International security analysts believe that if World War 3 were to break out sometime soon, the United States and Russia would be the main agents in the conflict. While the real possibility of a third World War remains low, Russian and American diplomats exchanged barbs on Twitter over a magazine cover published way back in 1951. It began when the Russian Foreign Ministry tweeted a statement from spokesperson Maria Zakharova with a Collier’s magazine cover from 1951, reports Russia Today.

World War 3: 65-Year Old Magazine Cover Triggers Twitter Spat

Collier’s envisioned World War 3 occurring between 1952-55

In that issue, Collier’s speculated how World War 3 would unfold. The magazine cover contains a fictional map showing the role of the US and NATO in Europe in the event of another World War. Maria Zakharova said, ““Unfortunately, Washington continues shamelessly promoting the “Russian threat” concept.”

The tweet caught the attention of Will Stevens, the US embassy spokesman in Moscow. Stevens quickly pointed out that the map shows that Crimea was part of Ukraine. He added that Moscow now agreed that it had illegally annexed Crimea.

The spat turned a little more fierce when Yury Melnik, the Russian embassy spokesman in the US, chimed in. He told Stevens, “It’s the cover of Collier’s on Oct 27, 1951. Map still inaccurate, but shows the attitude.”

Next, Stevens informed the Russian Ministry’s office in the city of Pskov that the map was published in 1951 before Nikita Khrushchev returned Crimea to Ukraine.

Stevens needs some lessons on the Soviet history

Yury Melnik immediately pointed out the inaccuracy in Stevens’ statement.

The level of discussion hit the new low when Stevens posted a newspaper clipping from 1954 that contained a decree about Crimea’s transfer in February 1954.

Stevens probably forgot that Crimea was part of Russia from 1784 to 1954. And Return is not the correct word here. Melnik used Google Translate to show that it was Transfer rather than Return.

In 1951, the Collier’s editors envisioned that World War 3 would occur between 1952 and 1955 with the Soviet invasion of Yugoslavia.