This is part two of a two-part newsletter. Here is the link for part one.
“There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen” (Vladimir Lenin).
“They took counsel together to devise a plan, but it came to naught. They talked about a strategy, but it will not stand, for God is with us!” (Isaiah 8:10)
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, the President of the Russian Federation, recently gave two addresses in the Kremlin, one on February 21, 2022 and one on February 24, 2022.
In the first address, he outlined what he sees as Ukrainian and Western threats to Russia. He then warned the West of measures Russia was about to take. At the end of his speech, he recognized the independence and sovereignty of the regions which broke away from Ukraine in Donetsk and Lugansk under Russian oversight and military support. The subsequent ratification of these two Treaties of Friendship and Mutual Assistance now paved the way for ‘legal justification’ of Russia’s planned invasion of the rest of Ukraine three days later, on February 24, 2022.
In Putin’s second address on February 24, 2022, he classified the current situation as a ‘clear and present danger’ to Russia’s security and survival. He then announced that Russia was invading Ukraine:
- The people’s republics of Donbass have asked Russia for help. In this context, in accordance with Article 51 (Chapter VII) of the UN Charter, with permission of Russia’s Federation Council, and in execution of the treaties of friendship and mutual assistance with the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic, ratified by the Federal Assembly on February 22, I made a decision to carry out a special military operation . . . To this end, we will seek to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine, as well as bring to trial those who perpetrated numerous bloody crimes against civilians, including against citizens of the Russian Federation . . . It is not our plan to occupy the Ukrainian territory. We do not intend to impose anything on anyone by force.
Putin has triggered a land war in the heart of Eastern Europe. Michael Kofman (Research Program Director in the Russia Studies Program at CAN, Fellow at the Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center, Washington, DC) states: “This is not an operation limited to the Donbas. It is a military operation with maximalist war aims, whose aim is regime change.” A senior U.S. defense official said, “We haven’t seen a conventional move like this, nation-state to nation-state, since World War II, certainly nothing on this size and scope and scale.” “It’s our assessment that they have every intention of decapitating the government and installing their own method of governance, which would explain these early moves towards Kyiv.”
In light of the fact that President Putin has been both ‘telegraphing’ his moves and openly carrying them out, his other declarations and threats in these two speeches will now be considered. The following quotes are from the above-linked transcripts of Putin’s two addresses.
“Russia’s enemies – sub-human and evil”
Western leaders possess “attitudes that are directly leading to degradation and degeneration, because they are contrary to human nature.” The West has “low cultural standards and arrogance.” “Where did this insolent manner of talking . . . come from, . . . this contemptuous and disdainful attitude?”
“A stable statehood has never developed in Ukraine. Its electoral and other political procedures just serve as a cover, a screen for the redistribution of power and property between various oligarchic clans. Corruption . . . has gone beyond the usual scope in Ukraine. It has literally permeated and corroded Ukrainian statehood, the entire system, and all branches of power.”
“Neanderthal and aggressive nationalism and neo-Nazism . . . have been elevated in Ukraine to the rank of national policy.” Ukrainian authorities are “radicals [who have become] increasingly brazen in their actions.”
Ukraine’s “nationalists who have seized power have unleashed a persecution, a real terror campaign against those who opposed their anti-constitutional actions . . . A wave of violence swept Ukrainian cities, including a series of high-profile and unpunished murders . . . But we know their names and we will do everything to punish them, find them and bring them to justice.”
“Ukrainian society . . . far-right nationalism . . . rapidly developed into aggressive Russophobia and neo-Nazism. This resulted in the participation of Ukrainian nationalists and neo-Nazis in the terrorist groups in the North Caucasus and the increasingly loud territorial claims to Russia.”
“The Kyiv authorities . . . have opted for aggressive action, for activating extremist cells, including radical Islamist organizations, for sending subversives to stage terrorist attacks at critical infrastructure facilities, and for kidnapping Russian citizens. We have factual proof that such aggressive actions are being taken with support from Western security services.”
“The Ukrainian authorities . . . began by building their statehood on the negation of everything that united us, trying to distort the mentality and historical memory of millions of people, of entire generations living in Ukraine. It is not surprising that Ukrainian society was faced with the rise of far-right nationalism, which rapidly developed into aggressive Russophobia and neo-Nazism.”
