The revolution in Ukraine continues to rage. The internet and phone lines have been down off and on and should continue to do so as the government struggles to control what communications go out regarding the conflict. It was with a great deal of dread I woke up to check the news. Not knowing doesn't help, but knowing isn't easy, either. I am just so glad to know that in this horrible, unbelievable time, God is more than in control. He is with all my friends, my family, my church and all the missionaries in Ukraine. How could one go through this without God? I do not know.
From the limited research I've been able to find from western sources, here are some overviews of the current struggle.
A very long and thorough read of the events can be found at http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/standoff-remains-today-after-jan-22-clashes-kill-five-protesters-injure-more-than-300-335387.html
After President Yanukovich passed laws to begin colonization laws to merge Ukraine under the sovereignty of former dictator Russia, the citizens of free Ukraine have continued to assemble, protest, and even fight for their freedom. The country is clearly divided over whether they want to remain free or dissolve back into Communism. For the sake of the gospel and freedom, I pray that the people of Ukraine will remain united and free.
Several leaders of the opposition for freedom have been executed, both in Kiev (the capitol) and prominent southern city, Odessa. As of today, the mayor of Lviv, the most prominent western city, has resigned. Citizens assembling for their freedom have not only been killed, beaten, but as of today stripped naked in the subfreezing snow and tortured publically under the protection of the Special Forces Berkuit, approved by the Presidency. I opted not the post the public photos of these victims. Other innocent and unarmed citizens like seventeen-year-old Mikhailo Niskoguz have been arrested, tortured, and beaten without due process of law. In the case of Niskoguz, he was left to bleed for over four hours before medical attention was called by the Berkuit.
To quote the commentary of western sources watching the revolution........
"This is not a war of radicals. This the war of middle class and civil society, freelancers. journalists, NGOs, IT workers, artists, students and old people, who have nothing to lose."
"Military tanks have reached Maidan Nezalezhnosti – the central square of Kiev, the capital city of Ukraine."
President Yanukovych released the statement, "As long as I run Ukraine, no one can divide it."
"The talks on settling the political crisis in Ukraine between the authorities and the opposition must be attended by the president as the guarantor of the constitution and the person responsible for everything that takes place in the country, UDAR Party Leader Vitaliy Klitschko said."
"State-sanctioned homicide is no stranger to Ukraine: In the Holodomor, the Ukrainian terror famine of 1932–33, as many as 8 million Ukrainians were deliberately starved to death in a genocide planned and executed by the Soviet leadership in Moscow and enforced by Stalin’s satraps in Ukraine. In that sense, death-by-sniper-bullet is cleaner. But it is no less murder, and no less state-sanctioned murder, when the bullets are fired by internal security forces and police at the behest of the democratically elected (but certainly no longer “democratic”) government of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych."
"The European Union is considering sending two of its most senior officials to Ukraine over the next week as it ratchets up pressure on Ukrainian authorities to reverse current policies, EU diplomats said late Wednesday."
These and other sources can be followed on kyivpost.com, bbcnews.com, euronews.com and others.
Here are some images of the war continuing today. Please, please pray for Ukraine.
Of the pictures posted, there is some of Klitchko, former pro-boxer and now political leader for the freedom movement. I love the one of him in between the police & civilians, he is so tall! And the picture of the journalists trying to capture the historic events.... one man wearing a strainer on his head in place of a helmet. Oh, Ukraine. Only Ukraine.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Watching what is going on back home, begin so far away... there aren't really any words. I was fifteen during the Orange Revolution, when the political heart of the country exploded into a stand for freedom and westernization. Just a few years later, and Russia has slowly crept back onto the scene through the power of its ability to appoint leaders in Ukrainian government willing to give back up their freedom. Like Yanukovich, our president right now who has signed into law colonization laws against the protest of millions of citizens across the country. In a world very different from the one where I grew up in, the cobblestone streets are slick not only with ice but also blood and ash from fires as the people stand up against the standing army of Berkuit soldiers. One of the last statues of Lenin was torn down by the people. The Parlament broke into a brawl among the leaders themselves, leaving bloody hands that may represent more than just their own blood, too. Millions gather to form barricades throughout the capitol and protest the loss of constitutional freedom that include the right to assemble and the freedom of speech. Leaders of the opposition are disappearing, and journalists covering the Euromaidan revolution imprisoned. Both the US and the European Union had spoken against the violence and sent in diplomats with little results. The timeless streets of my beautiful capitol have become a war zone, with no end in sight as of yet. Regardless of political agenda, the loss of Ukrainian freedom will result in the loss of freedom for the gospel and will affect missionaries across the country, my friends, my family. Please be in prayer. It is so hard to be so far away. I wish I were home, I would be there with a flag, too.
Please, pray for Ukraine.