Westerners Say He’s Out of Touch, But Putin’s Popularity Is Soaring High Over Ukraine

Westerners Say He’s Out of Touch, But Putin’s Popularity Is Soaring High Over Ukraine

MAXIM SHIPENKOV/AFP/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea and his toughened stance toward Ukraine unleashed a flurry of international outrage. It even prompted some Westerners to question Mr. Putin’s awareness and sanity.

“It’s really 19th-century behavior in the 21st century,” United States Secretary of State John Kerry said. Putin is “in another world,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “Putin has lost it,” the New Republic wrote.

These statements paint a picture of a lunatic czar stuck in a bygone era. A man who is rapidly losing his marbles on the streets of Moscow, and inadvertently kindling wars in the process.

But the facts on the ground in Russia tell a different story.

A stunning 83 percent of Russians now approve of Putin’s leadership, according to the latest survey published by the Moscow-based Levada Center. That’s up 18 percentage points since the beginning of the year, which shows that Mr. Putin’s stratospheric popularity is a direct result of his actions in Ukraine.

“I support him,” 27-year-old Olga Rogachova told theTrumpet.com on June 13. Rogachova has lived in Sevastopol, Crimea, for nearly her entire life. She has watched the Crimean Peninsula transition from being part of the Soviet Union to part of independent Ukraine, and then, just in March, to being grafted into Russia.

Like the majority of Russians, Rogachova welcomes Putin’s annexation of Crimea. “It’s where we belong,” she said. “And no, they didn’t force us to go to the referendum at gunpoint, as some ‘reliable’ mass media say.”

Rogachova, like the majority of Russians, also believes Putin’s leadership is precisely what Russia needed. “Russia was in need of a strong leader,” she said. “He made our people remember we were once a great nation. … He is truly the hope of the nation.”

Putin’s popularity was especially clear in Moscow last week when masses of Russians rushed to snap up new T-shirts featuring their president wearing a Hawaiian shirt, swilling a cocktail, and saying, “Greetings from Crimea.”

The shirts sold for $37, and inventories were exhausted in just two days.

https://twitter.com/MareikeAden/status/476654628806086656

Putin’s soaring popularity is no fluke. The only time his current popularity level was exceeded was in September of 2008 just after Russia crushed Georgia’s military and brought two of the nation’s pro-Moscow regions under de facto Russian control. A full 88 percent of Russian’s expressed approval of him at that time.

His popularity soars when he is leading Russia to expand its territory and power. This is because Mr. Putin taps into the national pride that is abundant among Russians. And he harnesses the deep-seated belief of many Russians that they are misunderstood by Westerners.

It may seem to many in the West that Putin’s behavior is fueled by his belief that Russia is not sufficiently respected, by inflated fears of Russophobia, and by rose-colored views of Russia’s Soviet empire days—but over 120 million Russians agree with their president.

This fact destroys Western attempts to portray Vladimir Putin as out-of-touch and on the brink of psychotic breakdown. The most rational and sane path for him to take, if he wishes to keep the people of Russia rallied behind him, is the one that leads to a restored Russian Empire.

The Unnecessary Rise of ISIS

The Unnecessary Rise of ISIS

KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images

An example of what happens when the bad guys go free

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (isis) has made rapid advances toward the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. Since capturing Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, on June 10, the militants’ swift advance has created havoc among Iraq’s security forces, heaping pressure on United States President Barack Obama to send troops to help the wilting Iraqi forces.

In recent days, there have been numerous reports of mass killings of captured Iraqi soldiers at the hands of isis militants. Witnesses say the soldiers have been loaded into trucks and taken into the desert to be killed.

“The claim by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (isis) that it has massacred 1,700 Iraqi Shia air force recruits in Tikrit is horrifying and a true depiction of the bloodlust that these terrorists represent,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Sunday.

The terrorist group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has risen rapidly to power, which could have been prevented easily had America not released him from prison.

U.S. forces captured and imprisoned Baghdadi in 2005. Baghdadi was detained in Camp Bucca under the command of Col. Kenneth King. During his four years in prison, Baghdadi received militant training from fellow al Qaeda detainees. In 2009, the United States deemed him a minor threat to its interests and released him. Colonel King said Baghdadi “was a bad dude, but he wasn’t the worst of the worst.”

Upon his release, Baghdadi told the U.S. guards, “See you in New York”—i.e., “I’m coming back!”

A year later, Baghdadi took over the leadership of al Qaeda in Iraq after its leaders were killed by U.S. and Iraqi troops. The militant group was collapsing at that time, but was revived by the start of Syria’s civil war in 2011. Baghdadi rebuilt the group over the next three years with campaigns in Syria and Iraq.

Baghdadi successfully allied himself with the Jabhat al Nusra militant group in Syria, and dipatched experienced fighters to help that group combat the Syrian Army. Last year, Baghdadi ended the alliance but remained in control of large swaths of land in northern Syria, including the only rebel-held city, Raqqa.

Baghdadi issued a rare audio message on January 21, in which he blatantly told the world his intentions to march into Baghdad for a “direct confrontation” with the U.S. “Our last message is to the Americans,” he said. “Soon we will be in direct confrontation, and the sons of Islam have prepared for such a day. So watch, for we are with you, watching.”

Such a statement from a man considered a minor risk to U.S. interests merely five years ago has taken many off guard. According to U.S. intelligence officers, Baghdadi is now considered the true heir to Osama bin Laden.

The rapid rise of isis under Baghdadi’s leadership raises another question: If a low profile fighter like Baghdadi could accomplish such widespread destruction, what will the five senior Taliban leaders released from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl do?

