The future for Ukraine seems bleak at the moment. The riots there can most probably be blamed on the working of a powerful nation which is determined to have this country under its sway. That Nation is Russia and Bible Students expect Ukraine, once part of the U.S.S.R, to be strongly linked to Russia at the time of the return of Christ.
The Ukraine is surprisingly big; since the breakup of the Soviet Union, it is the largest country in Europe, followed by France. It is of great interest to Russia for at least two reasons;
Firstly, it is strategically placed for the increase of Russian influence in the World; in fact, one commentator stated that Ukraine was the key to restoring a Greater Russia.
Secondly, the highly militarised port city of Sevastopol provides the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, making it of great strategic importance and a bone of contention between the two races. Many Russians still consider Sevastopol to be a Russian City.
Not surprisingly, then, Russia would want to have very close links with the Ukraine. So the decision of the Ukrainian President in 2013 must have come as quite a shock . The Ukraine was, and still is, in a very poor financial state and was searching for anyone who would be willing to help bail them out. To this end the Ukrainian President declared that instead of closing ties with Russia, he was going to sign an "Association Agreement" with the European Union (EU). The agreement would have committed the EU and the Ukraine to creating a Free Trade Area that would lead to more trade and investment between the Ukraine and the other member states of the EU. He announced this to the Press and it all looked as though the Ukraine, instead of being under the shadow of Russia, would break free and make steps to join the EU.
Customs Union- Eurasian Union- Greater Russia
This was disastrous for President Putin’s plans to expand Russia’s ‘Customs Union’ which is planned as the first step towards his ‘Eurasian Union’ which would rival the EU. The Kremlin’s ultimate goal appears to be the re-building of a new empire that covers a specifically “Eurasian” civilization – a unique pan-national culture between Asia and Europe. The Customs Union is to be followed, in 2015, by the even more integrated Eurasian Union which is nothing more than the resurrecting of Greater Russia as a world power on par with the United States, European Union and China. Russia has therefore been putting pressure on Ukraine by demanding payment of a debt of $1 billion for gas supplies, and threatening to raise the price of gas this winter, whilst also placing restrictions on Ukrainians entering Russia.
Not surprisingly the President of the Ukraine made a U-turn and turned his back on the EU agreement in favour of a deal with Russia, so that at a stroke, Russia maintained its controls on the region and blocked the EU's Eastward expansion.
What was surprising was the response of the Ukrainians. On Nov 21st it was announced that it would not sign a deal aimed at strengthening ties with the EU and on Nov 30thprotests started which have gripped the Nation ever since.
It seems plain that the hand of Russia is very obviously at work here, but not everyone sees it this way and some paradoxically, blame the West
Quotes from different sides of the barriers …(BBC News)…
"We don't want fighting, we don't have guns," says Alex, who was in the crowd that night. He says he had gone to protest against corruption, against the law restricting public protest and to demand more democracy.
"In the evening, the police, with help from their 'friends', started fighting young protesters," Alex tells me. "People don't want Yanukovych to stay in Ukraine as our president. We are not extremists. We are not crazy people. We only want to live in a normal country."
It’s all the West’s fault
"When protesters throw Molotov cocktails, they call that democracy," a man called Viktor points out to me. "Well, in that case, firing rubber bullets at them is democracy, too. Those extremists are funded by the West. Why doesn't the West mind its own business? First Syria, then Libya and Kosovo, and now Ukraine: it's all the West's fault."
Which way will Ukraine Jump?
Whoever governs Ukraine, has a difficult path to tread.
The carrot:- On 17 Dec: Russia offered a carrot by agreeing to buy $15bn of Ukrainian government bonds and slash the price of gas it sells to the country. Will this be finally accepted by the Nation as sufficient reason to stay with Russia?
The stick:- If this doesn’t work there is always the threat of Russia’s demands for the repayment of the $1 billion for gas supplies, plus a raising of the price of gas throughout the present winter.
We cannot say what will be the outcome of the present stalemate but one thing is certain and that is that the Ukraine, dwelling in part of the land once inhabited by Magog of old, will be with Russia when as Gog it descends on Israel in the very near future.
Ukraine covers some of the territory occupied by the ancient Scythians, and thus identifies itself as the Magog mentioned in Ezekiel 38. Both the Russians and the Ukrainians see the Scythians as their “glorious ancestors,”. The Bible states that this country will accompany Russia to play a key role in the invasion of Israel as prophesied in Ezekiel 38. Ukraine’s time appears to be nearly here. As this ‘so called sleeping Elephant’ awakes; it emerges bleary eyed onto the world stage of awakened nations; little does it realise what its future will bring.
Magog an extract from the Testimony Magazine May 2004
Magog was one of the sons of Japheth, the descendants of whom populated the European continent: “The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal,and Meshech, and Tiras” (Gen. 10:2). According to Josephus, Magog can be identified with the Scythians: “Magog founded those that from him were named Magogites, but who are by the Greeks called Scythians” (Antiquities of the Jews, Book I, VI, 1).
The Scythians were located primarily along the northern shores of the Black Sea. This area corresponds roughly with southern Russia and Ukraine….
Magog is the land from where Gog, the leader of the invasion against Israel, comes: “Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal,and prophesy against him” (Ezek. 38:2). The Scythians had invaded Israel during the reign of Josiah, and Gog will be a latter-day Scythian, moving south against Israel just as the Scythians did of old.
Magog will be defeated by Christ and the saints: “And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD” (39:6). However, Magog will not be completely destroyed. At the end of the millennial reign the nations will rebel against Christ and the saints. This will be a secular, military rebellion reflecting the dragonpower of the Eastern Roman Empire of old.
Succeeding by stealth
President Putin has shown himself adept at using ‘diplomacy’ and cunning to obtain his ends, for example the carrot and the stick shown above. The prophecy of Daniel also speaks of the Russian ruler describing him as ‘the little horn of the goat’ who will overcome by devious means. “And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many” (Daniel 8 v. 25)
We can thus expect Russia, the future invader of the Holy Land, to use not only military might but also more subtle methods to get his way; so its not surprising that Mr Putin is keeping his real motives for backing Syria and Iran and bullying the Ukraine, close to his chest.
The Czar of all the Russias
It seems clear that President Putin wishes to make a name for himself as a great Leader and to do that he must elevate Russia to stand among the great power blocs of the world
President Putin, or a similar figure in control of Russia, at the head of the mighty army described in Ezekiel 38:14-16, will come against the Lord Jesus Christ at Jerusalem and be utterly destroyed. The prophecy of Daniel describes his type accurately, ch 8: 24-25 tells us of the ‘stern faced King and master of intrigue’ which shall arise ‘at the latter end’
23 "In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a stern-faced king, a master of intrigue, will arise.
24 He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people.
25 He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power.(NIV)
This prince of Princes is the Lord Jesus Christ and the prophecy of Daniel in an earlier chapter tells us that he is to come and set up a world-wide Kingdom which shall never end
(Dan 2:44) And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
The breaking in pieces of these kingdoms will bring about a tremendous upheaval for the whole world, in fact Daniel is told of this in Ch12:1 1 ¶ there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
A time of trouble coming soon!
Today we have a choice- do we wish to be delivered from the trouble to come, do we want to be in this Kingdom or not? If we do we must take heed of the Signs of the Times; read the Word of God and take heed to the Gospel of the Kingdom of God taught by His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. For if we listen to his words and obey them, then we too have the great hope of reigning with him in the Kingdom to come.