Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine just after the Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, came to their conclusion. On February 21, Putin sent “peacekeeping” forces into two breakaway regions in Ukraine’s east, Donetsk and Luhansk. These Russia-led forces exchanged fire with Ukrainian troops before Russian armored columns pushed further into Ukraine. Videos posted by Ukrainian authorities showed fierce fighting around the country as air strikes hit cities and airborne troops landed near Kyiv.
The invasion was condemned by several countries at an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council as a violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and international law. Those who study and believe Bible prophecy are not surprised by what is happening. Ezekiel 38 is an important passage about an end-time Russian leader who rules over a great empire. In his booklet The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia,’ Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry predicted that this passage likely means that Vladimir Putin “will probably conquer more nations of the former Soviet Union.”
Putin is also expanding his power over other former Soviet nations. Russia has completed a de facto “occupation” of Belarus, says a February 1 letter signed by 77 members of European Parliament. “The continued presence of Russian military forces at the request of the illegitimate [Belarussian leader Alexander] Lukashenko should be treated as an occupation of Belarus,” it states. Of the 140,000 troops Putin deployed near Ukraine’s borders in January, at least 30,000 were on Belarussian soil.
Like Ukraine and Georgia, Belarus was a member of the Russia-led Soviet Union (1922–1991). It remained closely aligned with Russia even after the bloc dissolved and worked under Lukashenko to officially merge with Russia. Combat-ready Russian troops in the country may speed the process.
Putin also strengthened Russia’s ties with China, meeting with Chinese General Secretary Xi Jinping in Beijing on February 4. The two signed a joint declaration, stating that their partnership “has no limits” and repeatedly opposing the United States-dominated global order, the first time such a declaration has explicitly referred to the U.S. as an adversary by name.
“[W]e have been proclaiming for over 50 years that Russia, China and other Asian nations would ally themselves in the end time,” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in 2014. “And we are in that end time now” (“Asia Stands With Putin”).
On February 7, Xi Jinping issued a joint statement with Argentina President Alberto Fernandez demanding that Britain surrender to Argentina “the full exercise of sovereignty” over the Falkland Islands. Britain has controlled these islands since the 1830s, and the Falklanders want it to stay that way.
Genesis 22:17 says Abraham’s descendants would come to control the “gate of his enemies,” meaning strategic maritime locations around the world. Britain and the U.S. are the descendants who received the fulfilment of this promise. Prior to World War ii, they controlled every major sea gate in the world: Suez, Panama, Hong Kong, Malta, Gibraltar, Falklands, Sri Lanka and others. But Deuteronomy 28:52 prophesied that if these descendants rejected God, He would revoke these blessings. In recent decades, this has been fulfilled as Britain and America have lost control of Suez, Panama, Hong Kong, Malta and many others. With China now joining Argentina, the Falklands could be next.
In a stunning scandal, it emerged in February that Israeli police illegally hacked the devices of dozens of private citizens, business leaders, journalists and government officials, reportedly including the aides of and the son of Knesset member Benjamin Netanyahu. The former prime minister is on trial for bribery and breach of trust, but this “Pegasus affair,” named after the Israeli-developed software used in the hacking, lends strength to his argument that this trial and other attacks are an unjust, politically motivated “witch hunt.” A similar exposé of the corrupt “deep state” is occurring in the United States. A great unraveling is underway, around the world.
In the Persian Gulf, Iran-backed Houthi terrorists killed three and wounded six in January in their first direct attack on the United Arab Emirates. The U.A.E. is part of a Saudi Arabia-led coalition that has been fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen since 2015. The attack used weapons supplied by Iran. Houthis are known to possess Iranian-supplied drones, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles and have used them repeatedly, mostly against Saudi Arabia. Iran is using this proxy group to threaten the Bab el-Mandeb, one of the world’s most important oil choke points. On one side of the strait are military bases of five nations in Djibouti, and the increasingly well-armed and persistent Houthis are on the other. Continue to watch for Iran to threaten maritime trade through the Bab el-Mandeb and the Strait of Hormuz.
Also in January, Iran’s military successfully tested its new Raafe solid-fuel rocket engine. Mounted to a ballistic missile, the engine would put all of Europe, including Iceland, within range of the Iranian regime. Iran has showcased its new long-range ballistic missile and named it the “Khaybar Shekan,” a reference to a seventh-century Muslim conquest of Jews.
Editor in chief Gerald Flurry has consistently and accurately predicted Iran’s rise to regional dominance for three decades. In the not-too-distant future, you will be reading about Iran further increasing its bold support for rebels and terrorists and further enhancing its military power to strike not only nearby shipping lanes but also sovereign nations, especially in Europe, and producing its first nuclear weapon. Iran’s foreign policy, as Mr. Flurry has emphasized since the mid-1990s, is characterized and revealed in one word from the Daniel 11:40 prophecy: push. To learn more, read The King of the South.
