Islamic terrorists from Azerbaijan destroy a Soviet oil-production facility at Nizhnevartovsk, Russia, crippling the USSR's oil production and threatening to wreck the nation's economy. Contemplating concessions to the West to survive the crisis, the Politburo instead decides to seize the oil fields in the Persian Gulf by military force.
According to the Carter Doctrine, any attack on the Gulf is an attack on strategic interests to the United States, necessitating a military response. To prevent a combined reaction by NATO, the Soviets launch a KGB operation to carry out a false flag operation framing West Germany for an unprovoked attack on the USSR; afterwards, the Soviets plan to invade Europe in response to that “attack”. With West Germany occupied, and NATO defeated, the Soviets hope that the U.S. will not rescue the Arab oil states when it attacks them, as it can meet its oil needs with Western sources. The Politburo arranges a bomb blast in the Kremlin that kills some visiting schoolchildren, blaming a West German exile for the attack.