Russian Pressure on Georgia Intensifies
Media outlets in the former Soviet nation of Georgia reported on February 7 that Russian forces have built a lookout tower in occupied South Ossetia as the latest means of intensifying pressure on the Georgian people.
“The towers, illegal barbed-wire fences and other artificial barriers are part of an everyday battle of the occupying force against locals,” Georgian Reconciliation Minister Ketevan Tsikhelashvili told Agenda.ge. “The tower is a new measure to exercise higher pressure on locals and control how many Ossetians are trying to cross the occupation line.”
Tsikhelashvili says the tower and “so-called border” are designed to prevent Georgians from fleeing the Russian-occupied parts of the country.
It was more than 10 years ago that Russia invaded Georgia and asserted control over a fifth of its territory. At the time, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote that Russia’s attack marked the “beginning of a dangerous new era” in history.
There is abundant evidence both within Georgia and beyond showing that Mr. Flurry’s forecast was accurate.
Within Georgia it is clear that the 2008 invasion was just the start. This is evident in the way Putin has not been content to simply hold the Georgian territory he originally occupied when his forces first invaded. The Heritage Foundation has found that since that initial invasion, Russia has engaged in more than 55 acts of “borderization” at the edges of the territories it has seized.
In many cases, Russian and separatist forces physically move their border fences southward into areas the Georgian government still controls. These incursions sometimes advance just a few acres at a time, but they are expanding the size of the Russian-controlled areas and sending a clear message about who is in charge. These actions remind Georgia that Russia will not allow the nation to join nato. The new lookout tower is a small part of this same broad strategy.
Just after the 2008 invasion, Mr. Flurry said Russia’s aggression would not stay confined to Georgia. He said he believed Ukraine would be next, writing that Russia would “surely” be “willing to wage war over that as well.” Beginning 5½ years later, that forecast was proved accurate. In 2014, Putin annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and sliced off the country’s southeast by using his local proxies. Putin’s Russia had redrawn the borders of Europe—twice.
In the years since, Putin has locked southeastern Ukraine in a state of frozen conflict and has continued to hinder efforts by Georgia, Ukraine and other former Soviet nations to build closer ties with Europe and nato. He is working with Germany to boost leverage over East European nations. He is also quickly modernizing and increasing the lethality of Russia’s military. He ousted the United States from Russia’s periphery by pressuring Kyrgyzstan to remove America from Manas Air Base. Russia has also sidelined the U.S. in the Middle East, by helping the tyrannical Syrian regime hold power and enabling Iran to continue its development of nuclear weapons. And Russia has propped up the regime of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, as the humanitarian crisis for the Venezuelan people intensifies.
These are just a few of the indications showing that the world truly is in a dangerous new era in history, just as Mr. Flurry wrote in 2008.
In his booklet The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia,’ Mr. Flurry shows how deeply significant Vladimir Putin’s rule is, in large part because Putin is mentioned personally in an ancient Bible prophecy. This prophecy in Ezekiel 38 forecasts a “prince of Rosh [Russia]” (verse 2; American Standard Version) becoming powerful and aggressive and leading a bloc of Asian nations (verses 3-6).
This is beginning to happen, and it is leading to global instability.
“We need to watch Vladimir Putin closely,” Mr. Flurry writes. “I believe he is almost certain to be the ‘prince of Rosh’ whom God inspired Ezekiel to write about 2,500 years ago! We need to watch what is happening in Russia and how Europe responds to it.”
Mr. Flurry also shows that there is an astounding amount of hope tied to the developments now underway. He writes:
Vladimir Putin is a sign, literally a sign, that Jesus Christ is about to return! This is one of the most inspiring messages in the Bible. What we are seeing in Russia ultimately leads to the transition from man ruling man to God ruling man! And it is almost here! It is just a few short years away.
Putin’s leadership is multiplying dangers around the world. But it is a sign that righteous leadership is “just a few short years away”!
To understand the details of Putin’s role in Bible prophecy, and the hope-saturated “sign” tied to it, request your free copy of The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia.’