For over a decade after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia was outside the mainstream of world affairs. But under the leadership of Vladimir Putin, who became president in 2000, things have changed radically.
Putin has called the Soviet Union’s collapse the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century. He has dedicated himself to reversing that “catastrophe” and restoring Russia to what he sees as its rightful position as a formidable world power.
As we have seen with Putin’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and territories in Georgia and Moldova, he has already been very successful—but he isn’t finished.
Russia’s return to great-power status has tremendous prophetic importance. Not only because of the role Russia is prophesied to fulfill in world affairs, but also because its aggressive actions are provoking alarm and urgency within Europe—and that is the power that we really must watch!
The Europeans still remember how violent Russia was in World War ii, and Russia is a close neighbor with massive piles of nuclear weapons.
Russia’s bold moves are triggering a fear that will hasten the uniting of the European Union. This fear will cause Germany and other European nations to want stronger leadership. Throughout history, Germany has often sought a strong leader. Bible prophecy says it will do so again—for the last time!
In parliamentary elections in 2003, President Putin cemented control over Russia in a way that recalled that nation’s authoritarian history. We should remember that Mr. Putin was shaped and molded by the infamous kgb—the ruthless, murderous secret service arm of the Russian government that succeeded Joseph Stalin’s secret police.
Clearly, Putin had used his presidential powers to manipulate the process to ensure a victory for his United Russia party. His strong-arm moves struck intense fear in Europe.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (osce) complained that the elections “did not meet international standards” and represented a “regression in the democratization of this country.” Stratfor wrote, “What bothers the osce is less the hardball campaign tactics than the size of Putin’s win. Putin has nearly a two-thirds majority in both chambers of parliament. The liberal parties have been devastated. … The shape of Russian politics is shifting as anti-authoritarian parties disappear. Increasingly, the choice is between mild or hard authoritarianism” (Dec. 9, 2003; emphasis added throughout).
The Wall Street Journal reported how the election expanded Putin’s power. “What the elections foretell is a compliant Duma [lower house of parliament] implementing the agenda of an essentially liberal government, albeit one that wants more control of its single-most strategic asset, oil. … This means that if Mr. Putin wants to take Russia in the direction of dictatorship (or, as fashionable jargon has it, toward ‘managed democracy’) the Duma could speed him on his way” (Dec. 9, 2003).
Russia’s “single most strategic asset” is oil. From the beginning, Mr. Putin has sought to control that asset, no matter how much Western powers thundered in protest. The soaring price of oil from 2003 through 2008 thrust Russia back on the world stage as a dominant power.
Just before the 2003 election, the Russian government arrested the country’s richest man, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, ceo of the country’s largest oil company, Yukos. That move eventually led to Yukos declaring bankruptcy and the government purchasing the private company at a fire-sale price (experts called it “scandalous,” “daylight robbery”). These events dramatically increased the Putin government’s control over Russia’s oil.
In 2014, Putin seized control of another massive oil company, oao Bashneft, and jailed the billionaire who had run it. In 2015, he quietly set a plan in motion to take over oao Surgutneftegas, another oil and gas giant.
By seizing control over Russia’s vast oil and gas resources, Putin gained considerable global influence. Some analysts say his de facto ownership of Russian energy makes him not only the richest man in the world today, but one of the richest people in the history of the world. Russia is the largest oil supplier on the planet, and with global demand for oil increasing even as oil supplies are dwindling, Putin has a lot of leverage over other nations.
ihs Jane’s intelligence firm wrote shortly after the Khodorkovsky arrest, “[I]t is becoming clear that Russia is undergoing a profound political convulsion. This amounts to nothing less than the birth of the Second Russian Republic …. The new republic will continue to be a mixture of market and state-controlled economic forces. But it will be a country in which President Vladimir Putin controls both the political and economic levers of power. The Russian president has staged his own coup” (Nov. 5, 2003).
