What is going on along the Russian/Ukrainian border?
This can all be very confusing to the man in the street, and therefore, while keeping this present article short, I refer my readers to an article I wrote in 2014 which goes into detail about these events, rather than repeating pretty much the same things all over again now; as what is happening is so closely connected with what occurred seven years ago between these two countries. It is impossible to understand the present (2021-2022) crisis on the Russian-Ukrainian border, without understanding not only the events of 2014 but also the history of the relationship between Russia and Ukraine. Only then will the present crisis be understood.
The present article, then, is merely a brief examination, bringing my earlier article up to date. That earlier on is entitled Ukraine, Russia, the US/EU: What’s Going On?
Briefly, then: Ukraine wants to become a member of NATO; but Russia is seeking to prevent this, and also to prevent Ukraine from regaining control of Crimea, which Russia took back in 2014. Since November 2021 the Russians have been carrying out a massive build-up of troops on the border. With 100 000 Russian troops now amassed there, the threat of a Russian invasion is very real.
The European Union (EU) and the United States are supporting Ukraine in the standoff. The EU has warned Russia not to invade Ukraine, declaring that should it do so, the EU would go to war in defence of Ukraine’s sovereignty. And the Biden administration in the US stuck its own nose into the affair as well, as America is fond of doing, with Joe Biden making threats against Russia. Senator Roger Wicker of the Senate Armed Services Committee said America would “rain destruction on the Russian military” if Putin invaded Ukraine. He added that “we don’t rule out first-use nuclear action.” Apart from this boasting politician likely receiving a huge surprise if America actually did this – for Russia is far, far stronger militarily than most Americans and other westerners realise, in no way the washed-up has-been superpower Washington and the American media likes to pretend it is – just pause and consider this for a moment: Biden is permitting a massive invasion of the US’ southern border by hundreds of thousands of illegals from Central and South America – doing nothing to prevent it and everything to actually encourage it – yet he threatens to go to war against Russia if Russia crosses over the border into Ukraine – a country half a world away and no threat to America at all. It would be comical if it wasn’t so tragic. What base hypocrisy.
At a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued the following warning about a possible nuclear war:
“I want to stress it one more time, I’ve been saying it, but I’d very much want you to finally hear me, and to deliver it to your audience in print, TV and online,” said Putin. “Do you understand it or not, that if Ukraine joins NATO and attempts to bring Crimea back by military means, the European countries will be automatically pulled into a war conflict with Russia?” He added that “we also understand that Russia is one of the leading nuclear states, and by some modern components it even outperforms many. There will be no winners. And you will be pulled into this conflict against your will. You won’t even have time to blink your eye when you execute Article 5.” This article provides that if a NATO member is attacked, the other members will come to its assistance.
Putin was deliberately downplaying just how powerful the Russian military is. This has been Russia’s tactic ever since the false “collapse of Communism” and the USSR in the late 80s/early 90s. Russian Communists always take two steps forward and one step back, thereby deceiving the West and lulling it to sleep. Russia is a mighty military superpower, and America would do well to remember that instead of always boasting that it is the “only superpower left in the world.” It is not.
Dmitry Kiselyov, head of the Russian State-owned news organisation “Russia Today”, said: “If Ukraine ever joins NATO or if NATO develops military infrastructure there, we will hold a gun to America’s head. We have the military capability. Russia has the best weapons in the world – hypersonic ones. They’d reach America as fast as US or British weapons could reach Moscow from Ukraine. It would be the Cuban missile crisis all over again, but with a shorter flight time for the missiles.” He went on to say that America would be “turned into radioactive ash” if it did not agree to Russia’s conditions. Even allowing for a little exaggeration, this statement is true enough in the main: Russia’s military capabilities are a match for those of the western powers.
What is the NATO desire for the inclusion of Ukraine all about? All of this present posturing must be understood against the events of 2014 in the very same region. Seven years ago Ukraine was allied to Russia; but then a revolution occurred, backed by the US and the EU, which ousted the Russian-supported Ukrainian president and established an anti-Russian, pro-EU government. This was followed by Russia invading and annexing Crimea, taking it from Ukraine. In all of this the Vatican supported the revolutionaries who took over Ukraine – and now it continues to support Ukraine against Russia, for reasons given in my 2014 article.
The eastern part of Ukraine is predominantly ethnic Russian and thus pro-Russia, while the western section leans towards Europe. NATO, which was formed to contain Soviet expansionism, has become an expansionist monster itself, and over the years has taken into its membership various countries which once came under the Soviet sphere of influence. Russia is now almost surrounded by NATO member countries – which is making Russia very nervous and irritable. For make no mistake: this is not a simple “good guy/bad guy” scenario, with NATO as the good guy and Russia as the bad. NATO is not the “good guy”, any more than Russia is. Both the NATO/EU bloc, and Russia, are Socialist empires today, desiring world domination. My 2014 article explains this in detail. Russia may be threatening war, but don’t for a moment make the mistake of thinking the Ukrainian government is all innocent and decent. It is not.
