Meeting the Bear of Daniel 7:5
The second beast the Prophet Daniel is introduced to is the bear. It is not a nice bear, but instead a bear that is in the process of consuming three ribs. Some would argue that those three ribs are Nazi Germany (defeated in 1945), Hungary (revolution quelled in 1956) and Czechoslovakia (revolution quelled in 1968). The "Warsaw Pact" nations would hold together from 1945 through 1986 when the felling of the Berlin Wall served to be the beginning of the end. However, as we did code searches on the Soviet Union, we were able to collect very little information. When we did code searchers on Russia, we got a lot of hits. It turns out, the codes have a lot to say about Russia, and in these files, we will begin to learn about them.
The reason the Bear is mentioned second is because the Russia we know of today got its start in the 16th Century with the advent of the Romanov dynasty under Peter the Great and later Catherine the Great. Called Tzars (Russian for Caesar), they ruled under the standard monarchy model. Conversely, the British Lion is mentioned first because that nation got its effective start when William the Conqueror crossed the English Channel from Normandy (in Northern France) and began the conquest of England at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. That is why the Lion is the first beast and the Bear is the second beast.
That seemed a little strange to us because at the end of World War II, the Soviet Union appeared to consume a number of nations. If you take a look at the map to the right, you will see a pictorial representation of the Warsaw Pact (signed in 1955) nations in red. The nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are in blue. The nations in red were then termed "The Iron Curtain." Effectively, it turned out to be every country the Soviet Union "liberated" from Nazi Germany by the Soviet Union in 1944-1945. The agreement at Potsdam, Germany would split Germany and the rest of Europe in two. It was interesting that Marshall Tito never brought Yugoslavia into the Warsaw Pact, while General Franco the effective dictator of Spain and Presidents Korner and Scharf of Austria refused to bring their countries into NATO. In Austria's defense, they had Soviet troops patrolling their country until 1955. Indeed, everyone would rightly think that the Soviet Union was indeed, the Bear of Daniel 7:5. Study the political cartoons of the Cold War and you will frequently see Russia and the Soviet Union represented as a bear, just like the U.S. Democratic Party is represented by a donkey and the U.S. Republican Party is represented by the elephant. However, in 1968 the Warsaw Pact started to crumble. Albania left the Warsaw Pact and aligned itself with China, and in the 1970s, the economic problems of East Europe, coupled by the prosperity of the West caused a lot of people to start thinking about dumping the Russian Communist solution. That crash came in 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed.
Yet, when you look at the politics of post-Soviet Russia, it seems like the Bear symbol became even more popular than it was in the Cold War. Various political sources in Russia in 1991 reported that when the Russians were working on re-establishing itself, they seriously considered using a bear as its logo. At the end of their discussions, they finally decided on the more traditional double eagle logo (pictured to the right). However, that did not stop the United Russia Party from adopting the bear symbol for the logo of their party emblem.
When Boris Yeltsin was president, we had to wonder why Russia, the bear nation was so important? Most political analysts did not consider him a very effective president. During his presidency in the 1990s, the country languished. When Vladimir Putin got into the government, we again saw the Russia the bear make its mark in the world stage. In fact, Mr. Putin has proven to be a shrewder leader than most of his Soviet predecessors, including Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Lenin and even Stalin. We now see Russia as a major player on the world stage. Recently, we saw them parade out a new cruise missile system that can fire missiles from cargo ships and trucks. They have also developed a new battle tank and are improving many of their other weapons.
Prime Minister Putin has taken over the world stage from the ineffective Lion country leaders Theresa May and Barak Obama (who has insulted most of the West and spends too much time dealing with the Middle East--He was in trouble politically, as well). Donald Trump has had good relations with Mr. Putin and they seem to understand each other. However, the caravan on the United States' southern border has proven to be real interesting. How President Trump handles the situation will go far in deciding what kind of president he really is.
Russia's influence in the Middle East has been growing, especially with the reaffirmation of their treaty with Syria and their new arms deals with Iran. Their upgrade in relations with these two nations has brought about some discussions among Bible scholars about the Ezekiel 38-39 scenario.