Generally Russia loses its battles. When it wins its wars, nothing but rubble remains, and many men are lost cheaply. Of course, going back to World War II we are reminded of the glorious advance of the Soviet army, driving Hitler back from Moscow and Stalingrad to the gates of Berlin. Napoleon too reached Moscow itself on 14 September 1812. But Mother Russia is immense, it is willing to lose territory and men, and it does not like to give up. Russia set fire to Moscow to drive Napoleon out. In Berlin just ruins remained. After that war, there was a whole industry in Germany based on cleaning and stacking wood and bricks, and shipping the dust off to factories, where it made excellent cement.

Operation Barbarossa
Before Russia turned the tide of Hitler’s advance, the Soviet army had been crushed. It should be noted that Germany and the Soviet Union had previously made a secret pact to jointly invade Poland, which they subsequently did without mercy. Hitler then turned on Russia. Stalin’s “Jewish Bolshevist” state had to be eliminated. Operation Barbarossa to do just that was launched by Hitler on 22 June 1941. With Mercury retrograde, it wasn’t a great time to launch such a campaign, and perhaps this showed Germany’s ultimate retreat, along with the fact that Mars was at 27 Pisces opposing Neptune. It was the mud that stopped the advance.

Initially though, Russia suffered catastrophic losses, millions of troops were killed and taken prisoner, and the German army was at the gates of Moscow by December. Then winter came. Russia poured untrained men, sometimes without weapons, into battles, and through massive sacrifice and considerable material help from the Allies ultimately prevailed. Russia lost 27 million soldier and civilians during the course of this war.

The Invasion of Ukraine
Historically the Russian army has always messed up in the beginning, overestimating their capability and suffering huge losses. This was clearly the case with the invasion of Ukraine, when a 40-mile convoy was devasted by Ukrainian resistance. It was a massive logistical failure. Tanks got stuck in the mud and were towed off by Ukrainian farmers. The invasion took place at about 4 a.m. on 24 February 2022, as Venus and Mars joined together to conjoin Pluto and make a trine to the North Node at 26 Taurus – on the fixed star Algol. Destruction was on the march.


Russia invades Ukraine. 24 February 2022 5.00 Kiev AS 18.24 CP

I am not sure whether it is possible to predict the outcome of this unprovoked attack, but the horoscope is very reflective of the situation. Venus had already conjoined Pluto in December 2021, and was picking up speed again after a retrograde period. This enabled Mars to catch up with Venus, and they conjoined and reconjoined in Capricorn and then Aquarius as the whole world was asking: will there be war, or will there be peace?

By the time both planets conjoined Pluto, this brutal war began, starting a cycle of enormous suffering: 8 million refugees internally and externally, men from all walks of life sent to the front, hospitals, theaters and schools bomber. As Boris Johnson said: “Putin will never be able to cleanse the blood from his hands”.

Mercury too, has just finished a retrograde period and has just returned to 10 Aquarius – the point at which it went retrograde mid-January – where it once again makes an exact square to Uranus in Taurus. In other words the growing threat, averted in January, became real in February.

In all probability, Ukraine is represented by the Capricorn Ascendant and Saturn in Aquarius, whilst the invading force – often referred  to by Ukrainians as the Evil Empire – is represented by Mars-Pluto on Ukraine’s territory. Mars has just overtaken Venus, but when they enter Aquarius, Venus overtakes Mars, and both go on to conjoin Saturn. This surely represents the international coalition, as most of the Western world rallies to Ukraine’s aid.

Indeed, the 1991 Russia (Flag up) horoscope shows the progressed Sun – that would be the president, Putin – now conjoining radix Saturn in Aquarius. (It’s also a Saturn return for Russia – 29 ½ years later). Furthermore, Saturn transit is now conjoining 1991 Descendant. This clearly shows enormous international pressure that pretty much stops Putin in his tracks. If you look at the 1990 Russia Independence horoscope, transit Saturn is square the Venus-Pluto opposition, and progressed Sun is opposing Saturn, and the IC progressed conjoins Saturn! This is not going to end well for Putin, or Russia.

