UPDATE: 2 March 2014: A column of Russian Army BTR-80 armored personnel carriers enroute to Simferopol can be seen in this this Video taken by Ukrainian citizens. They are identical to the Russian armored column in the image above. Over 80 Russian helicopter gunships (the MI-24 'Hind', MI-28 'Havoc' and Ka-50 'Black Shark' among them) were caught on video invading Ukraine two days ago. In the face of this invasion the new Ukrainian government of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk in Kiev has called up 1 million reservists to join the regular army this morning saying that Russia's actions in the past two days are a "declaration of war."
NATO SecGen Anders Fogh Rasmussen called for an emergency meeting in Brussels, Belgium for Sunday morning. Rasmussen declared the Russian actions in Ukraine are a "violation of the principles of the U.N. Charter." Ukraine's military is no match for Russia which has now deployed 15,000 of its best troops into Crimea. Crimea has been lost before Ukraine could fight for it with Ukrainian troops now out-numbered by a 5:1 ratio. The Donetsk region of the Ukraine is also on Putin's priority hit list and its only a matter of time before Russian troops cross the border in large numbers. it should be another interesting day full of rapid developments.
For Christians these events should be a klaxon blaring yet another very last days wake-up call. These events provide crystal clear evidence that the geographic-political-military divide between the Western and Eastern alliances spoken of by God to the prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 38:13) is staring all of us directly in the face. Here we have "Gog of Magog" coming to take Ukraine as a spoil of war by means of a military invasion, and the West offering nothing more than meeting and meeting among themselves and empty rhetoric. No example of this nonsense was more poignant than that of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's appearance on NBC's "Face The Nation" program this morning! Once again, at a time of acute crisis, Barack Hussein Obama has performed his disappearing act. None of us should have any illusion about what time it is.
1200 EST 1 March 2014: About one-half hour ago (11:30 AM EST), as I was typing the "My Forecast" at the back end of this update (an update of the 27 February update assessing "an intact and independent and Pro-Western Ukraine might not survive to see the dawn on March 3rd," when the alerts arrived noting that the Russian Parliament had just approved Russian President Vladimir Putin's request, as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, for military intervention in Ukraine.
At the same time the Russian Parliament has issued a demand for President Putin to immediately recall the Russian Ambassador from his post in Washington, D.C. I suspect the Ambassador of the Russian Federation, Sergei I. Lislyak, a hold-over career diplomat of the former communist Soviet Union, will be wheels-up and airborne on his way back to Moscow before the sun sets in Washington, D.C. today.
As forecast, the next military phase of the Russian invasion and conquest of independent Ukraine has now commenced. In less than 24-hours Vladimir Putin has called both President Obama's incredibly impotent warning about the un-named "costs" to be borne by Russia for its continuing aggression against the Ukraine, as well as the equally anemic warning from Secretary General Rasmussen of NATO concerning the ongoing invasion of a NATO partner.
Perhaps they all need to be reminded of the mutual defense treaty (a/k/a The Budapest Memorandum) between the US, UK and Ukraine to defend its borders signed in Budapest on 4 February 1994 by (left to right in the image below) Boris Yeltsin (Russia), Bill Clinton (USA), Leonid Kuchma (Ukraine) and John Major (UK). Since the first Russian troops (Spetsnaz) crossed into the Ukraine at midweek, followed by the airlift of reinforcements that arrived yesterday morning, Russia has been in blatant violation of the specific clauses of The Budapest Memorandum. Funny how neither the American President or the British Prime Minister have referenced this treaty in any recent public comments. For its part Ukraine has clearly called for it to be upheld.
0700 EST 1 March 2014: Most media have been reporting that 2,000 Russian troops were deployed into the Crimean Autonomous Republic of Ukraine over the past 24 hours. The Ukrainian defense ministry is saying the number is closer to 6,000 troops.
What I have been able to determine through independent data mining is that Crimean airspace was suddenly closed early yesterday morning and all scheduled commercial flights were cancelled. Shortly after this between 800 and 1100 Russian combat troops onboard a minimum of five IL-76 (NATO Name: Candid) transports landed at the Gvardeyskoye military airfield just north of Simferopol. One intrepid and very brave Ukrainian actually took a relatively close up cellphone image in the dark of night of the IL-76 aircraft to confirm the internet report of the landing at Gvardeyskoye. Other Russian troops, possibly as many as 2,500 onboard a minimum of eight additional IL-76 Candid aircraft, landed at another military airfield near Sevastopol. Add in the number of Russian naval commandos that deployed into Crimea and the Ukrainian defense ministry figure of 6,000 "invading" Russian troops becomes quite credible.
These were the last internet reports that came out of Crimea yesterday as what I believe were Russian Spetznaz (Special Forces) operations simultaneously shut down several Ukrtelecom communication stations at various locations in Crimea thereby eliminating all telephone, cellphone and internet links to the outside world. This action was confirmed by the UNIAN (Ukrainian Independent Information Agency) news agency before it began to censor its content, as well as by reports that US military and intelligence community is also scrambling to learn what is going on in Crimea and southern Ukraine.
