Watching Russia

Steven LeBlanc

12 04 2015a

England’s Prime Minister Winston Churchill famously said, “Russia is a riddle wrapped in mystery inside an enigma.”   Russia does not have a western European personality—the Russian people are different—they have strengths and they have their weak points.

And now some fast facts about Russia:

●Russia is enormous; Russia is the largest country on earth in terms of surface area.  To give you a sense of its size, Russia spans 11 time zones –its land mass stretching halfway around the world.
●Russia has about one hundred ethnic groups.
●The official language is Russian but there is 27 other languages co-official in various regions throughout the country.
●Russia has 21 million Muslims—the total population of Russia is 143 million.
Moscow has the largest Muslim population of any European city, with estimates suggesting that between 1.5 and 2 million Muslims live in the Russian capital, (12 million citizens total in Moscow).
America has the largest economy in the world, followed by China–Japan is the third-largest economy in the world. Germany is the fourth.  Russian has the 9th largest economy in the world.
●Russia remains the world’s biggest natural gas shipper.
●12 nations within the European Union rely on Russia for more than half their supply of natural gas.  Millions of European homes are heated with natural gas coming from Russia.
●When it comes to oil, 35 percent of the European Union’s supplies are of Russian origin.

12 04 2015b

 Russia’s pipelines to Europe and Turkey

●Germany’s dependence on Moscow is even higher: the country sources 36 percent of its natural gas imports and 39 percent of its oil imports from Russian energy suppliers.
Half of Russian natural gas exports reach Europe via Ukraine. This is why Ukraine is so important to Europe and to Russia.
●If Russia were to halt imports through the pipelines of Ukraine, the EU could survive for three months on reserves within its borders.
●Russia is Turkey’s biggest foreign source of natural gas, supplying over 50 percent (about 26 billion cubic meters) of Turkish natural gas consumption needs in 2015.
●Russia has the world’s second largest natural gas reserves.
●Russia has 87 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, enough to last it another 75 years.
●Russia rents a naval base from Syria in the port city of Tartus, Syria [this gives Russia a strategic foothold in the Mediterranean Sea]—this is very important to Russia.
●The recent deployment of S-400 anti-air missiles means Russia has effectively imposed a no-fly zone over Syria.
●Over 20 million Russians died in World War 2—14 percent of the population at that time.
●There are over 500,000 alcohol-related deaths in Russia each year.  Russians have a reputation for being heavy drinkers.
●This is sad but true–25% Russians die before reaching the age of 55, compared to just 1% in the U.S., and Vodka is to blame.
●Japan and Russia still haven’t signed a peace treaty to end World War II due to the Kuril Islands dispute.

Russia’s Paranoia

It often said that Russia is a paranoid—fearful of foreign invasion, there are reasons for this that include invasion by outsiders seeking to take control of Russia:

●Russia was first invaded by Batu Khans Mongols in [1237-1240]
●The Swedes and Teutonic Knights jointly invaded Russia in [1240-1242] Russians led by Alexander Nevesky defeated both invaders.
●The Poles invaded Russia in [1605-1606] Polish occupation of Moscow until a Russian uprising in 1618 drove out the Poles.
●Swedes led by King Charles invaded Russia in [1708-1709] Russians led by Peter the Great defeated the Swedes.
●Napoleons French Grand Armee invaded Russia in [1812] Napoleon forced to retreat because of winter.
●The Turks and Germans jointly invaded Russia during WW1 [1914-1918] Russia under Lenin signed peace treaty with Germans. Germans left Russia after WW1.
●Hitler’s Wehrmacht invaded the USSR in (1941-1945) and were driven out by the Red Army in 1944 led by Commanders Zhurkov, Konev and Chuikov.
See—How many times Russia was invaded.

In our next blog we will continue our discussion of Russia and its role in end-time events.

Daniel 11:44 tells us that, “news from the east” will greatly trouble the king of the North (European dictator). Prophecy indicates that, Russia, China and other nations from the East will turn to confront Europe militarily, meeting at Armageddon (Revelation 16:12-16). These millions of troops will be united in their hatred of the returning Jesus Christ. They will surge against Him and be destroyed at Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:1-4; Revelation 19:17-21).


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