Those are very accurate statements! This article called Putin’s moves “the birth of the Second Russian Republic”! A new Russia has been born. Mr. Putin “staged his own coup”! He took over this new Russia. Now the world has another major reason to tremble! Russia is indeed “undergoing a profound political convulsion”—one that will convulse Europe and many other nations!
Notice more of what Stratfor wrote after the 2003 election: “[T]hat is why the osce is getting nervous …. Putin is, first and last, a Russian nationalist, utterly pragmatic (or ruthless) in the tools he will use to strengthen the Russian state. He has greater power now than anyone in Russia since the collapse of communism. He can reshape the regime. Consequently, the osce and Europe are nervous about where Putin is taking Russia. They have every reason to be: Putin is slowly and systematically changing Russia’s direction. When Russia changes direction, the rest of Europe should indeed be nervous” (op cit).
Stratfor used the word nervous three times for special emphasis. Europe has not forgotten Russia’s recent dictatorial history. It is nervous for good reason. And it is going to get a lot more nervous in a few short years.
Europeans are not the only people who should be nervous. The whole world should be alarmed. Mr. Putin is changing the course of world history. And Bible prophecy reveals exactly where it is leading.
Vladimir Putin went on from the 2003 parliamentary election to amass more power both at home and abroad. In 2004, he enacted a law whereby regional governors, rather than being elected by the people, would be appointed directly by the president. Sergei Mitrokhin, a former liberal parliamentary leader, called the move “a step toward dictatorship.”
Putin took further major steps to consolidate government control over Russia’s natural resources—most importantly, oil and gas. More Russian firms were absorbed into state-controlled companies. Foreign companies were forced to sell out or face heavy fines for imaginary offenses. Russian oligarchs who resisted were imprisoned or fled the country.
Putin was busy building a powerful weapon. And in the winter of 2005–06, he unveiled it publicly for the first time.
Early the previous winter, Ukraine rebelled against Russia: In presidential elections, the people rejected the pro-Russian candidate in favor of pro-Western Viktor Yushchenko. It was termed the Orange Revolution. Yushchenko immediately moved his country away from Russia’s influence and toward EU membership.
Russia was not happy—and it soon demonstrated its new weapon. In the middle of the following winter, it cut off gas to Ukraine and said it would only resume supply when Ukrainians paid a far higher price. Ukraine had no choice but to cave in. The gas cutoff also affected Europe—a timely reminder that Russia could make European states pay if they dared cross the Kremlin. In 2006, the EU imported 56 percent of its energy, mostly from Russia. Germany, Italy and France imported 90, 91 and 95 percent of their daily oil needs respectively, and the vast majority of their natural gas needs.
Russia continued to grow bolder and more belligerent. In 2007, strong evidence pointed to Russian involvement behind a massive and organized Internet attack against Estonia. For three weeks, the nation’s computer systems were under constant assault in what some called the first state-to-state cyberattack in history. In August that year, Vladimir Putin announced that the Russian Air Force would resume Cold War-style nuclear bomber flights into international airspace. That summer, Russian bombers entered UK airspace and flew on an intercept course toward the U.S. military base in Guam. “The message to the West is clear: The days of dismissing Russia as a spent force are over,” wrote the Washington Times (Aug. 19, 2007). In February 2008, American fighter jets intercepted two Russian bombers, one of which buzzed the aircraft carrier uss Nimitz.
Russia also increased its power through strategic arms sales, courting nations throughout Asia, South America and even the Middle East. “The Russians are not indiscriminately selling arms,” Dr. Alexey Muraviev, a strategic analyst at Curtin University of Technology in Australia, said. “Russia has pursued a policy driven by strategic design. If it creates a strong client base, that can later be transformed into a larger relationship.”
Then in December 2007, after a parliamentary election that consolidated yet more power under Putin, the Russian president officially rejected the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. Thus, Europeans no longer had any guarantee that Russia wouldn’t station thousands of tanks on their eastern borders.
