Today there is growing animosity between Russia and the West—Europe, Britain and the United States. Some experts note that “China, Russia, India, Turkey, Iran, and others are seeking to carve out a new space for themselves in the newly emerging international system, as the United States is struggling to redefine its place and identity in the new world” (Oxford Research Group, January 2, 2018). “Although the West continues to possess the power of influence, Western leaders have not been effective in using such power. Instead of devising a strategy of selective engagement and recognition, they largely rely on containment and political confrontation in relations with Russia.” Regardless of the causes, Russia is being pushed away from the West and toward nations aligned against the West.
Just 14 years ago, Russian president Vladimir Putin referred to Europe as Russia’s “natural, most important partner” (Institute for Security Studies, 2004). What happened in the intervening years, and why has Russia gone from a friend of the West to a perceived foe?
The answer may be found in the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. The Apostle John prophesied that at the end of the age, a 200-million-man army north and east of the Holy Land would attack the end-time European Beast power in a devastating conflict that would kill a third of mankind (Revelation 9:13–18; Daniel 11:40–44). This army will likely comprise troops from some of the world’s most populous nations east of the Euphrates River (see Revelation 16:12), including China—and it may take Russian military hardware and know-how to support and transport such a vast army. While some are surprised by Russia’s relatively rapid pivot from west to east, it is also sobering to witness the increasing animosity between Russia and the West in the light of what Bible prophecy has long foretold. For more insight into Russia’s fascinating future, read “What’s Ahead for Russia?”