There is some debate in prophecy circles as to the identity of Gog, Magog, Meshech, Tubal, etc. from Ezekiel’s prophecy of chapters 38, 39. I am of the belief that history bears out that the sons of Gomer did indeed settle in the area known today as the former Soviet Union. Therefore, I believe that events in Russia are important prophetically. Could Putin be the earthly leader of the land of Magog, with Gog being the demonic prince empowering him in the spirit realm? Only time will tell.

Pastor Kevin

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End Times News Update
Sign: King of the North (Russia news)
Scripture: Ezekiel 38:3-9
News Source: MyWay News
===============================================================================
Putin to run for Russian presidency in 2012

Sep 24, 10:04 PM (ET)
By JIM HEINTZ

MOSCOW (AP) – Vladimir Putin’s decision to reclaim the presidency next
year sets up the possibility that he could rule Russia until 2024 and
foreshadows a continuation of the strongman rule that many in the West
have called a retreat from democracy.

Although Putin departed the Kremlin in 2008 due to term limits and
moved about two kilometers (1.5 miles) down the road to the prime
minister’s office, in a sense he never left at all. He cannily used
Russia’s state-controlled national TV channels to remain the country’s
pre-eminent political figure, with appearances portraying himself as a
bold adventurer in Russia’s wilderness, a vigorous advocate of the
country’s global importance and, occasionally, as a bit of a rogue
consorting with scruffy motorcyclists.

His hand-picked successor as president, Dmitry Medvedev, appeared as
little more than a tame youngster in comparison – enthusing about
Twitter and issuing earnest statements about the need for reforms, but
achieving few tangible results.

“He didn’t do anything important, and I’m pretty sure they didn’t let
him do anything,” said Vyachelsav Mazurkov, who was spending a cool
fall afternoon in a Moscow park soon after the congress of Russia’s
dominant political party approved Putin’s candidacy. Although Medvedev
had shown flashes of independence, particularly in denouncing the
corruption that flourished during Putin’s presidency, he was seen by
many as simply a placeholder while Putin bided his time until he could
legally return.

If he wins the March 4 election – a near-certainty given his
popularity and mastery of Russia’s political system – Putin will
return to a presidency even more powerful than when he left. In 2012,
the presidential term will be extended to six years from four; he
would be eligible to serve two terms and just a few weeks shy of
turning 59, the avid martial-arts fan’s health appears robust.

In nominating Putin, his United Russia party also approved his
proposal that Medvedev take over Putin’s current role as prime
minister, the No. 2 government position.

Putin’s return to the presidency would be unlikely to ease Russia’s
dispute with the United States over the building of a European
missile-defense system and other issues. Economic pressures, however,
could push Putin to pursue reforms aimed at attracting more foreign
investment, analysts said.

During his presidency, Putin ruled Russia with a steely command,
bringing about a system known as “managed democracy” that saw
opposition politicians all but eliminated from the national eye. His
personal popularity aided his maneuvering. Many Russians view Putin as
the strong, decisive figure needed by a sprawling country troubled by
corruption, an Islamist insurgency and massive economic inequality.

The presidential election is preceded by national parliamentary
elections on Dec. 4, in which United Russia will seek to retain its
dominance; the party has 312 of the 450 seats in the current
parliament. The period for formal submission of presidential
candidates’ names has not yet begun, and it is unclear who might
choose to challenge Putin for president.

As president, Medvedev called for improvements in Russia’s unreliable
court system and for efforts against the country’s endemic corruption.
But his initiatives have produced little tangible result. Moving
Medvedev to the premiership could set him up to take the brunt of
criticism for austerity measures that Putin has warned will be
necessary for Russia amid global economic turmoil.

Medvedev’s advisers, likely to lose influence if he moves to the
premiership, were clearly disappointed that he would not have another
term in the Kremlin to try to continue pursuing reforms, and bristled
at political maneuverings.

Medvedev’s presidency held hopes for change, “but our political elite
made a different decision and chose the path to so-called stability,”
Yevgeny Gontmakher of the Medvedev-established Institute for
Contemporary Development think-tank said on Ekho Moskvy radio.

“This filthy deal of the country’s supreme authorities is a blow to
the institution of the presidency,” Kremlin-connected analyst Gleb
Pavlovsky told the radio station.

However, a spokesman for the powerful Russian Orthodox Church praised
the move lavishly.

“This is a real example of goodness and morality in politics, an
example that could be envied not only by our predecessors, people who
lived in Soviet times, but citizens of the majority of countries in
the world, including those who try to teach us,” Father Vsevolod
Chaplin was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

Putin’s return to the presidency would likely continue or even
strengthen the “managed democracy” system he installed in his first
stint as president. Under it, opposition parties face high obstacles
to winning seats in parliament; of the four parties currently in
parliament only the Communists, whose support is dwindling, act as a
genuine opposition force.

Opposition groups’ attempts to hold rallies are rarely approved by
authorities and unsanctioned gatherings are quickly broken up by
police. All major television channels are under state control and
rarely present opposition views.

Under Medvedev, Russia’s relations with the West have been less tense,
even though there has been little change in Russia’s domestic
politics. The improved relations with Washington largely reflected
President Barack Obama’s “reset” initiative. It is unclear if Obama
will win a second term next year to continue the policy with Putin in
the Kremlin.

Despite Medvedev’s statements of reformist intent, Russia remained
under strong Western criticism. A report by the U.S.-based NGO Freedom
House last year said “there has been a steady erosion of the content,
if not the formal institutions, of Russian democracy.”

In a visit to Russia in March, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden exhorted
Russians: “Don’t compromise on the basic elements of democracy. You
need not make that Faustian bargain.”

The U.S. also wants to put elements of a missile-defense system in
Europe, saying it is needed to counter the threat of attack from rogue
nations such as Iran. But Russia has disputed the need, saying the
defense missiles could instead be aimed at it, a stance that is
unlikely to change with Putin back at the presidency.

Putin started a carefully orchestrated series of maneuvers at
Saturday’s session of the party congress in a Moscow sports arena by
proposing that Medvedev head the party list for the December
elections. Medvedev then proposed that Putin be the party’s
presidential candidate, and Putin returned to the stage to accept the
proposal and express support for Medvedev as prime minister.

On his return to the stage, he found the microphone had been turned
off temporarily, but said with a smile “I will speak louder. My
commander’s voice has not yet been lost.”

The congress approved the moves with no apparent opposition. Despite
growing discontent among ordinary Russians with the party, United
Russia exerts such an overwhelming presence in the country’s politics
that Putin’s election and Medvedev’s switch to the premiership are
virtually ensured.

Many connect Putin with Russia’s turnaround from post-Soviet poverty
to prosperity, largely driven by high prices for Russia’s vast
supplies of oil and natural gas. But growing awareness of the need to
move beyond a natural-resources economy could force Putin in a new
term as president to pursue reforms, some analysts say.

“I expect Putin will establish a very pro-business and pro-reform
Cabinet,” said Chris Weafer, chief strategist of the Russian
investment bank Troika Dialog.

Putin also proposed Saturday that Russia’s richest citizens face
higher taxes. The flat income tax that came into effect during Putin’s
2000-2008 presidency has been widely praised as improving tax
collection and Putin’s proposal would not change that, but he called
for increases in consumption and real estate taxes that hit the rich
comparatively harder.

Vladimir Isachenkov and Lynn Berry in Moscow contributed to this report.

Source: My Way News
URL: http://apnews.myway.com/article/20110925/D9PV8O8O0.html

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