experiencing a massive economic boom. With its newfound riches, Russia quickly re-establishes itself as a major superpower and restores her military might.