But 2008 looked like the end for Putin—at least to some. Under the Russian Constitution, the president is limited to two consecutive terms in office. Putin could not continue as president beyond the 2008 elections without changing the Constitution. So he switched jobs. He became prime minister and kept the power, with Dmitry Medvedev, more or less a puppet, taking the presidency. Putin remained to continue to push his belligerent policies and returned to the presidency in 2012.
First Military Strike!
Another alarming indication of the direction Russia is taking came in August of 2008, when Russia attacked the former Soviet republic of Georgia. This was the first military strike of the rising Asian superpower!
Look at a map of the Caucasus region. Much of Russia’s oil comes from the Baku region on the western Caspian Sea. The Baku-Supsa oil pipeline cuts right through Georgia, and until Russia’s invasion it transported oil through this strategic area free from Russian control. That is no longer the case. Russia not only owns the oil in the ground, it now controls the pipes distributing it to Europe, amounting to many billions of dollars’ worth of energy!
Russia is determined to be an energy superpower in an age when the whole modern world is hungry for energy. If Russia sees a prime source of oil being threatened, it is going to fight!
We can understand Russia’s violent actions within Georgia far better in light of some recent history in the Balkans, specifically Kosovo. There, Russia felt that Western nations had basically declared war. Georgia was Russia’s retaliation.
But even before that, tensions were heating up. “U.S. Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton had promised the Russians that nato would not expand into the former Soviet Union empire,” wrote George Friedman for Stratfor. “That promise had already been broken in 1998 by nato’s expansion to Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic—and again in the 2004 expansion, which absorbed not only the rest of the former Soviet satellites in what is now Central Europe, but also the three Baltic states, which had been components of the Soviet Union” (Aug. 12, 2008). Russia was deeply unsettled by these developments.
President George W. Bush also tried to bring Georgia and Ukraine into nato, but failed. It seems highly unlikely Russia would ever allow that to happen. Making Georgia a part of nato would put that Western organization on Russia’s doorstep, placing the security of Russian oil on the western Caspian at serious risk. All it would take is 30 minutes of bombing to knock out this major source of Russian energy! So, as far as Russia is concerned, this is a matter of survival.
But it’s not really the United States that Russia is afraid of. The nation the Russians truly fear is Germany.
Turning Kosovo Over to Germany
In February 2008, Kosovo, a republic in the Balkans, declared its independence from Serbia. Moscow was against the move because it didn’t want similar independence movements in Russian territories getting any stronger. Dr. Friedman wrote, “The Russians publicly and privately asked [the U.S. and Europe] that Kosovo not be given formal independence, but instead continue its informal autonomy, which was the same thing in practical terms. Russia’s requests were ignored” (ibid). Europe and the U.S. supported the separation anyway.
“From the Kosovo experience, [Moscow] concluded that the United States and Europe were not prepared to consider Russian wishes even in fairly minor affairs,” Friedman continued. “That was the breaking point. If Russian desires could not be accommodated even in a minor matter like this, then clearly Russia and the West were in conflict. For the Russians, as we said, the question was how to respond. Having declined to respond in Kosovo, the Russians decided to respond where they had all the cards: in South Ossetia.”
Russia wanted a war—and for an important reason! Kosovo was the breaking point.
Remember that history. In 1991, Germany supported the independence of Croatia and Slovenia. Initially, all the rest of Europe and America were openly hostile to Germany’s action. But Europe caved in when Germany threatened to pull out of the European Union. Soon, civil war broke out in Yugoslavia. The U.S. secretary of state at the time said Germany was responsible for the war in the Balkans—but he quickly shut his mouth. The “superpower” America fell in step with Germany!
This foreign-policy shift in 1991 enraged America’s traditional allies Britain, France and the Netherlands. These nations saw what Germany was doing, not only in Yugoslavia, but all over Europe. Postwar Europe had hoped to keep powerful Germany under control—with help from the U.S.! Instead, America helped Germany enforce its will on Europe!
