Why Is Putin Rewriting World War II?

Over the last few weeks, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been pushing a new theory about World War ii: It’s all Poland’s fault.

The push began on December 20. The Polish government, he said, was “pursuing their mercenary and exorbitantly overgrown ambitions.” This “laid their people, the Polish people, open to attack from Germany’s military machine, and, moreover, generally contributed to the beginning of the Second World War.”

Since then, the war over World War ii has escalated. It overshadowed the Holocaust commemorations in Jerusalem and Auschwitz over the last week—with Poland’s president pulling out of the Jerusalem ceremony because Putin would be speaking, and he wouldn’t.

This rewrite of history is important for more than just historians. It tells us something critical about modern Russia.

A more traditional description of the start of World War ii states that Russia and Germany got together in August 1939 and divided Eastern Europe in half. Germany would invade from one side; Russia from the other. By agreeing to carve up Eastern Europe, Russia helped start World War ii.

But Putin said that this was all wrong. Russia only invaded eastern Poland to help the Poles, and prevent the territory from falling into the hands of the Germans. He conveniently forgot to mention the fact that Russia rounded up 22,000 Polish military and civilian leaders and had them all shot.

In signing an agreement with Adolf Hitler, Russia wasn’t acting any different from the West, Putin argued. After all, Western leaders signed an agreement with Hitler the year before, allowing the Nazis to take over Czechoslovakia. Abandoned by everyone else, Russia had no choice but make its own deal.

There’s so much about this that is wrong. There’s a massive difference between the West’s dangerously misguided attempt at a peace deal—the Munich Agreement—and Joseph Stalin’s dangerously misguided invasion of his neighbors. The West was trying to stop a war; Stalin was trying to start one. Furthermore, Stalin’s Russia had been working to help Germany militarize since the 1920s. Its 1939 deal with Germany was the culmination of years of cooperation.

I could spend the whole article debunking Putin’s new theory, but there doesn’t seem much point. I doubt many actually believe him. And the more important questions are: Why is Putin rewriting this history? And why now?

This rewriting of history comes at the same time that Putin is rewriting his country’s Constitution.

In “Putin the Czar Is More Dangerous Than Ever to the U.S.,” United States Adm. James Stavridis (Ret.) wrote: “Vladimir Putin will be the czar of all the Russians for another decade and more. Only health appears likely to change the course upon which he now sails. … Much like President Xi Jinping in China, Putin will now be able to shape events and planning indefinitely.”

This gives Russia a very stable platform on which it can plan for the future. Stavridis continued:

When I was a strategic planner in the Pentagon as a junior rear admiral, we did high fives if we managed to construct a strategic plan of just five years (which most often fell apart if the administration changed). For Russia, there will still be a single hand on the tiller. While that will have many disadvantages … it creates a streamlined decision-making process that often allows long-term planning to succeed.

This kind of streamlined administration would be especially effective in times of war—something Geopolitical Futures founder George Friedman drew attention to in “Russia’s Puzzling Moves.” “In this sense Putin’s restructuring of the Russian government makes sense,” he wrote. “It was an unwieldy bureaucracy that would have difficulty aligning its economy with military action. Therefore, it is reasonable to wonder whether Putin’s attempts to redefine history and the government were designed as preparations for war, or for victory by intimidation.”

He connected Mr. Putin’s rhetorical attack on Poland with this preparation for intimidation:

It is revealing, however, that Putin felt it necessary to reopen the question of who started World War ii at this time. Putin is not a casual man, so he didn’t do this carelessly. After announcing the shakeup of the Russian regime, he decided to charge Poland, France and the UK with responsibility for World War ii, cleansing Russia of any wrongdoing in allying with Hitler. …

By raising the question of how World War ii started, Russia is trying to change the perception of Poland from a victim nation to a historical aggressor. And by so doing, Putin may also be warning the Poles, and the Americans as well, not to believe for one minute that war is out of the question.

