Russia Is Stealing the Gift of God

Ukrainian children in Poland gather around a map of Ukraine.
Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Russia Is Stealing the Gift of God

‘This land grab in Ukraine was always also a people grab.’

The children are not all orphans. Many have at least one living parent or grandparent in Ukraine who loves them and longs with God-given natural affection to be reunited with them. But Russians are seizing these children, falsely telling them their families are either dead or no longer want them, and then shipping them off to various locations inside Russia to be assimilated.

This satanic act constitutes genocide as defined by Article ii, Clause “e” of the Geneva Conventions. It also constitutes a war crime as defined by the International Criminal Court. The icc maintains an extremely high threshold for proving war crimes, but Russian President Vladimir Putin made prosecutors’ work easy by boasting on his official website about having abducted Ukrainian children.

So the icc issued arrest warrants on March 17 for both him and his main accomplice in the abduction program, Maria Lvova-Belova.

Alongside Putin’s public admission is a February 14 report by Conflict Observatory and Yale’s Humanitarian Research lab that found a network of 43 facilities where abducted Ukrainian children are held while Russian authorities determine where to ship them. “Russia’s federal government has systematically relocated at least 6,000 children from Ukraine to a network of reeducation and adoption facilities in Russia-occupied Crimea and mainland Russia,” the report states.

These 6,000 children have been independently confirmed by Conflict Observatory. But the Children of War organization has tallied more than 16,000 others who have suffered this fate. The true number, likely far higher, is impossible to know since only Kremlin-controlled journalists are allowed in the Russia-occupied parts of Ukraine.

Inside the reeducation facilities, the youngest children are made to believe they are Russian nationals. Those too old to buy this lie are instead taught to believe Russia’s talking points and propaganda about the war.

And by Russia’s own admission, the tactics work.

“At first they were negative about the president and said nasty things,” Lvova-Belova said of a group of children she helped to abduct and bring to the Moscow region. “But later, that negative attitude turned into love for Russia.”

After the reeducation is deemed sufficient, the children are assigned to Russian orphanages or families, often in Siberia or other remote locations where they have little chance of ever being able to cross the thousands of miles to get back to Ukraine.

A Demographic Death Spiral

The practice is perverse beyond words. But Russia is a rapidly aging, dying society. Since the start of the 1960s, its people have not been producing enough children to replace themselves. Around 1.5 children are born per woman, which is far below the 2.1 rate required just to keep from shrinking. Combine that with soaring emigration and excess deaths, and it’s clear that Russia’s demographics are terminal—particularly for ethnic Russians. Putin has often acknowledged this problem, and he told his people in 2021 that “146 million [people] for such a vast territory is insufficient.”

Since then, the number has further fallen to 143.4 million.

By stealing Ukraine’s children, Putin hopes to mitigate this demographic crisis, and a compelling case can be made that this was part of his motivation for the war from the beginning. “This land grab in Ukraine was always also a people grab,” commentator Jake Broe said in a March 8 briefing. “The goal was always to steal the children of Ukraine, Russify them, make them loyal to Putin and the Russian empire.”

Fodder for Future Wars

Part of the plan from the start was to steal children—which the Bible tells us are “a gift from the Lordand indoctrinate them into Russia’s mindset of unyielding victimhood and its extreme historic revisionism. The ultimate aim is to make these young people loyal to Putin’s Russia so they can become soldiers in Russia’s future wars—10 or 20 years down the road.

Future wars? What about arguments saying Russia would be pacified if it could keep parts of Ukraine and then peace would be restored?

Russia’s recent history in such locations as Moldova, Chechnya, Georgia, Belarus and Crimea show that the current war on Ukraine isn’t a one-off. Nor is it the final piece of the puzzle.

“Perhaps the scariest takeaway from the Ukraine War is that it’s just beginning,” geopolitical strategist Peter Zeihan wrote on February 9. “Russia is looking to reclaim enough land for them to reach the geographical strong points that were once part of the Soviet Union.”

Putin famously called the Soviet Union’s collapse the 20th century’s “greatest geopolitical catastrophe,” and he aims to reverse the “catastrophe” by retaking the Baltic nations, Moldova, the Caucasus and even Central Asia and parts of Poland and Romania. In order for Russians to feel geographically secure, they need to gain control over all of this peripheral land. And they know they can’t win the future wars over those territories with an army of 80-year-old soldiers.

If Russia is successful in the current war, we should expect tens of thousands more of Ukraine’s children to be forcibly deported to Russia and Russified. They would then grow up and be used to perpetuate this same dark cycle, stealing more children from other attacked nations so that still more nations can later be attacked.

The ‘Prince’ of Russia

Vladimir Putin’s evil is glaring. And it takes on great significance when examined in light of Bible prophecy. In the Trumpet’s September 2014 issue, editor in chief Gerald Flurry explained: “We need to watch Vladimir Putin closely. He is the ‘prince of Rosh’ that God inspired Ezekiel to write about 2,500 years ago!”

Mr. Flurry’s article examines Bible prophecies about a multinational Asian power that will emerge in the near future and field an army of 200 million soldiers (Revelation 9:16). He called special attention to Ezekiel 38:2, which calls the man who will lead this Asian army the “prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal” (Young’s Literal Translation).

Meshech and Tubal are ancient names representing the modern Russian cities of Moscow and Tobolsk. Rosh is a variation of Rus, an ancient name for Russia. This is supported by the Benson Commentary on the Old and New Testaments and the Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary.

Ezekiel describes future military campaigns that will be carried out by this Asian power, led by the “prince of Rosh.” Placing these prophecies alongside Putin’s history of aggression, Mr. Flurry wrote:

I strongly believe Vladimir Putin is going to lead the 200 million-man army. Just look at the power he already has. Can you think of any other Russian politician who could become so powerful and have the will to lead Russia into the crisis of crises? I see nobody else on the horizon who could do that. And only a tiny few years remain for the prince of Rosh to appear!

This 200 million-man army will be far larger than any ever assembled. Most of the troops will come from nations that ally with Russia under Putin’s power, such as China. And Putin’s campaign to abduct children from nations like Ukraine will also help the army to reach this stunning size.

It is clear that some dark years lie ahead for Russia, Ukraine and the entire world. But in his booklet The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia’, Mr. Flurry stresses that this darkness will be short-lived and will give way to a hope-filled future. He writes:

Vladimir Putin is a sign, literally a sign … of 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! … A great transition is about to occur.

To understand the details of these Bible prophecies and what Mr. Flurry calls “the most inspiring message in the Bible,” order your free copy of The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia.’