Home / Blogs / Ukraine at War – Update 07, 2024

Ukraine at War – Update 07, 2024

The following letter is for you and our entire HART community from a grateful ministry partner serving in Southern Ukraine near the war zones. Together, we CAN change the world – one heart at a time.

“On behalf of our ministry, we would like to express our deepest gratitude for your continuous, generous support and assistance through the HART mission.

Your contribution has significantly impacted the lives of many people in our war-torn country. During the winter months, your provision of generators, propane gas cylinders, and power stations has been a lifesaver for many people. It has provided them with essential utilities and brought hope and comfort during the darkest times.

Moreover, your support in providing first aid kits for our soldiers on the front lines is invaluable. It reminds them that they are not alone in their fight for our country’s freedom and security. Your thoughtfulness has strengthened the morale of our brave soldiers, knowing that they have friends like you standing behind them.

Your kindness and generosity have touched our hearts and inspired us to keep pushing forward despite our daily challenges. Your help has met immediate needs and offered a glimmer of hope for a better future.

On behalf of every person who has directly or indirectly benefited from HART’s aid, I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We are grateful to have you by our side during these difficult times. Your faithful support has brought light into the darkest moments of our lives. God bless you, dear friends.” Pastor Andrey.

Dear sponsor, my name is Elina…

Elina needs a sponsor. Her letter to a prospective sponsor is a touching story of evacuation from Russianoccupied territory, being separated from her father, who is a soldier, and her joy at having a new baby brother.

“I remember standing in line with my mom in the cold weather to get some bread, but sometimes there wasn’t enough bread for everyone, so we returned home with nothing.”

Who else wants a sponsor?

Katerina, Arina, Iryna, Artem, Andrii, Ivan, Anna, Yaroslav, Serhii, Ahnelina, Viktoriia, Luka, Maksym, Mariia, Kamila, and Anastasiia and ten more children on our ‘available children’ web page.

The ongoing war has severely damaged Ukraine’s economy, resulting in soaring unemployment rates and skyrocketing food prices. So many families and precious children like these are praying for help.

Your sponsorship can change the life trajectory of a child living in poverty!

We CAN change the world – on heart at a time!

What are Russian Double-Tap Strikes?

Russian ‘double-tap’ strikes on Ukrainian cities refer to a tactic where Russian forces launch two consecutive missile or drone attacks on the same target in quick succession.

The first strike targets civilian infrastructure or residential areas, causing casualties and destruction. When emergency responders and rescue teams rush to the scene to provide aid and clear rubble, the Russians then launch a second strike on the exact location, deliberately targeting those first responders.

This heinous tactic has resulted in numerous deaths and injuries among Ukrainian civilians as well as emergency personnel like firefighters, paramedics, and police officers who are trying to save lives after the initial attack.

The ‘double-tap’ strikes demonstrate Russia’s blatant disregard for international laws and norms by deliberately targeting civilian areas and humanitarian workers. They are widely condemned by Ukraine and the international community as war crimes.

The crucial role of first-aid kits in trauma care

Since the outbreak of war in 2022, one of the most frequent requests we have received from our contacts in the medical field has been for life-saving first-aid kits.

These kits play a crucial role in providing immediate and life-saving trauma care during times of crisis or conflict. They are vital for military personnel, civilians, and chaplains.

Thanks to the generous support of HART’s community, we have procured and delivered thousands of high-quality first-aid kits to wherever they are most urgently needed.

Serhey, a devoted pastor from the Kherson region, has been tirelessly delivering humanitarian aid supplies, focusing on the country’s recently liberated southern areas. He is also keen to provide relief and medical aid to the front-line areas.

During one of his aid delivery trips, Serhey encountered a group of soldiers and promptly blessed them with first-aid kits. The soldiers were overjoyed – as they were about to embark on a combat mission. A few days later, Serhey received a call from one of the soldiers to whom he had given a first-aid kit. The young man was calling from a hospital.

He conveyed to Serhey his firm belief that God himself had orchestrated their meeting just a couple of days prior, ensuring they had the life-saving resources they needed.

The soldier proceeded to share the harrowing details. The very next day, during the combat mission, their group came under intense artillery shelling, and this young man sustained a severe leg injury.