Once the U.S. released and then supported this European beast in Croatia and Slovenia, there was no stopping it. It didn’t cease until all of Yugoslavia was under its strong influence or control!
Kosovo was a turning point in the Yugoslav war. After this state essentially came under German influence and control, it was inevitable that the rest of Yugoslavia would fall. When Germany’s oppressive influence moved beyond Croatia and Slovenia, the astute observer could see that Germany’s ambition was to control all of Yugoslavia.
German Defense Minister Volker Rühe urged the use of force against Serbia regardless of backing from the United Nations. “We must avoid to be dependent on a Russian veto,” he said at a meeting of nato defense ministers. He said that the relationship between nato and Russia meant that “Russia has no veto whenever nato needs to act.” Russia was going to veto it, and Germany wanted to get around that—and convinced the U.S. to join in!
Russia rightly blames the U.S. for what happened. We lied to Russia about expanding nato, and then we ignored Russia over Yugoslavia, which culminated in Kosovo declaring independence in 2008.
The U.S. allowed itself to be a tool of Germany—and helped its rise! America bombed Serbia into submission and then handed it over to a German-led EU! If you know Europe’s history and prophecy, you realize what a shameful act that truly was! America likes to think of itself as squeaky clean and righteous, driven by only the purest motives. But this was truly an act of treachery—and incredible weakness.
We have written quite a lot about this issue, and we receive many sympathetic letters from Serbs who were double-crossed by America. Remember: The Serbs were America’s allies in World Wars i and ii, and Germany was our enemy! In the Yugoslav wars, everything was turned around.
America is one of the modern nations descended from biblical Israel. We have a history with God. We should be setting the example for the world! When we make a promise, we should keep it! And we should be placing our faith in God rather than in our enemies. Today, Yugoslavia is gone because of our evil.
The Intelligence Digest of August 11-25, 1995, said this: “Germany’s control of Western Europe is exercised through the European Union (EU), and American support for German dominance of the EU has been evident since at least 1990. [Washington] is following an intentional policy, the purpose of which is to leave both east and west Europe under complete German domination. …
“So Germany, with the full backing of America, is to be the sole great power of Europe.”
In biblical prophecy, God condemns America for treating the Germans like our “lovers”! He prophesies that this relationship will end in our destruction! (See Ezekiel 23; you can read about this prophecy in our free book Ezekiel—The End-Time Prophet.)
Russia shrewdly evaluated these events and saw an opportunity. After watching and not interfering as Germany and the U.S. sponsored Kosovo’s independence, Moscow reasoned that it had the right to sponsor the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia from Georgia. The populations in those two breakaway regions are comprised mostly of Russian sympathizers. And if the U.S. or Europe objected, Russia could say, Hey—that’s what you did in Kosovo and the Balkans—you just went in and conquered the whole area! Don’t accuse us for simply doing what you did!
When Russia made its move in August 2008, the strategy worked to perfection. “The Russians knew the United States would denounce their attack,” Friedman wrote. “This actually plays into Russian hands. The more vocal senior leaders are, the greater the contrast with their inaction, and the Russians wanted to drive home the idea that American guarantees are empty talk” (op cit).
Does Russia fear America? Not very much. And it used this opportunity to make the U.S. look stupid and weak before the whole world!
Russia had been planning for this invasion for some time. As Ralph Peters wrote in the New York Post, “Let’s be clear: For all that U.S. commentators and diplomats are still chattering about Russia’s ‘response’ to Georgia’s actions, the Kremlin spent months planning and preparing this operation. Any soldier above the grade of private can tell you that there’s absolutely no way Moscow could’ve launched this huge ground, air and sea offensive in an instantaneous ‘response’ to alleged Georgian actions. …
“Every one of these things required careful preparations. In the words of one U.S. officer, ‘Just to line up the airlift sorties would’ve taken weeks.’