History Repeats Itself
In the invasion chart, Jupiter is in Pisces (along with Neptune) making a strong sextile to Uranus, which shows several things. Firstly, the invasion awakened overwhelming compassion worldwide, with many countries showing great generosity to Ukraine and its millions of refugees. Secondly, if the Sun or Moon (ruling 7th house of enemies) with its dispositor Jupiter was to represent Putin, then his power would be dissolved and the invasion would fail. The Sun goes on through Pisces to first conjoin Jupiter, then Neptune, as Jupiter itself makes its conjunction with Neptune in Pisces – the first time this has happened since the Crimean War in 1856. This war ended in a humiliating defeat for Russia at the Treaty of Paris on March 30th of that year. (Here Jupiter at 21 Pisces was sextile Uranus and conjoining Neptune at 18 Pisces – an exact repeat of 2022).

Russia has a history of invasions which go wrong. A similarly catastrophic invasion took place during the First Chechen War, which was launched on 11 December 1994. Despite overwhelming advantages in manpower and weaponry, Russia failed, lost thousands of men, and had to make a peace treaty with the Chechens in 1997. Later however, Putin used the rubble strategy when he came to power and subjugated Chechenia, putting a puppet government in place in the ruins of its capital Grozny.

It was the same story in the Winter War with Finland, which the Soviet Union launched on November 30th 1939. Again Russian forces underestimated their opponent and suffered massive initial losses, although they had some subsequent success and Finland had to give up some territory. Mars was in Pisces exactly square the Sun at this time – aggressive, but not very effective. This confirmed in both Hitler’s mind and in the West, that the Soviet army was a poor fighting force; Russia’s reputation was damaged and the Soviet Union was expelled from the League of Nations for this unprovoked invasion. It’s 84 years since the Winter War, and with the invasion of Ukraine, Uranus has once again returned to mid-Taurus, exactly opposite the Russian revolution horoscope, which has the Sun at 14.58 and Mercury at 17.31 Scorpio respectively.

In 1978 the Afghan communist party took power in a coup, obviously supported by the Soviet Union, and quickly alienated the population through its repressive policies. Fearing their puppet government’s overthrow, then-president Brezhnev ordered an invasion, which took place on 24 December 1979 (which spoiled many a Christmas dinner in the West). Subsequently there was a bloody insurgency that lasted nine years, and ended with an ignominious Soviet retreat. As both the British and Americans have learned, Afghanistan is like a porcupine with poisonous quills. A Mars-Jupiter conjunction in Virgo seems to have been the trigger for this invasion, but with the Moon in Pisces opposing, and Mercury-Neptune square, this also resulted in the usual chaos.

Poland also defeated Russia in the aftermath of the Russian revolution. Hoping to restore its pre-1772 borders, Poland advanced East and took most of Lithuania and Belarus, as well as much of Western Ukraine. Russia responded and drove Polish forces all the way back to Warsaw, but were then decisively defeated at the Battle of Warsaw, which took place from 12-25 August 1920, after which a peace treaty was made. This battle began with Mars exactly on Soviet Sun and square Neptune. Clearly the Soviet Union did not forget this, and when the subsequent Ribbentrop-Molotov pact was made dividing Poland in 1939, they got their revenge.

The Russo-Japanese War took place between 1904 and 1905. Japan attacked the Russian fleet on 9 February 1904. Russia suffered a series of comprehensive defeats, which undermined the power of the Tsar and resulted in the (failed) 1905 Russian Revolution. Mars was in Pisces square Pluto at the start of this war, which resulted in the complete annihilation of the Russian Baltic fleet, which had been sent half way around the world to engage with Japan. 5000 Russian men went to a watery grave on 27-28 May 1905 with the Moon conjoining Saturn in Pisces and going on to square Pluto.

Russia can go down, but it can never be counted out. It’s a country with vast resources and a seemingly inexhaustible supply of expendable fighting men. The close control of all information sources in Russia, progressively established during Putin’s rule, ensures that the Russian people as a whole have little knowledge of the losses already experienced. Russia has claimed the loss of 1,300 men here in June 2022, but Ukraine claims the figure is closer to 30,000 – more than Russia lost in 10 years in Afghanistan.

