Rav Shternbuch Shlit"a Continues About Crimea and Geula
If you haven't yet, see what he said on Purim. See also what Rav Fish said about this.
My translation of the latest article from Kikar:
In the latest words that the Ra'avad of the Edah Haharedit Hagaon Rav Moshe Shternbuch spoke, he related to the capture of the Crimean Peninsula by the Russians and said that the matter testifies the soon coming of Mashiah.See also the Mashiah is Coming blog who quoted Behadrei Haredim with a similar article.
In the beginning of his words, Rav Shternbuch spoke about the sin of Leshon Hara and especially in circumstances when people are speaking evil against Gedolei Hador, as he asserts that the prayers of those who speak evil are not heard [in Shamayim]. "What is the guilt of all the Geonim and Tzadikkim of the generation that they should be so punished that they should speak so much Leshon Hara against them?" asked the Ra'avad. And he said that the matter comes in order to increase their merits as for those Tzadikkim, it's not a punishment.
At this point of his words, Rav Shternbuch switched to deal with the capture of the Crimean Peninsula by the Russians and said: "Our rabbi, the Gr"a, said close to his death that when the Russians will capture Crimea, we will know that this is a sign for the footsteps of Mashiah.
"It's accepted from the Gr"a that when Russia gets stronger, then Tum'a gets stronger. The Kelipa of Russia is 'Dubiel' who inherited the Kelipa of Persia, and since they are Greek Xtians, they in turn have mixed in with them the Kelipa of Yavan with Edom," said Rav Shternbuch. He added, "Also, the author of 'Binyan Olam', Rav Yitzhak Isaac Haver, the student of the Gaon Rav Hayim of Volozhin ZT"L said before his death to his student Rav David Luria ZT"L that 'If the Russians will capture the entire city of Crimea - and especially the fortification of Kerch - one should already expect the feet of Mashiah.
"Similarly, " continued Rav Shternbuch in his words, "The Gaon Rav Simha Zelig Rigger ZT"L, the Av Beit Din of Brisk, said that it was a tradition passed to him from the students of the Gr"a in the name of the Gr"a that the kingdom of Russia will strengthen before the coming of Mashiah and the nations will fear them.
"The Gaon Rav Hayim of Brisk ZT"L also saw the Russians as a Kelipa that gets stronger before Mashiah. However, Rav the Gaon Rav Hayim added that the matter is dependent upon us - that only if we will be awakened and be strengthened in Torah and pure fear of Hashem, then HKB"H will hasten to redeem us at this time of Divine will. However, if we don't awaken, then G-d forbid, we will lose the moment and we will need to endure Hevlei Mashiah.
"What comes out of his words," summarized Rav Shternbuch, "is that the capture of Crimea is calling us from Shamayim that this is an opportune time to now work on the coming of Mashiah by awakening, strengthening in Torah, and pure fear of Hashem."
At the end of his words, Rav Shternbuch related to the idea that many Kollelim are closing their doors recently and said: "There is a terrible decree upon hundreds of Avreichim Bnei Torah who remain without Kollels. Nowadays, people are talking about the decree of the draft, but now, there is an even more terrible decree that worries me more - that hundreds of Avreichim who learned until now in Kollelim with diligence are now left without a Kollel in the immediate future.
"This is a great danger," said Rav Shternbuch, "We're not dealing here with those who are weaker that would fall from the path, like with the decree of the draft, but the concern is really about Talmidei Hachamim who are learning Torah day and night, and in this situation, when they don't have a source of Parnassa, they cannot continue their studies, and I am very pained from this and I have no rest from this at all."
Rav Shternbuch continued and said, "This matter even prevents the coming of Mashiah and strengthens the power of Amalek. This is because when Israel weakens their hands from Torah, that is when the power of Amalek strengthens in the world. And at this time, when the Torah world requires strengthening, both here in Eretz Yisrael and also in the Diaspora, then all we can do is pray and hope to our Father in heaven that He will have mercy upon us at this time of trouble."