“Working through their mercenaries in South Ossetia, Russia staged brutal provocations against Georgia from late July onward. Last Thursday, Georgia’s president finally had to act to defend his own people.
“But when the mouse stirred, the cat pounced” (Aug. 12, 2008).
This was a war of revenge, and it was planned months, perhaps years, in advance.
Vladimir Putin is really the dictator of Russia. He may not appear to exercise the kind of brutality of some of his predecessors, but he certainly is intent on using whatever power is necessary to secure his country’s resources and make Russia into a global power! When this former kgb agent calls the Soviet collapse a “catastrophe,” you have to believe he is going to do something about it! Remember how Adolf Hitler told the world exactly what he was going to do in his book Mein Kampf, years before he did it? Why will we never heed such warnings?
Friedman concluded, “The war in Georgia, therefore, is Russia’s public return to great power status” (op cit).
That is exactly right. The Bible warns us to expect a great power rising from the East. It calls it “the kings of the east” (Revelation 16:12). The attack on Georgia was the first act of war from the kings of the east—but it was not the last.
The Ukraine Crisis
Just after Russia used military force to invade Georgia, Gerald Flurry wrote the following in our October 2008 Trumpet issue: “Russia’s attack on Georgia in August marks the beginning of a dangerous new era in history. This was the first military strike of a rising Asian superpower—and there will be more! … Will a crisis occur over Ukraine? That area is the breadbasket of Russia, and surely it is willing to wage war over that as well.”
Time proved that forecast was stunningly accurate!
For several years, Ukraine had been working to join the EU. The plan was for Viktor Yanukovych, then president of Ukraine, to make it official on November 29, 2013, by signing the Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement. But on November 21, Yanukovych abruptly announced that he would not sign the agreement. Many analysts were shocked. They had thought Ukraine would make the deal and become part of the EU, or at least become allied with it in some fashion. Why did the Ukrainian president make such a dramatic U-turn?
Because of Russia! It emerged in late November that Mr. Yanukovych had secretly flown to Moscow early in the month to meet with Putin. At this secret meeting, Putin apparently agreed to stop putting an economic squeeze on Ukraine and he also offered Yanukovych some rich financial rewards that would help him cling to power—if the Ukrainian president would pull out of the EU deal.
Experts agree that it was these tactics that caused Ukraine to pull out! “[T]he unprecedented pressure from the Russians was the decisive factor,” said former Polish president and intermediary Aleksander Kwasniewski. “The Russians used everything in their arsenal.”
Instead of linking with Europe, Ukraine appeared to then be on course to become a member of Russia’s Customs Union. That would have placed it alongside Moscow’s fellow dictatorships Kazakhstan and Belarus. When the Ukrainian government made this about-face, many Ukrainians felt betrayed and oppressed. They feared Russia’s lengthening authoritarian shadow and the corruption of their own government, so they staged massive protests!
Putin applied all that pressure on Ukraine because that nation is the linchpin of his goal of a renewed imperial Russia! A linchpin is the pin in an axle that keeps the wheel from coming off. Putin has long known that if Ukraine allies with Europe, it would significantly diminish his power. He was doing everything in his power to keep the wheels from falling off his dream of a new Soviet empire.
The Ukrainian people protested until Yanukovych fled the country. Putin may not have expected this outcome, but he used the turmoil to advance his goal even further. He focused specifically on the federal Republic of Crimea, which was a semiautonomous region of Ukraine. After deploying undercover agents to destabilize the peninsula, he arranged for a referendum to be held that would ostensibly let the people of the peninsula decide whether they wanted to return to Mother Russia or not.
In truth, Ukrainian law unambiguously forbids any such referendum. Its constitution explicitly states that Crimea is “an inseparable constituent part of Ukraine,” and its laws are subservient to those of the central government in Kyiv. But no one stood up to stop the referendum, so on March 18, 2014, Crimea became an official part of Russia. The borders of Europe were redrawn.