“The United States and other Western partners . . . immediately tried to put the final squeeze on us, finish us off, and utterly destroy us. This is how it was in the 1990’s and the early 2000’s . . . before we broke the back of international terrorism in the Caucasus! We remember this and will never forget”
“The leading NATO countries are supporting the far-right nationalists and neo-Nazis in Ukraine . . . They will undoubtedly try to bring war to Crimea just as they have done in Donbass, to kill innocent people just as members of the punitive units of Ukrainian nationalists and Hitler’s accomplices did during the Great Patriotic War.”
“The purpose of this operation is to protect people who, for eight years now, have been facing humiliation and genocide perpetrated by the Kyiv regime . . . We had to stop that atrocity, that genocide of the millions of people who live there and who pinned their hopes on Russia, on all of us. It is their aspirations, the feelings and pain of these people that were the main motivating force behind our decision to recognize the independence of the Donbass people’s republics.”
“Russia is facing a life and death threat”
“The US-built Maritime Operations Centre in Ochakov makes it possible to support activity by NATO warships, including the use of precision weapons, against the Russian Black Sea Fleet and our infrastructure on the entire Black Sea Coast.”
“American strategic planning documents confirm the possibility of a so-called preemptive strike at enemy missile systems. We also know the main adversary of the United States and NATO. It is Russia. NATO documents officially declare our country to be the main threat to Euro-Atlantic security. Ukraine will serve as an advanced bridgehead for such a strike . . . The Pentagon has been openly developing many land-based attack weapons, including ballistic missiles . . . If deployed in Ukraine, such systems will be able to hit targets in Russia’s entire European part. The flying time of Tomahawk cruise missiles to Moscow will be less than 35 minutes; ballistic missiles from Kharkov will take seven to eight minutes; and hypersonic assault weapons, four to five minutes. It is like a knife to the throat. I have no doubt that they hope to carry out these plans.”
“For the United States and its allies, it is a policy of containing Russia, with obvious geopolitical dividends. For our country, it is a matter of life and death, a matter of our historical future as a nation. This is not an exaggeration; this is a fact. It is not only a very real threat to our interests but to the very existence of our state and to its sovereignty. It is the red line which we have spoken about on numerous occasions. They have crossed it.”
“The showdown between Russia and these forces cannot be avoided. It is only a matter of time. They are getting ready and waiting for the right moment. Moreover, they went as far as aspire to acquire nuclear weapons. We will not let this happen.”
“I would like to be clear and straightforward: in the current circumstances, when our proposals for an equal dialogue on fundamental issues have actually remained unanswered by the United States and NATO, when the level of threats to our country has increased significantly, Russia has every right to respond in order to ensure its security. That is exactly what we will do.”
Russia threatens her enemies
“I reiterate: we are acting to defend ourselves from the threats created for us and from a worse peril than what is happening now.”
“If Ukraine acquires weapons of mass destruction, the situation in the world and in Europe will drastically change, especially for us, for Russia. We cannot but react to this real danger, all the more so since, let me repeat, Ukraine’s Western patrons may help it acquire these weapons to create yet another threat to our country.”
“Ukraine’s accession to NATO and the subsequent deployment of NATO facilities has already been decided and is only a matter of time. We clearly understand that given this scenario, the level of military threats to Russia will increase dramatically, several times over. And I would like to emphasize at this point that the risk of a sudden strike at our country will multiply.”
“The old treaties and agreements are no longer effective. Entreaties and requests do not help.”
“Those who then embarked on the path of violence, bloodshed and lawlessness did not recognize then and do not recognize now any solution to the Donbass issue other than a military one . . . We want those who seized and continue to hold power in Kyiv to immediately stop hostilities. Otherwise, the responsibility for the possible continuation of the bloodshed will lie entirely on the conscience of Ukraine’s ruling regime.”
“Today’s Russia remains one of the most powerful nuclear states. Moreover, it has a certain advantage in several cutting-edge weapons. In this context, there should be no doubt for anyone that any potential aggressor will face defeat and ominous consequences should it directly attack our country.”
“They did not leave us any other option for defending Russia and our people, other than the one we are forced to use today. In these circumstances, we have to take bold and immediate action.”
“I would now like to say something very important for those who may be tempted to interfere in these developments from the outside. No matter who tries to stand in our way or all the more so create threats for our country and our people, they must know that Russia will respond immediately, and the consequences will be such as you have never seen in your entire history. No matter how the events unfold, we are ready. All the necessary decisions in this regard have been taken. I hope that my words will be heard.”
