Is the War in Ukraine About to Get Much Worse?
If you want to understand the magnitude of what has happened in Ukraine over the last week, you have to look at the mountain spa town of Jermuk, Armenia, around 800 miles away from Ukraine’s advance.
Early on Tuesday morning, artillery shells began falling around Jermuk. Drones struck select targets. Soldiers are reportedly invading the area.
What does this have to do with Ukraine? On the surface, nothing. Azerbaijan and Armenia have a long-standing dispute over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Both sides blame the other for the latest violence.
But look deeper and it is all about Ukraine. Over the weekend, Ukraine recaptured around 1,000 square miles of territory. It was an astonishing rout. The Telegraph reported, “Panicked Russian soldiers are abandoning their tanks, weapons and even clothes as they ‘literally run from their positions’ in the face of a shock Ukrainian offensive ….”
“A drone operator returning from the front line on Sunday also told the Telegraph that the speed of the offensive had even taken their own army by surprise, with troops struggling to recover the mountains of Russian ammunition and armored vehicles left behind,” it wrote.
Russia is Armenia’s protector. In previous strikes, Azerbaijan has generally limited conflict to Nagorno-Karabakh, and not attacked Armenia itself. This week, that changed. Armenia has a nato-style defense pact with Russia: Moscow has promised that an attack on Armenia would mean war with Russia. Armenia is even circulating photos showing that Azerbaijan hit a Russian military base within Armenia.
Azerbaijan is clearly not afraid of poking the bear. In the wake of Ukraine’s success, Azerbaijan figured that Russia is weak.
This is how empires die. The sprawling Russian federation encompasses 185 ethnic groups—some of which would love to be independent. It works to ensure the surrounding governments are friendly to Russia, often propping up unpopular dictatorships.
If others, like Azerbaijan, decide Russia can safely be defied, then Russia is finished.
It’s not just Azerbaijan. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan also exchanged fire. Both are Russian allies—and Russia has kept the peace between them. Now neither side is paying much attention to Moscow.
Some are already salivating at the prospect of the total defeat of Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Putin could be finished,” gushed the Telegraph. If so, then what? “A weak Russia, with its leader defenestrated, leaves many unknown questions. Could there be a coup? Who takes over after Putin? Does Russia stay whole?”
Putin knows the stakes, too. And he will not give up easily—or at all.
He knows Russia has been here before—and it almost destroyed the nation. In 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Finland. The world expected a quick victory—how could one small Nordic country, with an air force less than one-20th the size of Russia’s, stand up to the might of the ussr?
But it did. A humiliated Russia settled for a victory far smaller than everyone expected.
The world took note—in particular, Adolf Hitler. To him, this was proof that the ussr was on the brink of collapse. “You have only to kick in the door, and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down,” he said.
Hitler was wrong. But Russia’s apparent weakness led to an attack that came frighteningly close to destroying the country. Even in victory, Russia lost 27 million soldiers and civilians—almost 100 times more than America lost in the war.
Putin’s whole life has revolved around furthering Russia’s power. He’s not going to calmly walk away, opening the door for the destruction of the Russian federation.
“Neither side can afford the cost of failing such an attack,” wrote Geopolitical Futures founder George Friedman. “The Russian advantage is manpower. There are reports from multiple sources, including American ones, of large numbers of Russian troops training in the Russian Far East. The Russians need more troops, so these reports are believable. Russia is not going to defeat an army armed with American weapons with the number of forces it has deployed thus far. The Russians face a choice of attacking with overwhelming force or losing the war. They will choose the former.”
“So long as Putin is president, every effort will be made to win, because he cannot afford anything less than victory,” he concluded, forecasting that the extra manpower will arrive either “very soon or after the winter.”
If the options are defeat or taking the war to another level, Putin will escalate. Which raises the big question: Will he go nuclear?
“While it is right to celebrate the Russian rout, the war may be entering a far more dangerous phase,” wrote 19FortyFive. “Consider: If Russian President Vladimir Putin tired of attrition and decided to use tactical nuclear weapons, how would Russian behavior—a rapid withdrawal and even leaving key equipment behind—be different? The answer: It would not be.”
The fact that Vladimir Putin has not used nuclear weapons already shows there are costs for doing so. It would be politically very difficult for European governments to end their sanctions on Russia if Putin took this step.
But those costs may not be unaffordable. 19FortyFive pointed out that former President Barack Obama’s setting of a “redline” in 2012 on chemical weapons use in Syria, and then his complete failure to follow through once the line was crossed, could convince Putin that he has little to fear in further action from the United States.
But even with a robust, nonmilitary response from the West, the costs of defeat are higher still. If it’s a choice between losing the war or using nukes, Putin will use nukes.
Regardless of when and how, don’t expect Putin to fall or Russia to break up. Perhaps the best that can be hoped for is that Russia pauses to regroup.
Just days after Putin invaded Ukraine, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote, “I have been warning for more than two decades that Vladimir Putin would be responsible for violent conquests and that he would set in motion some astonishing and historic events.”
These forecasts are based on a prophecy in Ezekiel 38, which states, “And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him” (verses 1-2). A better translation would be “the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal.” As Mr. Flurry explains in The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia,’ all three of these names relate to Russia. Rosh was the ancient name of the Russian people, the Rus. Meschech has a similar root to the Russian capital, Moscow. And Tobolsk and the Tobol River have similar roots to “Tubal” in Ezekiel 38.
“The use of all three names shows that this is an individual ruler of all the peoples of Russia, from the west to the east,” writes Mr. Flurry. “The reference to the cities of Moscow and Tobolsk helps us see how vast Russian territory is in these latter days. This giant swath of land indicates the prince will probably conquer more nations of the former Soviet Union. When you study these scriptures alongside current events revealing modern Moscow’s imperialist direction, you see that Russian President Vladimir Putin is the prince of Rosh.”
A whole lot of Western journalists would be willing to write this off as a failed prophecy right now. In their minds, the only questions are How long will Putin last? and Will the Russian state fall with him?
Watch what happens here. The Bible gives a very different forecast: Putin will double down. He’s here to stay.
Ezekiel 38 goes on to describe the actions of this prince of Rosh. He’s a ruthless and driven leader.
Hoping Ukraine’s success this week will lead to the end of Putin and the breakup of Russia will lead only to disappointment. In the short term, the conflict may even get worse.
The only sure hope is to realize that Putin and his actions are prophesied in your Bible. They’re being allowed by God as part of a plan to bring peace and prosperity to the whole world. The Bible reveals that this prince of Rosh continues to fight against this plan even after God intervenes decisively in world events and begins bringing peace to the Earth. He is so stubborn that it will take God Himself to deal with him.
To learn more about this plan and where it is leading, read The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia.’