The target of this war, in Friedman’s opinion, could be Belarus. Right now, Belarus is semi-detached from Russia. It occasionally flirts with more independence. If it were to switch sides, a Belarussian power hostile to Russia would be a massive threat. Its armies would be just a brief stroll from Moscow.

So Putin may be getting ready to end that semi-detached status.

But that semi-detached status gives Poland some security. Russian troops can march into Belarus any time they want. But with Russia in complete control, those soldiers could be stationed permanently at Poland’s borders. If Russia tries to take complete control of Belarus—even if it’s a diplomatic push—it would mean a crisis for Poland, and all of nato. A whole eastern chunk of nato would become almost indefensible.

It’s an issue big enough that both sides may be willing to threaten war. “Belarus is important enough to Russia to consider military action—and the two countries have staged huge war games near Poland’s border in the past,” Friedman wrote. “Poland may see any such move as indicating war, if not now then later.”

Regardless of whether or not Putin does something in Belarus, Friedman made a great point. Putin is an aggressive leader who wants to expand Russia’s power; these changes help him do that. Even his rewriting of history puts a much more positive spin on a Russian attempt to expand its borders.

This expansionism is a key aspect of Mr. Putin’s character that Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has focused on. The Bible forecasts there will be a leader in Russia with exactly this kind of mindset.

Ezekiel 38:2 talks about the “the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.” A better translation of this phrase would be “the prince of Rosh, Meschech and Tubal.” Rosh is a biblical name for Russia. Meschech refers to Moscow, a region of Russia. Tubal refers to another region of Moscow, around Tobolsk, near the Tobol River.

In The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia,’ Mr. Flurry writes:

So who is this “prince” of Russia, Moscow and Tobolsk? The use of all three names shows that this is an individual ruler of all the peoples of Russia, from the west to the east. The reference to the cities of Moscow and Tobolsk helps us see how vast Russian territory is in these latter days.

This giant swath of land indicates the prince will probably conquer more nations of the former Soviet Union.

Ezekiel 38:2 reveals that the prince of Rosh is an expansionist-minded individual; he wants to bring in more territory. And that’s exactly what we see in these recent changes from Putin.

Perhaps Putin knows that he will have to work with Germany to do this. By revising the history of Russia’s last major cooperation with Germany, he could be preparing the Russian people for another Hitler-Stalin-like pact.

Russia’s leader is also confirming another aspect of what the Bible forecasts.

The Bible makes clear that in this end time Russia has a close alliance with China. Bible prophecy discusses “the kings of the east” forming a massive 200 million-man army. Ezekiel 38—the same chapter that talks about this “prince of Rosh”—gives more details about this relationship.

Herbert W. Armstrong first wrote about the Russia-China axis in the June-July 1934 issue of the Plain Truth magazine, one of its earliest productions. “[T]wo great military powers [will] arise in the last days—one the revival of the Roman Empire by a federation of 10 nations in the territory of the ancient Roman Empire; the other … Russia, with her allies … possibly China or Japan,” he wrote.

Based on Bible prophecy, Mr. Armstrong forecast that Russia and China would form an alliance. At times the two powers have been close to war with one another. Toward the end of the Cold War, they were outright enemies.

But now look at their relationship. Admiral Stavridis wrote in his Bloomberg piece: “Of most concern to the West, [Putin] and Xi can now deepen their already tight relationship with the advantage of a long, long runway. Militarily, China and Russia are cooperating as never before ….”

Just over a week ago, Niall Fergusson described the strong relationship between the two in the Sunday Times, writing, “No two world leaders see one another more frequently. Xi has even called Putin his ‘best friend.’”

We need to watch this “prince of Rosh.” He is a biblically significant figure in the end time. But more than that, the Bible has specific prophecies about this one man. By watching him, you are watching the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. His actions are proving that the Bible, a book written thousands of years ago, is the inspired Word of God and has relevance for your life today.

To learn more about Vladimir Putin and what the Bible says about his immediate future, read our free booklet The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia.’


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