Russia’s economy
From an economic point of view, Russia has been subjected to crushing sanctions since invading Ukraine, but because the price of oil and gas has skyrocketed, Russia’s revenue has actually increased. But long-term, this is going to be a disaster for Russia. As Russia squeezes Europe, which depends on Russia for 30% of its energy needs, Europe will never again allow itself to rely on Russian supplies. Its pipelines to Europe will become redundant. On 18 May 2022 the EU released its RepowerEU plan at the exact Mars/Neptune conjunction in Pisces.


RePowerEU. 18 May 2022 Noon. Brussels. AS 17.50 AQ

This chart shows the very real determination of the EU to reduce oil and gas dependency, as the Sun in Taurus makes a powerful trine to Pluto, with Mars/Neptune sextile both planets. Certainly you can expect consumption to be cut by half if not completely in the coming years. Saturn at this time is exactly on the Descendant of the Russian (Flag up) horoscope, which shows the concerted opposition of the neighboring EU alliance.

Russia can’t seem to get away from Pluto-Venus combinations. Every significant horoscope in recent history displays a variation of this aspect:

  • Putin: Venus rising in Scorpio (with progressed Jupiter exactly opposing at the invasion)
  • Flag up (25 December 1991): with Venus 23 and Pluto 22 Scorpio in the 4th house
  • Russia Independence: Venus 15 Taurus in 8th House opposite Pluto 15 Scorpio
  • 1917 Revolution: Venus 0 Capricorn (conj. North Node) opposite Pluto 5 Cancer
  • USSR (30 December 1922: Venus 28 Scorpio opp. Moon 23 Taurus (semisquare Pluto)

As astrologer Claus Due pointed out in an excellent article on Russia in May 2022, using the Russian independence horoscope, the strong Venus in Taurus in the 8th house opposite Pluto and exactly sextile Jupiter in Cancer shows the economic domination of Russian oligarchs, who have sucked out the vast riches of the country.


HOROSCOPE: Russian Independence 12 June 1990 13.45 Moscow AS 26.11 VI.

The Repower EU chart shows Uranus at 15.32 Taurus which is exactly on the 1990 Independence Venus at 15.08 and Uranus will be returning to that point in January and February 2023. Clearly this is like an explosive device hitting those oligarchs, and a shock to the Russian financial system in general. Uranus then goes on to oppose the Venus-Pluto conjunction on the 1991 Flag-up chart in 2023-2024, which is about the time that sanctions will really bite. This is the time when Russia’s economy will collapse.

Ukraine and the EU
At the time of writing (18 June 2022), the leaders of France, Germany, Italy and Romania are meeting with Zelensky, and on the agenda is Ukraine’s application to become members of the EU. Ukraine has an extraordinary conjunction of Jupiter, Mercury and Venus at 26-28 Leo intercepted in the 7th house, with both Mercury and Venus moving retrograde. That happy conjunction indicates the aspirations of Ukraine to be part of a bigger union. In 2028 Venus progressed will conjoin the exact Mercury-Jupiter conjunction, and this is the time Ukraine will become a member of the EU.

Putin’s invasion has been a failure on all fronts already. Ukraine will never forgive Russia and will irrevocably turn West. Putin’s desire to force NATO back from Eastern Europe has only hardened NATO’s resolve, and Finland and Sweden will be added to the alliance. The oil and gas export to Europe, which would have brought lasting riches for a couple of decades will be severely limited. Sanctions will bite harder and harder, preventing technological advance. Tens of thousands of the most talented people in Russia have already left. Tens of thousands of young Russian men have been buried in Ukraine. When it all boils over in Russia, there will be a rolling revolution starting as Saturn-Neptune reaches 0 Aries in late 2025 and reaching its culmination when Uranus, trined by Pluto in Aquarius, conjoins Russian Independence Moon, and Flag-up Saturn, both at 5 Aquarius, a process that will be complete by 2027. Putin won’t be around to see this.

Adrian Ross Duncan
21 June 2022