Crimean Bridge: A Metaphor for Vladimir Putin’s Reign

The Crimean Bridge stands as a glaring indication of how meaningless international law has become in this era of declining American power and rapidly rising authoritarianism.

Russian President Vladimir Putin commemorated the opening of the Crimean Bridge on May 15, a structure that is a metaphor for his 18 years of authoritarian rule.

The 12-mile bridge connects mainland Russia with the Crimean Peninsula, containing more steel than 32 Eiffel Towers. It is longer than any other bridge in Russia or in Europe.

Russia completed the project in less than four years, while under intense sanctions, and in unapologetic violation of international law. The Crimean Peninsula was part of Ukraine’s sovereign territory until 2014, when Putin’s forces unlawfully and forcibly annexed it.

Many leaders in the West were stunned and even in denial as Putin’s troops took over Crimea. Then-United States Secretary of State John Kerry called it “19th-century behavior in the 21st century.” Then-President Barack Obama said Putin was “challenging truths that only a few weeks ago seemed self-evident: That in the 21st century, the borders of Europe cannot be redrawn with force.”

But Putin proved that even in the “enlightened world” of the 21st century borders cab be redrawn by force. That’s exactly what he did by seizing Crimea and grafting it into Mother Russia.

To this day, most Western leaders maintain that the Crimean Peninsula still belongs to Ukraine. But the Crimean Bridge cements Putin’s rule of the territory for all practical purposes. It stands as a glaring indication of how meaningless international law has become in this era of declining American power and rising authoritarianism in other countries.

Shortly after Putin annexed Crimea, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry placed the event in the context of Bible prophecy. In a July 2014 article, he quoted Jesus Christ’s words, recorded in the book of Luke, saying that in the end time shortly before His return, “the time of the Gentiles [will] be fulfilled” (Luke 21:24).

Mr. Flurry then wrote:

These “times of the Gentiles” are yet to be fully realized. However, we are in the outer edges of this catastrophic storm. Events taking place in Ukraine with Russia, along with those in the Middle East and Iran, have everything to do with this prophecy. … We keep thinking diplomacy will solve all our problems. However, diplomacy solves nothing if it isn’t backed up with real power.

To understand the significance of the rise of Vladimir Putin and other authoritarian leaders on the scene today, read Mr. Flurry’s article “What Are the Times of the Gentiles?