Russian elections are slated for March 18 and, while current President Vladimir Putin is expected to win his fourth 6-year term in office, he is facing his stiffest challenge ever from Alexei Navalny, an outspoken critic of alleged corruption in the Putin administration.
However, news released on Monday indicates Navalny has been banned from elections due to a conviction in a fraud case thought to be political retribution.
Navalny has spent most of the year in a grassroots campaign, aimed at outlying areas who tend to view Putin less favorably. Because the Putin administration controls the media, polls show Putin’s approval rating at about 80%. However, it is believed that Navalny has widespread support, particularly in rural areas, and that he could pose a significant challenge to Putin. Appeals are being made to allow him on the ballot.
So, what do we make of this news?
From a Bible prophecy standpoint, it certainly brings light once more to the Ezekiel 38-39 scenario. While it is much too soon to declare Vladimir Putin as the prophetic “gog of Magog,” he certainly has the characteristics of the czar who will eventually lead the coalition from the north in attack on Israel.
Should a less-czar-like Navalny be allowed to run, might it signal a stall in the formation of the Northern Coalition? Might it change the dynamics in relationships among allies in the Syrian chaos?
Given the power vested in Putin, it is difficult to imagine a scenario in which Putin fails to be re-elected, particularly if he is successful in keeping Navalny off the ballot. But, this is a situation to keep an eye on, in light of Bible prophecy. We are living in a season that seems to signal the very last days, short of the Lord stretching the length of time to allow others to come to saving faith.
The Lord is notslow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
~2 Peter 3:9
Let’s make 2018 a year of prayer and seeking God’s guidance in these last days!