Putin is doing everything he can to prevent Georgia, Ukraine and all other former Soviet countries from developing closer ties with Europe. He pushed the U.S. out of his backyard in 2014 by pressuring Kyrgyzstan to kick America off of Manas Air Base. This was America’s only military base left in Central Asia. Russia’s deep involvement in the Middle East has allowed the brutal Syrian regime to retain power. It has also been instrumental in allowing Iran to continue pursuing nuclear weapons.
Domestically, Putin has transformed the Russian media into a propaganda machine. He has severely curbed the power of democracy and emasculated Russia’s parliament. Under Putin’s reign, nuclear-armed Russia is also transforming its military machine into a modern, technological, 21st-century force.
By all of these heavy-handed tactics, President Putin has not only brought Russia back into play as a world power, he has also secured his position at the nation’s helm.
This world has a lot of authoritarian rulers. But Vladimir Putin is one we need to keep a particularly close eye on. His track record, nationality and ideology indicate that he will fulfill a specific, linchpin Bible prophecy recorded millenniums ago. The time frame of his rule makes it certain. This will be thoroughly discussed in Chapter 6.
Russia, Germany Behind the Scenes
Things aren’t always what they seem in the world of geopolitics. Often there is more to an event than most people realize. Russia’s 2008 invasion of Georgia is an example.
Russia has much at stake in the Caucasus and is extremely sensitive to anyone who gets close to that area. Again, it doesn’t fear the U.S. much—but it does fear Germany and will do what it needs to in order to neutralize it.
Actually, Russia and Germany fear each other. Russia supplies quite a lot of Europe’s energy—especially Germany’s—and that gives it power.
By attacking Georgia, Ralph Peters wrote, “[t]he Kremlin is telling Europe: We not only have the power to turn off Siberian gas, we can turn off every tap in the region, any time we choose” (op cit).
The Wall Street Journal reported, “Putin’s Russia got its hands around the energy-needy throats of Germans, the French, Italians and many other Europeans.” This is a cutthroat business! “When this crisis ends, Georgia will be either a model for a world that works or a world whose members do business with knives,” it continued. “If the world’s foreign ministries, ceos, investors and policy intellectuals can’t see the implications for their world in Georgia’s fate, it’s time to reorder our best efforts to playing by Mr. Putin’s rules” (Aug. 14, 2008).
Shortly after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and destabilized eastern Ukraine, it looked like Germany was siding with the U.S. in condemning the Russian moves. But by mid-2015, Germany had shifted to what the Wall Street Journal called a “speak no evil” policy toward Russia: “Germany of 2015 has a stance on the big trouble to the east. … It involves pressing old friends from the West to ease up on the Russians. Diplomats from the U.S., Canada and northern European countries have been admonished by a German counterpart … to stop their ‘blame game’ in support of Ukraine” (Wall Street Journal, Aug. 10, 2015).
In July 2015, Martin Erdmann, the departing German ambassador to nato, said the U.S. and Europe were being “very one-sided” by enacting protective measures against Russia, including military maneuvers in East European nato nations.
Why does Germany not want to blame Russia for its acts of brazen aggression? Why is Berlin so soft on Moscow regarding both Georgia and Ukraine?
History provides a sobering answer. Every time competition between Russia and Germany heats up, they form a deal with each other—just before going to war! A few of these agreements came before World War i, including German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck’s Three Emperors’ League with Russia and Austria. In 1922, four years after the Great War ended, Germany and Russia stunned the world with a pact signed in Rapallo, Italy, that opened complete diplomatic relations between them. Europe’s power balance had shifted overnight. Through the pact, the German Army could test weapons in Russia that were forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles. Even when Hitler became chancellor in 1933 and a wave of anti-Russianism gripped Germany, the Nazis made a move that seemed contrary to their anti-Soviet policy. Hitler’s foreign minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop, secretly flew to Moscow in August 1939 to sign a non-aggression pact with Russia’s Stalin. This became known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. With Russia neutralized, Hitler’s eastern flank was secure. One week later, Hitler invaded Poland, and Russia took the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania). Two years later, Germany violated the pact and attacked Russia.
