Televangelist Pat Robertson said Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin was “compelled by God” in his decision to invade Ukraine, suggesting that Russia’s attacks are a precursor to an end-times battle in Israel.
The Christian media mogul returned to “The 700 Club” a few months after he retired from the show he hosted for 55 years on the Christian Broadcasting Network. In his return, Robertson claimed that Putin was simply following God’s wishes when Russia invaded Ukraine — to fulfill a biblical prophecy.
“I think you can say, well, Putin’s out of his mind. Yes, maybe so,” said Robertson, 91. “But at the same time, he’s being compelled by God. He went into the Ukraine, but that wasn’t his goal. His goal was to move against Israel, ultimately.”
Robertson then cited verses from the book of Ezekiel that note how nations will come together to rise up against Israel, suggesting that Ukraine is merely a “staging ground” for an eventual Armageddon battle.
“God is getting ready to do something amazing,” he said. “And that will be fulfilled.”
A spokesperson with the Christian Broadcasting Network did not immediately respond to a request for comment early Tuesday. A clip of the segment posted to Twitter had been viewed more than 2 million times as of Tuesday morning.
Robertson’s comments come as Ukraine has suffered 1,500 civilian and military casualties since the attack began, Biden administration officials told U.S. lawmakers Monday. In Kyiv, residents are bracing for an all-out assault as the Russian force, under the command of Putin, a president whose country has quickly become an international political and economic pariah, is apparently preparing to encircle the capital.
As the invasion has unfolded, some Fox News personalities have been criticized for their sentiments on Ukraine. Before the invasion began, several Fox hosts wagered that the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine was manufactured to distract from the Biden administration’s domestic political issues.
In a recent interview with former president Donald Trump, Laura Ingraham said that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pleading with Putin to not invade the country was a “pathetic display.” Tucker Carlson recently shifted his tone on Putin after he downplayed the invasion and asked Americans why they should hate the Russian president.
The takes from her colleagues has led to Fox News national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin fact-checking her network’s hosts and pundits.Fox News’s Jennifer Griffin fully loses her patience with Fox’s Ukraine punditry
It’s hardly the first time Robertson, a former Republican presidential candidate, has claimed that the end of the world was near. The televangelist startled his audience in 1980 when he told them he knew exactly when the end was coming.
“I guarantee you by the end of 1982 there is going to be a judgment on the world,” Robertson said at the time. But 1982 came and went without the “judgment” Robertson referenced.
In 2006, Robertson relayed an inaccurate prediction he said he received from God about a possible tsunami devastating the Pacific Northwest, according to the Associated Press. The next year, he said God told him there would be a terrorist attack on the United States: “The Lord didn’t say nuclear. But I do believe it will be something like that.” According to his 1990 book, “The New Millennium,” Robertson predicted that the world would end on April 29, 2007. Again, the world was not destroyed.
Perhaps the most politics-centered prediction came in October 2020, when Robertson said God told him that Donald Trump would win the presidential election — and that an asteroid would destroy Earth afterward.
“What I think very frankly is the only thing that will fulfill the word of Jesus … is some kind of asteroid strike on the globe,” he said at the time. “It’s sudden destruction. It’s not going to be some nuclear war. We’re not going to be allowed to blow this Earth up.”
On Monday, Robertson again indicated that the end of the world was near, thanks to Putin and Russia. Although Turkey has issued a statement of support for Ukraine and is not backing Russia’s invasion, Robertson claimed without evidence that Turkey would “come together” with Russia. He went on to say how the area that includes Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey “is going to be mobilized against Israel in the latter days.”
“And God says, ‘I am going to deal with it,’ ” Robertson said.
He added: “Is Putin crazy? Is he mad? Well, perhaps. But God says, ‘I’m going to put hooks in your jaws, and I’m going to draw you into this battle, whether you like it or not.’ And he’s being compelled after the move into the Ukraine. He’s being compelled to move again.”
Despite the lack of evidence in Robertson’s claims, the televangelist urged viewers to “watch what’s going to happen next.”
“You read your Bible, because it’s coming to pass,” he concluded.