America’s leaders are not worried, though. “These five guys are not a threat to the United States,” former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in an interview with nbc News. Baghdadi’s example shows that such an assessment is dangerously naive. To see how childish America’s Middle East foreign policy has become, watch Stephen Flurry’s Trumpet DailyIllegal Prisoner Swap Endangers More American Lives.”

INFOGRAPHIC: Germany in the Middle East

INFOGRAPHIC: Germany in the Middle East

Trumpet

America Urges Mortal Enemy to Save Iraq

Iran rushes to fill the power void left by the United States.

As the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (isis) cuts a violent path toward Baghdad, Iran is stepping forward to save its neighbor, seemingly with the full support of the United States. Tehran has voiced its willingness to defend Shiite sites against the radical Sunni insurgence and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said this week that Washington is “open to discussions” about Iranian intervention in Iraq. Yet Iran’s history of capitalizing on Iraqi instability to further its own interests should prove that Iran is more of a dangerous foe than a helpful ally.

America handing Iraq over to Iran? Read America’s 4,000-Year-Old History to see where America fits into the changing geopolitical scene.

Al Shabaab Kills 48 in Kenya

Al Shabaab Kills 48 in Kenya

SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images

Dozens of armed extremists attacked the small Kenyan tourist resort town of Mpeketoni, killing 48 people on Sunday night.

The Somali-based, al Qaeda-affiliated militants torched two hotels, a bank, a police station and surrounding vehicles. Some of those killed were residents of Breeze View Hotel who were watching World Cup Soccer matches on tv. Local security forces tried to fight back, but were ineffective. Witnesses said the ensuing gun battles raged for several hours as the militants moved from the hotels to residential areas.

Gunmen at the Breeze View Hotel pulled men aside and ordered the women to watch as they killed them. They claimed to be doing what Kenyan troops are doing in Somalia to Somali men.

Witnesses said the gunmen went door to door demanding to know if the men inside were Muslim and if they spoke Somali. If the gunmen did not like the answer, the men were gunned down.

One resident, Anne Gathigi, recounted, “They came to our house at around 8 p.m. and asked us in Swahili whether we were Muslims. My husband told them we were Christians and they shot him in the head and chest.” Another, John Waweru, watched as his brothers were killed. “I was peeping from my window,” he said, “and I clearly heard them speak to my brothers in Somali and it seems since my brothers did not meet their expectations, they sprayed them with bullets and moved on.”

Other victims were gunned down when they were unable to answer questions about the Koran.

The scene was much like the Westgate Mall attack last September where the attackers gave their victims a life or death religious assessment, killing those who were not Muslim. It was the most deadly attack since the Westgate Mall incident when 67 people were mercilessly killed.

Read more: Libya and Ethiopia Reveal Iran’s Military Strategy

The al Shabaab extremist group claimed the attack was in retaliation to the presence of Kenyan troops in Somalia. Kenya has been involved in Somalia since 2011 to help the UN-backed government defeat the militants.

Bible prophecy indicates that these religion-based mass murders will backfire. Al Shabaab and its affiliates are destabilizing the Horn of Africa and other North African countries. Its acts of terror against Christians play in the spirit of radical Islamic states that are prophesied to come under the Iranian umbrella. But these acts will incite a European retaliation worse than the crusades.

Religious war is coming and it will be the most violent in man’s history. Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s article “Libya and Ethiopia Reveal Iran’s Military Strategy” reveals the reason why Europe will soon respond.

India Dedicates New Russian-Made Aircraft Carrier

India Dedicates New Russian-Made Aircraft Carrier

Navtej Singh

Another sign of India tilting away from the West and toward Eastern powers

MUMBAI—Since independence from Great Britain in 1947, India has had three successive aircraft carriers. The latest one—officially dedicated on June 14—came from a source quite different from the previous two, which reveals a dramatic shift in India’s geopolitical tilt.

The country’s first carrier—called ins Vikrant—was purchased from the British Royal Navy in 1957 and started service in the Indian Navy in 1961. She carried British Hawker Sea Hawk fighter bombers and British Westland helicopters. After a distinguished service, she was decommissioned in January 1997.

The second, also purchased from the British and equipped with British-made armaments, was the Viraat. It entered the Indian Navy in 1987 and is scheduled to serve till 2020. This is more than twice the sailing life of a carrier of this class.

Then, on June 14, Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated India’s latest warship aircraft carrier, the ins Vikramaditya, to the country. Unlike the previous two models, the Vikramaditya comes from Russia.

Modi took to Twitter to express his delight about the dedication.

The new carrier will operate the Russian MiG-29K, the Indian-made hal Dhruv helicopter and some aging Sea Harriers. The ship is powered by four turbine engines, has a range of 8,000 nautical miles, and can carry 160 officers, 1,400 sailors and 30 aircraft.

The Indian Navy traditionally has been modeled after the Royal Navy (as have the navies of Canada, Australia and New Zealand), and it has cooperated closely with the British for over 60 years. Before the establishment of the National Defense Academy, Indian Naval officer cadets trained with the Royal Navy in Dartmouth for four years and returned as sub lieutenants.

India’s decision to buy its latest carrier from Russia is just the latest indication of Delhi’s tilt away from Britain, the U.S. and the West toward Eastern powers. India’s fast-moving lean toward Asia is part of a seismic geopolitical shift underway. To understand its significance, read “Results of Largest Election in Human History Mean India-Russia-China Ties Will Advance.”