Despite the grave circumstances, he maintained his composure and swiftly applied a tourniquet, utilizing the items in the first-aid kit to provide himself with crucial medical care. Ultimately, he was able to reach a safe location and save his own life.

He also requested that we convey his profound gratitude to all the donors who made it possible to purchase such effective first-aid kits, which can genuinely be life-saving—as they were in his case.

According to accounts from paramedics and military personnel themselves, most of the deaths of military and civilians are caused by people bleeding out as a result of poor-quality tourniquets and lack of proper medical care supplies.

Your support is crucial in enabling us to supply civilians, chaplains, and soldiers with quality first-aid kits, which are essential for saving lives daily during the ongoing conflict. These life-saving resources are invaluable in the current crisis.

The Minefield of Disinformation & Propaganda

Disinformation has become pervasive across North America, serving as a common denominator for many of the divisive issues plaguing democratic societies and even the church in the West.

Disinformation is the wicked sister of misinformation: while misinformation involves the unintentional spread of false information, disinformation is a calculated and deliberate attempt to deceive by disseminating misleading or fabricated facts.

The disinformation surrounding the war in Ukraine is disturbing and demoralizing for the Ukrainian people. The scope, breadth, and profound influence that Russia’s propaganda machine wields over people in the West is truly staggering.

Russia’s war in Ukraine extends far beyond the physical battlegrounds where tanks, artillery, and fighter jets engage in combat. It is also being waged in the digital realm, where the Kremlin and its allies are employing propaganda tactics through state-controlled media outlets, propagandists, and a vast network of Russian internet brigades utilizing thousands of fake social media accounts, forged documents, and manipulated videos and images.

The purpose of this disinformation campaign is multifaceted: to build domestic support for Russia’s invasion, to sow disunity among Western countries supporting Ukraine, to counter NATO’s influence, and to create plausible deniability or cover up Russian war crimes. Ultimately, the Kremlin’s underlying agenda is to undermine support for Ukraine and destroy the morale of the Ukrainian people.

The goal of this disinformation campaign is not necessarily for people to believe every single narrative being pushed but rather to inflate the information space with multiple false theories and denials of what is actually happening, causing people to become disinterested or too confused to discern what to believe.

Putin’s strategy is proving effective, as numerous politicians in the USA have become mere mouthpieces, echoing pro-Kremlin propaganda. Their influential voices have played a significant role in obstructing desperately needed military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine, which has been stalled for months due to the impact of such rhetoric.

Discernment is required

Navigating the minefield of disinformation requires discernment and discipline. As discussed in previous blog posts, Christians have a moral obligation to “believe responsibly” to ensure that the information we rely upon and convey to others is truthful and accurate.

Using social media platforms as a source of news is never a good idea.
Instead, we should rely on authoritative, reputable, and fact-based sources of news and information rather than the unverified and biased content that circulates on social media platforms. Diversifying news sources and cross-referencing information can also help ensure a more well-rounded and accurate understanding of current events.

As Christians, we are called to be people of truth and should have nothing to do with spreading falsehoods (Ephesians 4:25). Wisdom compels us to exercise restraint and carefully evaluate the words we speak or share online, ensuring that they are uplifting and free from human anger (James 1:19-20).

Speaking in ways that contradict the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22- 23) and disseminating misleading information for political gain is unbiblical. In reality, it represents a rejection of Christ’s atoning sacrifice on our behalf; if we are people changed by the gospel, we should reflect Christ in all aspects of our lives. Consequently, our lives ought not to be characterized by spreading anger, fear, hate, and suspicion.

A matter of authority and trust

At the end of the day, our interaction with social media boils down to bigger questions of authority and trust. Our differing algorithmic experiences have become our dominant authority source in our lives. And since our algorithms feed us what we want, this is another way to say that we have become our own final authorities.

To this crisis of authority, the Bible instructs us to look to the authority of pastors, churches, and ultimately God’s Word. Are we living according to the authority of our self-selected social media experience or according to the authority of God’s Word?

Here are specific prayer points that can help guide our prayers for the situation in Ukraine. Please share these with your friends and family.