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In this article I am going further than I have done before in drawing back the veil, and will be focusing on two main aspects: the character of the man who is President, and the history of how he came to occupy this prominent position.

How Vladimir Putin came to power

Many have wondered how Vladimir Putin ‘came from nowhere’ to reach the heights of the Russian system. This fascinating award-winning 45 minute documentary explores how he came to exercise the unparalleled influence he now exercises in Russia.

Vladimir Putin’s religion

Unlike former Soviet leaders, Vladimir Putin makes no secret of his (relatively new found) faith. I watched an Easter service a few years go in which he specially apologised to the Orthodox Church for the years of state persecution. Purely a ploy and a ‘nationalist convenience’ or something much more deeply held? This link to a 14 minute video provides an interesting account of Vladimir Putin discussing his Christian Faith in his own words. As such it is obviously important in contributing to our overall understanding of the man and his outlook.

A Strong Reaction to the Doping Scandal

The scale of the corruption in Russia is widely recognised as being huge. It is interesting that it was over a matter of sport (athletics) that the issue has recently returned to the fore (with similar concerns over Sepp Blatter’s remark that the decision that the World Cup was to be hosted in Russia in 2018 had already been decided before any votes were cast.)

In the light of recent trends, the Russian response to the doping scandal was predictable; initial denials, followed by the promise (threat) that those guilty of such practices would be held to account.

Russian media makes flat out denials re the sports doping scandal

List of Russia’s responses to the doping scandal

That, however, was followed by something infinitely more disturbing on Thursday 12th November, the day before the decision was taken to suspend it. Apparently “accidentally,” details were released on television of of a new nuclear torpedo that Russia is now developing which could apparently contaminate the entire American coast. It is impossible to believe that such material could possibly be broadcast by mistake on state Russian television news.

See this report from the BBC

On the other side of Vladmir Putin’s chess table: Gary Kasparov

This former chess grand master is one of Vladimir Putin’s most vociferous critics. He no longer regards it as safe to live in Russia, and has written extensively on why he believes Vladimir Putin is  threat to world peace. As a sample of the warnings that he has sounded, see this article in der Spiegel, and this one in The Atlantic.

You can read more about Russia on our button on the Malvern Mashal, Russia

There are many other themes I would like to have referred to in this brief overview, but I hope that each one may make its mark in our lives, and help us to pray for the people as well as the issues concerned.

Keep Vladimir Putin and indeed all ministry to the Russian people in prayer. Anti-western attitudes are increasingly being fed to them through the state media causing a general hardening of heart. From what we can gather, the nations feels a long way from the longed for revival. May there be no corresponding hardness against the gospel, but rather the reverse, and for the day to come when many Russian believers pour out of the country, taking the gospel with them, as has indeed long been prophesied.