Vladimir Putin is now the supreme Czar of Russia. Humanly speaking, no one can stop his lust for power. The only serious contenders to defeat him in Sunday’s elections were actually far worse than he, though I realize that hardly seems possible. But make no mistake: a red storm is rising once again. Washington doesn’t seem to know how to handle the situation. Nor do most world leaders. But as followers of Jesus Christ, we must show great love and compassion for the Russian people at this critical time. Let us pray for the Gospel to be spread through all of Russia. Let us pray that Russians turn to Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. Let us pray for the harassed and oppressed and persecuted believers throughout Russia to be strengthened and emboldened to serve Christ faithfully and to make disciples and plant churches without fear. Russia has just taken a turn to the dark side. They may be moving steadily towards the prophecies of Ezekiel 38-39 and the judgment of Mother Russia, though it is too soon to say for certain. Either way, Christ commands us to love them whether they are our neighbors, or our enemies. Let us be faithful to the task.
“Russia’s opposition has vowed to continue protests alleging widespread irregularities after a tearful Vladimir Putin claimed victory in an election that will see him return for a third term as president,” reports the Financial Times. “Preliminary results on Monday, with nearly all precincts reporting, gave the former spy who has dominated Russian politics for the past dozen years 63.7 per cent of the vote. That represents a comfortable victory with no need to go into a second round….Mr Putin won 71 per cent of the vote when last elected president in 2004.”
“These are not going to be honest elections, but we must not relent,” said Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, as he voted in Moscow. “Honest elections should be our constant motto for years to come.”
Putin’s “victory” is even more troubling when you consider who the top alternatives were. In second place was Gennady Zyuganov, the head of the Communist Party, who received 17% of the vote. In third place was Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the anti-Semitic, fascist, ultranationalist, who received 7% of the vote.
This is modern Russia — embracing a KGB thug, a Communist and a fascist. The people have “voted.” Now the drama begins.
(Photo By RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Government Press Service)