Perhaps most telling that all is not as serene in southern Ukraine as Moscow would have the rest of the world believe, here is an English-language translation of something I found on what I believe was the Russian Foreign Ministry website. This confirms that armed resistance to the Russian takeover occurred early this morning at the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Simferopol, Crimea (via Bing Translator):
My forecast:"The Russian FOREIGN MINISTRY statement on the events in CrimeaIn Russia are extremely concerned about recent developments in the Crimea.On the night of 1 March, unidentified gunmen aimed from Kiev, an attempt was made to capture the building of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. As a result of blatant provocation there are affected. Thanks to the determined action of the militia attempted seizure of the POLICE was averted. Most confirms the desire of prominent political leaders in Kiev to destabilize the situation on the peninsula.Encourage those who give such orders from Kiev to show restraint. Believe it is irresponsible to further aggravate the already tense situation in the Crimea."
1.) This is so much like Hitler and the Sudetenland in 1938 - Russia NEEDS the Crimea to fold the whole of Ukraine back into its reconstituting empire.
2.) There is no way Ukraine gets to keep Crimea and most of southern Ukraine; in fact, I think Ukrainian survival as an independent nation is about as assured as was Poland's independence at 4 AM on the morning of September 1, 1939. Nazi Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine units opened fire 45 minutes later, and by 8 AM the Wehrmacht Heer crossed the Polish border at the village of Mokra; the rest is recorded history.
27 February 2014: A Russian Spetsnaz-led "false flag" operation has obviously been in execution for the past 24 hours. Unless loyal Ukrainian military forces begin to intervene against this invasion of Ukrainian sovereignty, an intact and independent and Pro-Western Ukraine might not survive to see the dawn on March 3rd. The Polish government will likely react with more vigor to these new facts on the ground than the Obama Administration.
24 February 2014: The Ukrainian crisis has entered a very dangerous phase and has become a focal point of a new EU/US confrontation with the Russian Federation. The image above illustrates the potential for a division of the Ukraine along a North-South axis. This image is based upon a 2001 census of native Ukrainian language speakers (bold yellow) as opposed to areas (oblasts) where the Russian language predominates (light yellow or white). In the current scenario the North is seen as aligning itself with the EU/US/NATO and the South is seen as aligning itself with Russia.
UPDATE Part II - The Ezekiel Factor: In these last days whenever a significant number of Russian military forces are reported to be OTM (On-The-Move) I will always pay very close attention to it and there is a very specific prophetic reason to do so. Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum has long taught, and I have long agreed with him, that the meaning of Ezekiel 38:4 relates to a sudden change in the strategic objective for Gog's confederation of forces.
"I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords."Gog's military intent is to move his marshaled forces in a direction other than south towards Israel, but God suddenly and directly intervenes and turns Gog around with the symbolic hooks (chach lechiy - plural, more than one hook!) in his jaws and leads them to destruction on the mountains of Israel. Taken from my "The Prophetic Road to Revelation (Part IV):The War of Gog of Magog," in the subsection entitled "When God Goes to War," I wrote the following:
"I am compelled to make a specific note at this point that there is not just one hook or one jaw, but plural "hooks" and "jaws." There are more than one hook and more than one jaw, or many hooks and many jaws. Secondly, the "hook" is not necessarily a "fish hook" as we might imagine. The Hebrew word is chach can mean a ring, like a nose ring as found Ezekiel Ch 29:4, or a bracelet, and both of which were run through the nose of wild animals in order to tame them. Often in Old Testament times a rope was attached to the ring or the bracelet to lead the animal to where the trainer wanted it to go. The next Hebrew word to note is lechiy which is a reference to the cheek of a man, or the jawbone of an animal."
It's not much of a war in that the Gog confederation's forces arrive over Israel like a cloud covering the land and just as suddenly are dispatched to their eternal fate. So it is, I believe, that it will be with the suddenness of the re-direction of Gog's forces. This scenario conforms to what I also believe about Ezekiel's prophecy occurring prior to the 70th Week. There are indeed other factors involved in the fulfillment of this prophecy which have not yet been met, but the marshaling of Russian forces for one potential objective makes this current event one to keep a very close eye on because undoubtedly it will occur again when all of the Ezekiel 38/39 circumstances are properly aligned in the near future.
I also have no doubt that in this era of high resolution satellite reconnaissance an extremely large force as described in the prophetic word of Ezekiel simply cannot go undetected as it is assembled, even at the lesser force component (brigade and battalion) levels. Once massed and OTM (On-The-Move) such a force would be simple to detect via a plethora of electromagnetic, infrared and optic sensors. Large forces cannot and do not go into movement without these signatures. This is what is now occurring with respect to Russian military forces and the situation in Ukraine.
19 February 2014: The above image may invoke thoughts about the apocalypse, but is actaully an image taken this morning in Independence Square, Kiev, Ukraine. Here is my periscope view on what is occurring in the Ukraine, a brief recent history on what has led to this, and the result likely to be witnessed in the prophetic fulfillment of Ezekiel 38/39.