The following article was published just before the Iraq war in The Hindu, a national newspaper of India. While the report is said to be "speculation," I include it here because it matches, better than my expectations, the picture of the anti-Christ's intrusions into Iraqi affairs as per Daniel 11:21-23. This is not to say that Primakov or Putin is the Gog/anti-Christ, necessarily, but that the anti-Christ won't fulfill the prophecy much better. Like Primakov as portrayed below, the anti-Christ will use intrigues bent on usurping the Iraqi leadership:

Russian plan for Saddam exit
By Atul Aneja
MANAMA FEB. 26 [2003]. In holding discussions with the Iraqi President, Saddam Hussein, over the weekend, the former Russian Prime Minister, Yevgeny Primakov, may have proposed a realistic formulation that could help in averting a U.S.-led attack on Baghdad...

For Mr. Primakov, his talks were in some ways a replay of 1991 when he had been asked to undertake a trouble-shooting mission by Moscow, to ward off the first Persian-Gulf war. The former Russian Premier, who was also the one-time chief of the KGB, is a West Asia expert and is known to be Mr. Hussein's personal friend.

There is considerable speculation in diplomatic circles in the region about the specific proposals that Mr. Primakov brought before Mr. Hussein on behalf of the Russian President, Vladimir Putin. But according to one view, Mr. Primakov addressed the question of Iraqi disarmament and explored the possibility of ensuring Mr. Hussein's honourable departure from the Iraqi centre-stage. Mr. Primakov, in his effort to address the question of Iraqi disarmament and "regime change", started with the assumption that Mr. Hussein would not accept voluntary exile as an option to defuse the crisis...

Without seeking his voluntary exile, it is likely that Mr. Primakov proposed to Mr. Hussein that he could continue as Iraq's figurehead President for another year.

But during this time-frame, he should consider appointing a new interim authority where all Iraqis, including some of those who were at present in exile, were represented.

This body, in turn, needed to draft a new democratic constitution and hold fresh elections.

Mr. Hussein, after the lapse of a year, could retire by choosing to reside in one his palaces under an international guard. While his movements thereafter would become circumscribed, Mr. Hussein's financial assets, under this arrangement would continue to remain protected.

Russia is expected to launch a diplomatic offensive to "sell" these ideas, especially to Germany, France and the United States, in case Mr. Hussein finds the broad thrust of these proposals acceptable.

Note the article claims that the "figurehead" offer to Saddam was made higher up by Russian President, Putin. Thus, Russia seems to be in the midst of manipulating the Iraqi regime, to secure a Russia-friendly check the pro-West regime desired by George Bush. The timing of Primakov's visit to Saddam, weeks before the start of the Iraq war, could reflect the obvious, that Russia hopes to secure a pro-Russia regime before George Bush can win the war and install his choice.

One wonders how great a motivator the Russian-Iraqi alliance was for Bush when deciding (in 2002) to send a fighting force to Iraq. Putin's deals with Saddam had included a 40-billion dollar bargain (in August of 2002) that gave Russian companies the green light to repair and enhance Iraq. That deal amounted to such solid Russian-Iraqi cooperation that promises of huge oil deals between Saddam and France were canceled and offered to Russian firms instead (before the end of 2002). These Russian intrusions into Iraqi industry were shoring up Saddam at the very time that President Bush was seeking to undermine him.

What will Russia now do in order to protect its great trade interests with Iraq? Some Russian military commanders are already speaking fighting words against the American-led coalition. One certainty is that Russia will seek United-Nations assistance to secure a new regime that will not capitulate on previous trade committments. The Americans--if indeed they do set up their pro-West regime--would be inclined "stick it" to the Russians seeing that they have been the mother of all pickles in the war effort.

If the Russians fail to get their way using the UN, there is yet the option to act unilaterally (apart from UN involvement) with the tatters of the Iraqi regime. When that regime is finally led by the Biblical Gog, it would nonetheless be answerable to UN oversight...which of course will not permit Gog to raid the Middle East.

Therefore, it is predictable on the one hand that Gog will fulfill the military prophecies against the will of the UN, and on the other hand it's not predictable whether the official Russian leaders will stay true to UN authority (or side with Gog, secretly or otherwise). If there will be a loyal partnership between Gog and the official Russian leaders, those leaders will feign loyalty to UN oversight of the Iraqi situation.

Iraqi Leader: Belarus Helped Iraq
By Judith Ingram
The Associated Press, May. 7, 2003. Page 2
...[Vremya Novostei] Allawi is one of five anti-Hussein leaders with whom U.S. officials have been consulting over the formation of Iraq's interim government, and he is expected to be one of that government's leaders... Allawi alleged that some Russians had "severely harmed the Iraqi people," and pointed in particular to former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, whom he accused of defending Hussein "for personal profit"..."We have almost full certainty that Primakov received certain sums from Saddam for this [defending him]," Allawi said, without elaborating. The interview, which Vremya Novostei political columnist Yelena Suponina conducted in Baghdad, did not say what Allawi's allegations were based on. Speculation about Primakov's alleged self-interest in Iraq have floated around for years. (Full Story at