Yemen Civil War Statistics
- 233,000 killed
- 131,000 of those killed as a result of famine and disease
- More than 3,000 children killed
- 16 million Yemenis are at risk for starvation
- Two thirds of Yemen’s population depend on humanitarian assistance
- Around 2 million children are severely malnourished
Fears of a Russian invasion have dominated European news. Germany’s starkly apparent appeasement of Russia was the main concern. But the crisis has also prompted European governments to consider rearmament. On January 25, Dr. Thomas Enders, president of the German Council on Foreign Relations and a former ceo of Airbus, called for a massive increase in German military spending to 2 or 3 percent of gross domestic product, potentially more than doubling the budget to roughly $120 billion. Though this would be well behind the United States or China, it would surpass Russia ($70 billion), Britain ($60 billion) and France ($50 billion). Even if not enhanced with German-Russian geopolitical collusion, such a change would revolutionize Germany’s role in the world.
Latvia has called for nato to increase its target level of military spending from 2 percent to 2.5 percent. Poland has announced that it is doubling the size of its military and is upgrading its Soviet-era tanks and planes to more modern versions. Sweden is boosting its military spending by 50 percent, and it responded to Russian deployments by deploying its own troops to Gotland, a strategic island in the Baltic region. Greece’s 2021 spending was up almost 60 percent compared to 2019, and despite a struggling economy Italy has increased military spending five years in a row. Many of these increases come on top of significant increases in prior years.
In 2004, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote that Russian aggression “strikes intense fear in Europe” and fulfills Bible prophecy (“Russia Frightens Europe—and Fulfills Bible Prophecy”). Following Russia’s forcible annexation of Crimea in 2014, he wrote, “The fear you see in Europe because of events in Crimea is going to cause 10 leaders in Europe to unite in a sudden and dramatic way” (“The Crimean Crisis Is Reshaping Europe!”).
Meanwhile, the euro currency became increasingly important as a major new pipeline from Russia to China was announced on February 4. Russia will supply 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year, and China will pay for it in euros. For almost a century, international trade has been conducted mostly in U.S. dollars. In 2015, 90 percent of trade between these two nations was conducted in dollars. By 2020, it had fallen to less than half. By mid-2021, the euro was being used for the majority of China-Russia trade.
Russia and the world’s largest or soon-to-be largest economy appear to be dangling in front of European financial elites the enticing prospect of making the euro their new reserve currency. This would, intentionally, do great damage to the U.S. economy. The German Council on Foreign Relations consultancy believes Germany should form Europe all the way into a monetary union and strengthen the value of the euro. Its February 8 article, “Promoting the Euro—Countering Secondary Sanctions,” argued that the European Union, a major exporter, is at a great disadvantage in any major trade war. A trade war between the U.S. and China, for example, would damage Europe heavily. Watch for Europe to avoid this by allying with China and, quite possibly, replacing the dollar as world reserve currency with the euro.
While the U.S.-Canada border is closed by government mandates and trucker protesters, the U.S.-Mexico border is wide open. Border Patrol apprehended 178,840 illegal aliens at the southern border in December, bringing the total number of apprehensions for 2021 to 2,035,010. Unknown numbers have entered and continue to enter without being apprehended, through this and other means, to the point that the actual population of the United States is being fundamentally transformed. Americans’ ancestors in ancient Israel were specifically warned that they would lose their nation if they did not obey God. Deuteronomy 28:52 specifies open borders as one of the curses for disobedience that would afflict them and their descendants.
To keep the border open and make the vaccines mandatory, former First Lady Michelle Obama is leading an initiative to register 1 million new Democratic voters before this year’s midterm elections. But more significantly, she also plans to lobby senators and recruit lawyers to legalize the fraud committed during the 2020 presidential election. “We’ve got to vote like the future of our democracy depends on it,” she said on January 9. “[W]e must give Congress no choice but to act decisively to protect the right to vote and make the ballot box more accessible for everyone.” Obama and other socialist Democrats want Congress to pass the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to increase the number of absentee and mail-in ballots used in American elections, decreasing the scrutiny of such ballots and allowing 2022 and beyond to be decided by unverified ballots, just as 2020 was. 2 Kings 14:26-28 record history that is also prophecy for this generation: Like its predecessor, the kingdom of Israel, modern America is facing complete destruction, and only God can save it.
Much of this destruction has come from socialists’ attacks on the oldest and greatest constitution on Earth. One of their most effective attacks has been in the education of American schoolchildren. At this point, children learn very little about the principles of the Constitution and are held to lower and lower educational standards; instead, they are learning, from increasingly aggressive school administrators, the principles of Marxist-style critical race theory. After a September 2021 report exposed the further lowering of academic standards by radical Washington State education bureaucrats, Washington Policy Center’s Liv Finne summarized the situation: English teachers will teach “white supremacy,” “white privilege,” “institutional racism” and “structural racism,” instead of sentence structure, vocabulary, expression and communication; mathematics teachers will teach that their subject has been used to oppress racial minorities; and history teachers will teach about “social construction,” “hierarchy,” “white supremacy” and “racial democracy.”