The history is quite clear. Whenever it has wanted to expand its empire, Germany has always first removed the Russian threat through diplomacy. Its fear of Russia drove it to arm and become strong on the one hand, and seek peace with Russia until it had finished dealing with the rest of its enemies on the other.
There is evidence that such a deal may have been struck before the Georgia invasion.
When U.S. President George W. Bush was pushing for Georgia and Ukraine to enter nato, Europe initially supported the idea. But in April of 2008, Germany’s minister of foreign affairs, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, suddenly came out against the plan. He said Georgia wasn’t qualified because of unresolved territorial conflicts. Berlin officials also argued, off the record, that “Russia has no veto, but Russia’s views must be taken into account”; “Russia is a factor [in decision-making] and this is undeniable,” and “Russian concerns cannot be ignored if we want a real partnership with Russia” (Eurasia Daily Monitor, April 1, 2008).
This was the opposite of what Germany said a year before, when it wholeheartedly supported these nations’ entrance into nato. Why the sudden change? What did the German leaders say privately to the Russians about Georgia and Ukraine?
Germany knows Russia can be very brutal. Perhaps Putin told Germany, We didn’t do anything about Kosovo and the Serbs—you’d better stay out of the Caucasus! If you give us problems over Georgia or Ukraine, we’re cutting off your energy—or we’re going to war! And we have a lot of nuclear weapons!
Germany may well have been complicit in Russia’s plan to attack Georgia and Ukraine! If Russia made an agreement with Germany over those situations, then Russia would have known the only possible other nation to be concerned about was the U.S. And Russia knew America was too weak to do anything about it!
Russia has Germany—and all of Europe—over a barrel. Cutting off part of the flow of gas to a country would wreak havoc on its economy!
Germany’s about-face on Ukraine and Georgia smells rotten! The U.S. is extremely foolish to trust Germany—to treat it as a “lover.” That ignorance is sure to end in the greatest possible disaster!
The fact that Steinmeier was so quick to dismiss the idea of nato membership for Georgia and Ukraine tells us something else: Germany sees that it doesn’t have a future with nato. Its ultimate plan is to kick nato aside and stand as an independent power! It doesn’t respect America’s view on these nations. So America ends up being a dupe all along the way.
The relationship between Russia and Germany is very tense right now. Germany ignored Russia over Kosovo—but Russia will not be ignored anymore. A deal between these two nations is not a sign of peace. Like the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and so many others before it, it is a sign of exactly the opposite. Both of these nations are looking to secure their shared border—so they can pursue their imperialistic aims elsewhere! It is a precursor to war! That is the way they operate! And the U.S. has no clue.
The summer of 2008 marked the beginning of a new era! We saw an extraordinary military strike by one of the kings of the east. The Ukraine crisis was another massive blow signaling Russia’s resurgence. China, another of those “kings,” is also making inroads all over the world. What power those kings of the east are amassing—and so quickly! Europe can see it. And it is formulating a counterstrategy.
The whole world should see this developing and realize: This will inevitably end in nuclear war!
Russia has publicly stated that nuclear weapons remain key to the nation’s defense strategy—and it is not averse to the possibility of launching preemptive strikes, if necessary, to defend its interests!
Experts tell us that once a nuclear war starts, it cannot be stopped.
Such a monstrous Russian nuclear power is going to impact this world. The nuclear “genie” is out of the bottle. We have reached the point of no return.
How can these words and events not strike fear in all of us? Do we realize this Earth is like a ticking nuclear bomb, waiting to explode?
