Ukraine Under Attack

The news this fall from Ukraine continues to be grim. The sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country is under threat by Russian aggression and terrorism. We hear many on-the-ground reports of Russia sending military equipment and personnel into regions infiltrated by Kremlin-backed terrorists. These actions have been condemned by many governments and world leaders – yet the crisis is worsening.

Sadly, Ukrainian soldiers and civilians are suffering injury and death every day because of this conflict. The ceasefire between the two sides is “effectively dead,” as U.S. Senator McCain said recently, as he called for more help for Ukraine and greater sanctions against Russia.

The people who suffer most are the innocents caught in this terrible fighting. Many villagers have had their homes destroyed and all the infrastructure in their villages wiped out. Often they have no source of water, food or warmth. This has created a humanitarian crisis with thousands upon thousands of people who are refugees in their own country. The United Nations (UNHCR) estimates there are 250,000 refugees in Ukraine; however, as not all people register with government agencies, the real number may be well over 500,000 with unofficial estimates up to 1,000,000.

In the separatist-held regions, the evangelical churches are finding it difficult to operate openly. However, the separatists do allow some charity work by the churches, so soup kitchens and food distribution efforts are able to bring much-needed relief to the hungry and homeless.