One year later: How Russia failed in Ukraine
Greetings! Feb. 24, 2022, was supposed to bring the existence of a 40-million European nation (Ukraine) to an end.
Long before the dawn of light, Ukrainian cities were set alight in blazes of burning airfields and the scattering of artillery impacts. Endless armored convoys broke into highways, and helicopters roared over the woods of north Ukraine.
Every hour, more towns and cities across the country were being captured by advancing Russian armies. CNN showed Russian paratroopers, their elbows marked with white stripes, at the Antonov Airport just outside Kyiv.
Russian dictator Vladimir Putin declared the end of Ukraine as it was. The fullscale invasion sparked the biggest and fastest mass exodus of civilians since World War II, forcing 8 million Ukrainians to leave the country and leaving a further 8 million internally displaced.
Fast forward one year, and on Feb. 20, 2023, U.S. President Joe Biden pays a surprise visit to Kyiv – a triumphant nod at Russia’s failed plans to conquer the Ukrainian capital.
How did something that was supposed to be Putin’s several-day-long “special military operation” turn into a staggering defeat and a subsequent grinding war that the Kremlin’s propaganda now calls Russia’s “fight for survival”?
Here’s how. Click below to read the rest of the story.
But the war is still far from over, and the destruction and pain continue.
Here is an on-the-ground report from Pastor Yaroslav in Lviv, Ukraine, a HART partner and friend for many years.
“Day 352 of the war in Ukraine. We are quickly approaching one year of the most horrible since WWII ended, 78 years ago in Europe.
Two hours ago, at 8.29 a.m., sirens blared, and now the entire country of Ukraine is under a massive missile attack. Dozens of explosions already, and more missiles in the air. Blackouts in many locations right now.
Our four kids and I are in our house’s basement right now. Yet another day without school. Olya and Victoria (wife and daughter) are in our church. There was planned yet another meeting with IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) later today. We are unsure if it will occur since it may take hours before the end of the air raid alarm.
Another disturbing news. Russia is preparing for another major attack on Ukraine by its regular army. In fact, they have more soldiers and ammunition than a year ago. Thankfully, the Ukrainian army is much stronger now.
OUR FAMILY. WE ARE OK. Sitting in the basement for hours is not fun, but our circumstances are much better than millions of other Ukrainians have these days. We have food, and it is warm in our house.
CHURCH AND MINISTRY. There is so much tragedy around us. So, many opportunities to serve. We continue: to serve the widows and orphans of the war (have fellowship with them, help repair their housing, and invite their kids to church youth and teen activities). We continue to serve wounded soldiers.
We continue to help IDPs.
When they come to church activities, they come with empty bags, and they take home all leftovers, especially treats for kids, because they cannot afford to purchase candies or cookies.
RIGHT NOW – 10.41 a.m. – Two missiles are approaching the city of L’viv right now – their route will be just above our location where we are now. There will be explosions soon. These missiles crossed over the countries of Moldova and Romania. The missiles are only 40 kilometers (25 miles) away. I will try to send this Email before the explosions (and possible blackouts).
I will write more soon. Pray for us!”PastorYaroslav
A Thank-You note to HART supporters from Pastor Oleksandr
Everyone is very tired. The war has brought much grief and changed our normal lives, but the Lord strengthens us. We hope and pray that the war will end soon. Only God knows what lies ahead. We believe that we will overcome all obstacles and that the victory will be ours.
We are deeply grateful to you for your support and help. Thank you very much for your prayers. Thank you for not leaving us at this difficult time. Thank you so much for your helping hand. We are grateful that you are there for us, and we can feel your support. May God bless you a hundredfold!
With prayers and love, Pastor Oleksandr
A Year Of Conflict: Changes In The Front Line
CHURCH FOOD FACTORY FEEDS THOUSANDS
While it is important to acknowledge the pain and suffering that often accompany periods of crisis, the phrase “in the midst of devastation, there is an opportunity for innovation” reminds us that even in the darkest of times, there is always the potential for positive change and progress.
One church in Western Ukraine, under the leadership of Pastor Rostislav, came up with a novel idea to respond to the devastating effects the war has had on the food supply. They started a small factory producing food for refugees, soldiers, and civilians near the war zones. Months later, their canned goods are recognized as an elite product and are sent all over Ukraine, including to recently liberated towns and cities.
OUR support has been instrumental in helping serve food to thousands of people during this war through Pastor Rostislav and his church. As mentioned in the below video, he is very appreciative not only for the financial support for this food factory but also for the generators we gave them.
“During the blackouts, we wouldn’t have been able to do our jobs; our production would have stopped. But you responded to our needs, and you brought us generators. Now, when electricity is cut off, production can continue uninterrupted. The generators save us!”
Click below to watch the factory in action and hear Pastor Rostislav extending a heartfelt THANK YOU to HART and all of you in our HART community in Canada and the USA.
With your help, we will continue to support our partner Churches throughout Ukraine with the resources they need to better serve tens of thousands of people suffering during this winter of war.
Inside the Basement Where an Entire Ukrainian Village Spent a Harrowing Month in Captivity.
Here are specific prayer points that can help guide our prayers for the situation in Ukraine. Please share these with your friends and family:
- Pray for and ask to see God’s glory amid this great struggle. God often uses dire situations to draw people to himself. Pray that He would be glorified through the people of Ukraine who are following him.
- Pray for God’s peace to be a source of strength for the thousands of Ukrainian workers/volunteers who will have opportunities to share with others about God’s love.
- Pray for God’s protection over Christian volunteers. Ask God for their physical and spiritual protection — ask Him to help people seek the truth during the conflict.
- Ask God for comfort. Many families lost fathers, sons, and loved ones during this tragic war. Millions have been uprooted from their homes. Their world has been turned upside down.
- Ask God to intervene. Pray for wisdom for world leaders. Pray that God would move in their hearts and guide their steps and plans.
- Pray for President Zelensky and the leaders of Ukraine to know God’s truth and peace and be transformed by his Holy Spirit so that they would seek to lead their country in the way of peace.
- Ask that this conflict would open doors of opportunities for the gospel. Pray that He would make his name known across Ukraine, Russia, and all the European countries that refugees are fleeing to due to this conflict.