Ukraine Needs to Beware the Coming Winter

An Ukrainian tank rolls along a main road on March 8.
ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images

Ukraine Needs to Beware the Coming Winter

In times of crises, self always comes first.

Both Ukraine and Europe are expected to suffer in the coming winter with unforeseeable consequences. On September 15, Ivo Daalder and James Lindsay wrote in Foreign Affairs: “Putin’s best hope—perhaps his only hope—is that Western support for Ukraine will crumble as the costs of war, including energy shortages and rising prices, begin to hit home in Europe.” This upcoming crisis may force Europe to undergo a radical transformation to cope with its own problems rather than helping Ukraine.

The situation in Ukraine looks equally dire. Russia is attacking Ukraine’s electrical grid, seeking to force the country into submission. “Since the beginning of the war, Ukrainians have known that power outages can occur at any time,” wrote on September 18. “That the winter could be harsh is therefore no surprise. The supplies are only enough for mild temperatures” (Trumpet translation throughout).

Ukrainian troops are liberating many of their cities; local residents cry tears of joy in disbelief. But the most difficult months in the conflict are yet ahead. Winter is coming, and Russia’s whole strategy has been focused on this moment. Ever since Germany and Russia collaborated on the building of the Nord Stream pipelines, the Trumpet has warned of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s strategy. Will we now see a dreadful conclusion to Russia’s plot?

Ukraine has long sought to become independent from Russia while benefiting from the Russian gas exports transiting through its country. But one thing worked against it: Germany has led all of Europe into dependence on Russian energy.

It now appears that most countries in Central Europe will struggle with the basic need to warm their homes. Russia has drastically reduced gas exports to Europe, resulting in skyrocketing prices. Unless Europe gets gas from Russia through the Nord Stream pipelines and Germany—which currently is not happening—Europeans will freeze. In the coming months, we can expect Europe to increasingly focus on its own problems.

Foreign Affairs noted:

The pressure on Western unity is real. The euphoria and determination that marked the initial strong reaction to Russia’s invasion was always bound to be tested. Both within and between countries, squabbles over who should bear the burden of making Russia pay for its aggression were inevitable. Worries about “Ukraine fatigue” increased over the summer. In June, former Pentagon official Andrew Exum proclaimed that “Western support for Ukraine has peaked.” The following month, Fareed Zakaria warned that the West’s strategy was in danger of failing because “homes in Europe might not have enough heat” this winter.

Tuomas Malinen wrote in the Epoch Times:

The possible, even likely, collapse of the European economy would inflict some heavy costs to present European institutions. In this entry, Dr. Peter Nyberg and I detail why we believe we are likely to see some rupturing of the European Union as originally conceived.

This may occur in two ways: Either the European Union disintegrates completely, or it mutates into something unrecognizable to its original purpose. This comment concentrates on some of the factors causing disintegration. …

The functioning of the EU has, until recently, been built on two political pillars that now appear to be crumbling. Primarily, German growth has made possible the joint financing (through low-cost debt, the EU budget, and the central banks’ clearing system) of unsuccessful economies without the EU forcing them to commit to politically unacceptable reforms.

This is an interesting observation: “Either the European Union disintegrates completely, or it mutates into something unrecognizable to its original purpose.” This would have dramatic implications for Europe. Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s article “Ukraine Is Hastening a New Germany” shows that Germany is much more interested in driving its own goals forward in the recent crisis than seeking to help Ukraine. The coming winter could become a huge moment for Europe—to the detriment of Ukraine.

Germany has long been the undisputed power in the European Union, but many countries have understandably struggled to hand over independence to a European government. That’s why we haven’t yet seen a United States of Europe. A major crisis could change this. This coming winter, we could see Europe transform in a way that Germany has always wanted.

One way or another, Bible prophecy reveals that upcoming crises will force Europe to “mutate.” In Revelation 17, an angel explained to the Apostle John that the 10 horns of the prophetic beast he saw symbolized “ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast” (verse 12). The chapter shows that this will happen right before Jesus Christ’s Second Coming. The EU currently has 27 member states, but in a time of crisis, this number could be drastically reduced, just as Revelation 17 indicates and Daniel 2 confirms. To understand these prophecies in greater detail, request a free copy of Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast? In this booklet, the late Herbert W. Armstrong allowed the Bible to interpret its own symbolism, which opens up the understanding of these prophecies.

There are a lot of unknowns in Russia’s war on Ukraine. Russia may very well increase its military involvement (read “Is the War in Ukraine About to Get Much Worse?”). But we cannot afford to ignore how Russian and German cooperation has led to the current situation. We also have to understand how important this very moment is for Europe’s future. This understanding will help us understand Putin’s strategy and what it means for the future. Mr. Flurry’s article “Ukraine Is Hastening a New Germany” gives this big overview and shows where it is destined to lead according to Bible prophecy.