This world is steeped in madness! It is precisely what Jesus Christ prophesied, almost 2,000 years ago, it would be in the end time. “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved [alive]: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matthew 24:21-22). These words should cause us to tremble—and repent!
If Christ didn’t intervene and stop the madness, there would be no flesh saved alive. Not one person or animal would be left alive!
Do the major media carry more weight with us than Christ’s own words? Do we listen to our political leaders more than we heed Christ’s own warnings?
It’s time for plain speaking and writing.
All According to Plan
Europe’s growing nervousness about events in Russia gives us a flash of light into a terrifying Bible prophecy. It is building now—at this moment—toward a spectacular fulfillment! These events in Russia and Europe are working out according to God’s master plan.
Even the Russian people don’t understand why their nation has returned to the center of global events. But you can know. All we need to do is understand the Bible, which tells us to watch world events—not dates.
World events will date the Bible’s prophecies and reveal where we are in the overall time frame. A more dictatorial Russian government is on the scene, and you need to know where it is leading. That power will be able to challenge Europe when nobody else can—including the U.S. The EU is going to become the world’s number one superpower. So says Bible prophecy.
The Russian economy is in trouble, and time is running out on its opportunity to cut itself a position of lasting significance. Its conventional military and its nuclear arsenal are both aging quickly, though it is spending aggressively to update its armaments. Demographically, birth rates are plunging precipitously. Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin are running out of time to restore Russia to great-empire status! “This is Russia’s moment,” wrote George Friedman. America is squeezing Russia, hoping nature will take its course, and Russian power will wane. But Friedman said “the Russians will squeeze back hard before they move off the stage of history” (Stratfor, July 27, 2009).
Bible prophecy says that will indeed happen!
Expect Russia to ramp up its efforts to restore the Soviet empire. Among other activities, this will likely mean the forging of a major agreement with Germany and Europe that will address both European and Russian vulnerability. Expect Russia to continue to be highly active in defending and enlarging its periphery; Ukraine, or at least its eastern regions, will likely continue gravitating toward Moscow. It’s highly unlikely we will see nato expand much further eastward.
Behind these developments is an invisible power, assuring that a master plan is being fulfilled. As Winston Churchill said, “There is a purpose being worked out here below.” The nations are blind to where these events are leading. But they should know because this message has been proclaimed for over 70 years. But even though the nations fail to heed, you can have God’s protection wherever you may live on Earth.
“And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown …” (Daniel 11:40-41). The king of the north is a united Europe, and the king of the south is radical Islam led by Iran. (Request our free booklet The King of the South.)
Europe will win this war. But that victory will trigger other events. Europe will then ally itself with the moderate Arabs and attack America, Britain and the nation called Israel. Many Bible prophecies thunder this truth.
Then Russia will lead a bloc that includes China and other Asian nations. They know that they are next on Europe’s hit list—the world’s new number one superpower, which likes to attack without warning. Germany has a history of such treachery—and Germany leads the EU. That is the ideal way to win nuclear wars. So Russia and China will gather their armies on the borders of Europe. This move will make Europe intensely nervous! So much so that it will attack Russia and China.
“But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him” (verses 44-45). This is where the rise of Europe and Russia is leading. It is building now even as you read this.
The “tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him”—united Europe. That means the frightening news comes from the northeast. Look on any world map and see who is located northeast of Europe—Russia and China, which will soon unite.
Remember, this is an end-time book (Daniel 12:4, 9). We must understand who these nations are today, or Daniel will have prophesied in vain! So God gives us the specific time factor and the direction of where Europe’s enemy is located!
As you will see in the chapters to follow, these prophecies get far more detailed. And they are being rapidly fulfilled before our eyes. It’s all happening just as Daniel and other prophets prophesied thousands of years ago. Never have we seen so many prophecies fulfilled so fast. How many people are going to believe God?
These events are hurtling toward Jesus Christ’s Second Coming! How magnificent! How wonderful!