The idea that the West should stand with Ukraine against Russia is nonsense. The following is an accurate assessment, by Dr Nicholas L. Waddy, associate professor of history at the State University of New York, Alfred: “[T]here is no good reason for the current brouhaha between NATO and Russia over Ukraine. Ukraine has been, for a millennium or so, deep inside the Russian sphere of influence. In effect, Ukraine is Russia’s little brother – headstrong and resentful, but destined to live in the shadow of big, strong Rus, come what may. And we in the West, for some reason, think it’s our business to take Ukraine’s side (of late), and to upbraid Rus for his highhandedness, insisting that he treat his little brother like an equal…. The simple fact is that we interfere with this age-old fraternal bond at our peril, and even more so at the peril of the very people we claim to want to help.” Precisely. American and western Europeans think they can simply march into a centuries-old love-hate relationship and solve it. They can’t, and shouldn’t even try. The world is imperilled because the western powers think they have some kind of divine mission to stick their noses into political and military affairs they neither understand nor can solve. You’d think they’d learn, after over a century of failed attempts in one country after another. But no – they still have the arrogance to think it’s up to them to solve the world’s problems.
“Ukraine is an impoverished backwater, a cesspool of corruption and strategic dead weight,” said Waddy, correctly. Those who think in terms of “Russia bad, Ukraine good” have no understanding whatsoever of the reality in these two countries. Russia is bad, yes, but so is Ukraine. There are no “good guys” here. Not Russia. Not Ukraine. And not the EU/US either.
“Winning [Ukraine’s] allegiance, or defending its independence,” Waddy continued, “is about as useful to the West as staking a claim to one of Jupiter’s moons…. Ukraine ought to be absolutely, positively unthinkable as the ground over which World War III could be fought, with all the dreadful portents for nuclear annihilation such a war would bring with it.” Tragically, the United States views itself as the world’s policeman. It was not its place to be the world’s policeman even when its leadership was far more conservative and decent; and it has no more business attempting to be the world’s policeman today, when it is as corrupt, as dictatorial, and as Socialist as Russia itself, and morally even worse. The world doesn’t need this brutal policeman.
Finally, a word of warning. It is true that the EU/US alliance is not “the good guy” in this standoff. It is an iniquitous political system aiming at world domination for the internationalists. But there are professing Christians today who naively and foolishly believe that Russia has now swung from being Reagan’s “evil empire” to being “the good guy”. It is true that the US/EU alliance is just as much of a political/military “evil empire” today as Russia, and even more so than Russia morally; but it is hard to fathom this foolishness. According to the advocates of this falsehood, Putin isn’t a bad guy after all. In fact, they claim he is a Christian who permits Christianity, and is opposed to sodomy!
This nonsense needs to be firmly opposed and rejected for the lie it is. Putin is no Christian. He is a ruthless dictator who rose up through the ranks of the now-renamed KGB to supreme power. He and his party harness the might of the very powerful Russian Orthodox institution. This is the so-called “Christianity” he supports – Russian Orthodoxy! But since when has Russian Orthodoxy ever been Christian? It has always been a false religious system, the eastern equivalent of the Roman Catholic institution in the west (although nowhere near as powerful or influential): the “State Church” of Russia, under the control of the Communist Party for many decades. Putin permits it to exist and “flourish” only because he controls it totally!
When western professing Christians talk of Putin being a Christian and Russia now being a safe place for Christianity, they reveal not only a complete lack of understanding of how the Russian government continues to operate according to Communism and to advance its own Communist agenda, but quite frankly a lack of understanding of the true Gospel and of biblical Christianity. Russian Orthodoxy is not true Christianity. This cannot be stressed enough. And there is no true freedom of religion in Russia. Russian Christians are still under threat. The fact is, both Russia and the West are now persecutors of Christians.
The world is teetering on the brink of a major war, and it is only the sovereignty of God which has prevented it from breaking out thus far. Whether the Lord will continue to keep the world powers in check, or permit war to break out for His own purposes in this fallen world, remains to be seen. The believer’s trust must be in the Lord alone. The arm of flesh will fail him. Be much in prayer in these ever-darkening days.
(For a much fuller treatment of this crisis, the reader is referred to Shaun Willcock’s article, Ukraine, Russia, the US/EU: What’s Going On? Bible Based Ministries, 2014. Available as a free download from our website: https://www.biblebasedministries.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Ukraine-Russia-US-EU.pdf)
Shaun Willcock is a minister, author and researcher. He runs Bible Based Ministries. For other articles (which may be downloaded and printed), as well as details about his books, audio messages, pamphlets, etc., please visit the Bible Based Ministries website; or write to the address below. If you would like to be on Bible Based Ministries’ email list, to receive all future articles, please send your details.
. Putin threatens nuclear war if Ukraine joins NATO. WND, February 8, 2022. www.wnd.com.
. Understanding the Ukrainian Crisis. Frontline Fellowship, 14 February 2022. www.FrontlineMissionsSA.org.
. Biden to start WWIII over corrupt Ukraine? WND, February 14, 2022.
. Wages of Sin: The World Council of Churches Unmasked, by the Church League of America. Wheaton, Illinois, USA, 1979.