Russia Saber Rattling—A Case of Misdirection Setting Stage for Middle East War?

In the wake of rising tensions, Russia has become increasingly aggressive in its rhetoric and posturing towards the United States. However, it is worth asking the question: Is that explicit (overt) behavior really a cunning case of misdirection designed to veil Russia’s true (covert) strategic plans? And, if so, is it setting the stage for an imminent war in the Middle East—the biblical war of Gog and Magog?

With everything going on in our world today in terms of the pandemic, Great Reset, and New World Order agenda, it is easy to lose a degree of situational awareness when it comes to the more traditional geo-political threats we face. However, given the unprecedented perfect storm that we find ourselves sailing into, that would be a BIG mistake.

When it comes to the more traditional dangers, 2020 has witnessed the apparent escalation of tensions between Russia and the US—tensions that have manifested themselves in a number of increasingly aggressive Russian actions as Putin revs up his campaign of saber rattling. The most recent of these being the large-scale nuclear readiness drills just conducted by the Kremlin.

Let’s take a moment to examine some of these concerning events and explore the distinct possibility that they actually represent a carefully orchestrated campaign of smoke and mirrors designed to obfuscate the true ambition of Russiathe control of the Middle East and its extensive cache of natural resources.

Russia Launches Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles from Nuclear Sub

Less than a week ago, a Russian nuclear submarine successfully test-fired four intercontinental ballistic missiles in a show of readiness of Moscow’s nuclear forces amid rising tensions with the United States.

The Russian Defense Ministry reports that the Vladimir Monomakh submarine of the Pacific Fleet launched four Bulava ICBMs in quick succession from an underwater position in the Sea of Okhotsk. Their dummy warheads hit their designated targets on the Chiza shooting range in the Arkhangelsk region in northwestern Russia, more than 3,400 miles away.

Four intercontinental ballistic missiles are launched from the Vladimir Monomakh nuclear submarine of the Russian navy on Saturday, December 12, 2020, from the Sera of Okhotsk (Source: Russian Ministry Press Service)
Four intercontinental ballistic missiles are launched from the Vladimir Monomakh nuclear submarine of the Russian navy on Saturday, December 12, 2020, from the Sera of Okhotsk (Source: Russian Ministry Press Service)

The Vladimir Monomakh is one of the Russian navy’s new Borei-class nuclear submarines that carry 16 Bulava ICBMs and are intended to serve as the core of the naval component of the nation’s nuclear forces for decades to come.

Russian navy's Vladimir Monomakh nuclear submarine in the Sea of Okhotsk, Russia, taken prior to the practice launch of four intercontinental ballistic missiles (Source: Russian Ministry Press Service)
Russian navy’s Vladimir Monomakh nuclear submarine in the Sea of Okhotsk, Russia, taken prior to the practice launch of four intercontinental ballistic missiles (Source: Russian Ministry Press Service)

However, this was just a part of a broader, large-scale series of drills for Russia’s strategic nuclear forces.

In addition to this test, another Russian nuclear submarine also conducted a practice launch of an ICBM from the Barents Sea, a ground-based ICBM was launched from the Plesetsk facility in northwestern Russia, and Tu-160 and Tu-95 strategic bombers fired cruise missiles at test targets at an Arctic range.

Launch of ground-based ICBM from the Plesetsk facility in northwestern Russia during Russian military drill of its strategic nuclear forces on December 9, 2020 (Source: Russian Ministry Press Service)
Launch of ground-based ICBM from the Plesetsk facility in northwestern Russia during Russian military drill of its strategic nuclear forces on December 9, 2020 (Source: Russian Ministry Press Service)

The drills were seen by many experts as a clear manifestation of growing tensions with the West—especially given that relations between Russia and the West have sunk to post-Cold War lows following Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.

But these drills were just the latest in a year filled with aggressive maneuvers by Putin and the Russian military…

Saber Rattling: 2020 Spotlights Increasingly Aggressive Russian Rhetoric & Posture

In June of this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a new government policy regarding nuclear deterrence—replacing an expiring 10-year-old document—that allows for the use of nuclear weapons in response to not just nuclear attacks but conventional ones as well.

Russian officials reiterated that the fundamental purpose of their nuclear arsenal is to deter potential attacks—nuclear or otherwise—and that these weapons can be used to retaliate against any strike targeting the nation’s critical government and military infrastructure that “threatens the existence” of the country or which could produce “enemy impact on critically important government or military facilities of the Russian Federation, the incapacitation of which could result in the failure of retaliatory action of nuclear forces.”

According to the new policy, such a condition could be established if the government obtains “reliable information” regarding the launch of ballistic missiles targeting Russia or its allies—triggering a potential and permissible nuclear response by Russia.

