Russia’s Soft Underbelly

From the July 2004 Trumpet Print Edition

Russia’s land border is about 10,000 miles long. It abuts 14 separate nations. Russia’s western border, due to dense population and infrastructure, is reasonably well protected and secure. It is the nation’s vast and rugged southern border that is most exposed and vulnerable.

For this reason, Moscow vests much interest in the affairs of the nations south of it, even in the tiniest former Soviet satellites like Georgia and Tajikistan. Russians understand the potential for their peace and security to be threatened if Central Asian nations fall under the influence of a hostile power.

So it’s no wonder Russia has been wary as the U.S. military undergoes large-scale reorganization, much of which involves former Soviet republics. Especially since the war on terror began, the U.S. has been looking to establish bases closer to Middle Eastern hotspots, making real estate in the Baltic, Balkan and Caucasus nations—the soft underbelly of Russia—especially attractive.

Now Moscow is seeking to counter American advances and increase its own involvement in the region. In June, for example, Russia secured an agreement with Tajikistan to establish a permanent military base there. Moscow is also pressuring the former Soviet satellites to oppose long-term U.S. military presence in their countries.

Competition between the U.S. and Russia for influence over this region will continue. As the Middle East remains unstable and the war against terrorism continues, America will work to keep its presence there. But President Vladimir Putin will continue to safeguard Russia’s security, even seeking to regain domination over former Soviet states.

Bible prophecy indicates that Russia will win influence over the Central Asian states—as American global involvement is destined to diminish over time. The Bible shows that the nations in this region will ally with Russia and other Asian nations in the end time. (For more, request our free booklet Russia and China in Prophecy.)