Dont be fooled – Putin isn’t going anywhere.

Since a very public announcement from Putin a day ago, questions have been raised as to how true this announcement is.

Acute observers have made the point that Russia isn’t actually withdrawing much, and that fixed strategic assets like the S-400which just happens to be the most important military asset – will remain just where it was setup only a few months ago. The S-400 allows Russia to control much of Syrian and Israeli airspace, and it also gives Russia an dominant edge over any Turkish-Syrian conflict. Not even the US has anything that can combat the S-400.

A withdrawal? I don’t think so.

I made the comment earlier that while Russia seems to be reducing its active military operations, it is effectively leaving behind a highly scalable contingent meaning that wouldn’t be too hard for Russia to sweep down harder and faster at another time.

The CS Monitor makes the same point:

the door will remain open for a swift return, should Moscow deem it necessary.

Daniel and Ezekiel describe the Russian invasion as swift as a ‘whirlwind’, and a ‘storm’ – and we now see that the infrastructure is in place for such an invasion.

In an article entitled ‘Don’t trust the Russian pullback’, Bloomberg makes the point that Putin did the same thing during the Ukraine war; he said he would withdraw forces from Ukraine – and nothing happened.

Putin used a similar signaling method in June 2014, as talks were beginning to hammer out what became the first Minsk cease-fire for eastern Ukraine. Late that month, Putin asked his rubber-stamp upper house of parliament to withdraw permission for him to conduct military actions in Ukrainian territory. Russia never officially conducted any, though Russian troops, instructors and weapons were even then being sent to aid pro-Moscow rebels in eastern Ukraine. Nonetheless, Putin, according to his spokesman Dmitry Peskov, considered the announcement an appropriate gesture as negotiations between the rebels, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe were beginning.

If you were in any doubt that Putin was employing the same strategy, hear it from the mouth of the Moscow Times;

The Russian Air Force will continue to conduct strikes on terrorist targets operating in Syria, the Defense Ministry said on Tuesday, one day after President Vladimir Putin announced a partial withdrawal of his forces from the war-torn republic.

Given the amount of speculation, it would be premature to simply believe either US or Russian propaganda, but in the mean time, Daniel 8:25 gives us an insight into the kind of king that will rule in the latter day – and it describes just the kind of behaviour that we see from Putin.

“And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.”

Finally, its also important to remember that while we tend to place much emphasis on Russia as a yardstick for the return of Christ, that Russia may not even invade until after Christ has returned. A more accurate sign of the imminent return of Christ is found in Revelation 16 – read more about that here.