“At the end of the day, the future of Russia is in the hands of its multi-ethnic people, as has always been the case in our history. This means that the decisions that I made will be executed, that we will achieve the goals we have set, and reliably guarantee the security of our Motherland.”
The plans of a Tsar
What does Putin mean when he says the following “We will seek to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine, as well as bring to trial those who perpetrated numerous bloody crimes against civilians, including against citizens of the Russian Federation”?
Demilitarization means that Ukraine will no longer be allowed to have an army which can defend itself against Russia. That would turn Ukraine into a puppet colony of Russia.
De-Nazification means the removal and/or assassination of Ukraine’s leadership, which Putin classifies as neo-Nazi. A senior U.S. defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “It’s our assessment that they have every intention of decapitating the government and installing their own method of governance, which would explain these early moves towards Kyiv.” Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Russian “sabotage forces had entered the city to hunt him and his family down.”
“Bring to trial” means that Putin is planning to have show trials similar to those hosted by the Soviet Union (the Moscow Trials of the Great Purge period – 1937–38) where guilty verdicts were unanimous and pre-approved.
Putin has made two threats to use nuclear weapons against the West in his speeches. The latest and strongest one was on February 24, 2022: “The consequences will be such as you have never seen in your entire history. No matter how the events unfold, we are ready. All the necessary decisions in this regard have been taken. I hope that my words will be heard.”
On Sunday February 27, 2022 Putin further announced, “I’m ordering the Defense Minister and Chief of the General Staff to switch the Russian army’s deterrent forces onto a high alert mode of combat stand-by duty.” This command was publicly announced, raising missile alert preparedness to Russia’s nuclear forces.
According to a former head of Britain’s MI6 external intelligence agency, Alex Younger, President Putin is “playing poker rather than chess” to create options for himself. “At the moment I cannot see a scenario where he can back down in a way that satisfies the expectations that he has created . . . It feels dangerous and it’s clearly getting more dangerous. It’s hard to see a safe landing zone given the expectations that President Putin has created.”
Not much has changed since 1944
The observations of George Kennan (former U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union) made in Moscow of 1944 are penetrating in their insight. They shed helpful light on the mind, perspectives and strategies of both Russia and President Putin.
“Soviet leaders have never forgotten the weak and vulnerable position in which the Soviet regime found itself in the early days of its power . . . These left in Soviet minds an indelible and undoubtedly exaggerated impression of the dangers which threatened Soviet power from without. Fed by the traditional Russian mistrust of the stranger . . . this feeling of fear and insecurity lived and flourished and came to underlie almost all Soviet thought about the outside world.”
Russia’s goals focus on “the concrete task of becoming the dominant power of eastern and central Europe.” They involve “new territorial acquisitions designed to strengthen Russia’s strategic and political position, and in the creation of a sphere of influence even beyond these limits. In drawing up this expansionist program, Soviet planners leaned heavily on the latter-day traditions of Tsarist diplomacy . . . The men in the Kremlin have never abandoned their faith in that program of territorial and political expansion which had once commended itself so strongly to Tsarist diplomatists.”
Geographic and military strategic goals include: “the re-establishment of Russian power in Finland and the Baltic states . . . eastern Poland, a protectorate over western Poland . . . the establishment of dominant Russian influence over all the Slavs of central Europe and the Balkans . . . intended to prevent the formation in central and eastern Europe of any power or coalition of powers capable of challenging Russian security.”
“For the smaller countries of eastern and central Europe, the issue is not one of communism or capitalism. It is one of the independence of national life or of domination by a big power . . . It is not a question of boundaries or of constitutions or of formal independence. It is a question of real power relationships”
On the edge of a cliff
Vladimir Putin is a world-class poker player playing the game of his life here. He is going toe-to-toe with world leaders who are not as able to project similar sang froid – cold-blooded purpose and unflappable intensity. The lives of many are hanging in the balance, as does the balance of nuclear terror and mutually assured destruction. As we speak, the citizens of Ukraine are resolutely withstanding the unsheathed fist of Russia’s military juggernaut, paying dearly in blood and destruction. It is time to be praying with all sobriety.
How should we then pray?
- Pray for clarity, discernment and revelation concerning demonic plans taking shape in the heart of Europe
- Pray for divine strategies to be given to those who hold the decisive keys
- Pray for wisdom for the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, USA and NATO as they weigh options and make decisions
- Pray for the sparing of many lives and the extinguishing of satanic flames
- Pray for the raising up of Ezekiel’s prophetic Jewish army throughout the earth
Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.
In Messiah Yeshua,
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