Or, as Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star), Russia’s official military newspaper, phrased it, “Russia will perceive any ballistic missile launched at its territory as a nuclear attack that warrants a nuclear retaliation.”

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Then, in November, the Russian Navy’s anti-submarine vessel Admiral Vinogradov was involved in a tense confrontation with the USS John S McCain (a US Navy guided-missile destroyer), which the Russian navy asserted was “operating illegally” in a portion of the Sea of Japan that Russia considers to be its territorial waters.

Specifically, Russia claimed the US warship was operating in Peter the Great Bay, which includes Vladivostok and stretches to the country’s border with North Korea.

The US Navy denied this claim, with Lt Joe Keiley, a spokesman for the US Navy’s 7th Fleet, stating that the “USS John S McCain was not ‘expelled’ from any nation’s territory.” He added that the US navy vessel had merely “asserted navigational rights and freedoms in the vicinity of Peter the Great Bay in the Sea of Japan.”

Keiley went on to say that “this freedom of navigation operation upheld the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea recognized in international law by challenging Russia’s excessive maritime claims.”

This is the second time the USS John McCain has been confronted during such an operation in recent months—the first being an incident with China near Taiwan.

US-Russian Tensions: A Case of Strategic Misdirection?

As we noted, analysts are warning that relations between the US and Russia are at post-Cold War lows over the Ukrainian crisis, the accusations of Russian meddling in the U.S. 2016 presidential election, and other differences.

However, Maj. Gen. Andrei Sterlin and Col. Alexander Khryapin, Senior officers of the Russian military’s General Staff, argue that the recent actions by Russia are the direct result of the US-led missile defense program, its active development of long-range non-nuclear weapons, and its plans to put weapons in orbit. They assert that any new capabilities could tempt Washington to strike Russia with impunity in the hope of fending off a retaliatory strike—something now viewed as a critical threat by the Kremlin.

While this may be a source of increasing US-Russian tensions, one must consider the possibility that it is a classic case of misdirection—one intended to distract the world from Russia’s true focus.

Russian Ambitions in the Middle East

We have consistently argued that China is the real threat to America and that the two nations are on a collision course—one that will ultimately lead to a catastrophic conflict. For example, we recommend reading these articles:

While we have also highlighted the growing alliance, or axis of evil, that is developing between Russia, China, and Iran, we believe strongly that—within that pact of cooperation—each has a distinct focus or ambition.

Russia has its eyes on controlling the Middle East—and, ultimately, striking Israel to plunder its growing stores of natural resources and wealth.

This thesis is backed by Scripture, which declares that Russia will lead a coalition of nations in a massive attack/invasion of Israel, known as the war of Gog and Magog:

Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords… After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee. Thus saith the Lord God; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, to take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land… Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord God; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it? And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes… And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord God, that my fury shall come up in my face.” (Ezekiel 38:3-4, 8-12, 14-16, 18)

To learn more about this group of nations that will participate in this war of Gog and Magog, as well as how it all ties into the Abraham Accords, we recommend reading our articles Abraham Accord—What Is God’s Perspective on Peace & Security? and Abraham Accord Deception: Sudden Apocalyptic Consequences?

Now, if you have a strategic objective, the last thing you want to do is tipoff your enemy or attract undue attention to it. To the contrary, you want to mislead your enemies. You want to confuse them and cause them to believe that you have different intentions. In other words, you want to create misdirection through smoke and mirrors.

I believe this is precisely what we are seeing with the rhetoric and posturing that is coming out of Russia.

Their goal is to convince the world that they view the West as the threat and are focused exclusively on mitigating that risk and deterring the US from conducting a “first-strike” against them.

This is actually an ingenious ploy—one that accomplishes two objectives. First, it enables them to continue working in the shadows towards achieving their true ambition—seizing control of the Middle East (viz., Israel). Second, it provides cover to China, who is the one actually working to upset the balance of power and control between themselves and the West (viz., the American empire).

One should bear in mind that Russia is ill-equipped to take on the United States. However, China has quietly and systematically amassed a level of economic and military strength that now legitimately rivals that of the United States.

Russian Activity in Syria

If one peers through all the smoke and mirrors, you immediately begin to identify the increasing and concerning strategic activity of Russia in the Middle East—especially in Syria.

We have discussed in detail the massive military investment Russia is making in Syria in “support” of Syrian President Bashar Hafez al-Assad—including the naval base near Tartus, the extensive logistical distribution network it operates out of Latakia airbase (a.k.a. the “Syrian Express”), and the use of Russian warships to escort Iranian oil vessels inbound to Syria in an effort to circumvent the oil embargo placed on them.

Russia has been providing political assistance (military and “humanitarian” aid) to the al-Assad regime since 2011, as well as direct military intervention since 2015. Russian military forces involved in Syria include the Aerospace Forces, the Russian Navy (Black Sea Fleet & Caspian Flotilla), the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), the Special Operations Forces, the Military Police, Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), the Federal Security Service (FSB), and the Wagner Group.

And Putin is only intensifying his ongoing efforts in Syria. Anton Mardasov, writing for AL-Monitor, posits that “Moscow is hoping the final months of outgoing President Donald Trump’s presidency will allow it an opportunity to reinforce its positions in Syria.”

In addition to modernizing and building-up its Mediterranean and Black Sea naval capabilities, Russia now has boots on the ground operating throughout Syria, including in and around Damascus. In fact, few outside of the region realize that Russia even conducts ongoing patrols along the Syrian Israeli border.

Furthermore, Russia has dramatically increased its “humanitarian” efforts in Syria. Jonathan Robinson, writing for the Atlantic Council, aptly notes that “Russian aid efforts in Syria diversify Russia’s political and military efforts in Syria as well as amplify their foreign policy goals in the region,” rendering this aid ecosystem an “often-overlooked instrument of Russia’s soft power.”

Robinson adds:

By forming a shadow aid system in the country, this seemingly innocuous ecosystem poses an underestimated threat to the humanitarian community and the Syrian people… Russia’s self-sufficient aid ecosystem undermines, devalues, and rivals UN-led efforts in Syria, threatens to erode trust in the wider aid system, and provides a dangerous alternative narrative about the humanitarian environment in Syria for the Bashar al-Assad regime.”

All of this creates a potentially explosive situation, given ongoing Israeli strikes against Iranian activity in and around Damascus, which we discuss in more detail in our article Iran, Israeli Airstrikes & Damascus Prophecy—Sum of All Fears?

We know from Scripture that one of the next prophetic events to be fulfilled is the destruction of Damascus:

The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap” (Isaiah 17:1).

What if Israel, during a strike on Iranian units operating in and around Damascus, hits a weapons cache that results in a massive explosion that destroys the city?

What if it unintentionally strikes Russian troops?

What if it utilizes conventional weapons that could also be equipped with nuclear warheads (e.g., cruise missiles)?

What if Russia acquires “reliable information” regarding such strikes that it deems as “targeting” Russian troops or “its allies” (a.k.a., the Syrian army of Assad)?

Such an event could easily trigger and be used to justify a Russian “retaliatory” strike on Israel—the inevitable precursor to an all-out invasion by its “federation” of Ezekiel nations.


We know we are facing unprecedented threats from the Great Reset and New World Order agenda. To gain further insights into these, we recommend reading our articles:

However, we are facing equally important geo-political threats that are more traditional in nature—threats we simply can’t afford to underestimate or miss altogether.

Folks, don’t be deceived by the misdirection and sleight of hand currently being utilized by Russia.

Russia is not looking for a conflict with the US—that’s China. However, it is creating a powder keg in the Middle East. And when—not if—that keg explodes, it will lead to a massive war in the region… one that will be focused on Israel.

And even if the US considered coming to the defense of Israel (and Scripture makes it clear that her “allies” will only offer up a token show of verbal opposition to the invasion), China—like a cat waiting to pounce—will seize the opportunity to dramatically expand its sphere of control at the same time in a carefully coordinated move that will give America and the West all it can handle.

For more on this scenario, we encourage you to read our article US-China Tensions Escalate: Preemptive Sino-Russian Nuclear Strike Imminent?

We live in an increasingly dangerous world. The fuse has been litwe just don’t know how long that fuse is.

Don’t be deceived by the growing chorus of voices celebrating a new era of peace and safety, security, and prosperity. Global conflict is looming large on our collective horizon and the time to ensure you are fully prepared is now!

As we always warn our readers, being prepared includes not only physical preparation… but spiritual preparation as well.

Scripture clearly foretells that we are on the doorstep of an apocalyptic period of tribulation on earth like that which has never been seen before. The time is now to turn to your heart to God and get saved folks!

We recommend reading these articles if you haven’t already:

Today is your day of salvationyou may not have a tomorrow!

Salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone is the only answer—there is no other means by which you and I can be saved.

Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:4-9)

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Doug is a passionate servant of Christ and holds an MBA, BBA (Summa Cum Laude), and AAcc from Liberty University, as well as an additional two years of study at Bible college. He has over 20-years of corporate finance, accounting, and operations management experience—spanning the public, private and nonprofit sectors. He is proud to have served his country as a member of the 82nd Airborne Division and his local communities as a firefighter/EMT and reserve peace officer—experience that has provided him with a unique skill-set when it comes to emergency medicine, firearms, crisis management, and wilderness survival. Doug enjoys playing the drums, prepping, and spending time with family—especially in the Outer Banks of NC.