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Radstock partners, located in Kiev, share some of the harrowing experiences of the last month. Read excerpts from their own correspondence to find out what the church in Ukraine has been experiencing, and how you can pray for our brothers and sisters there!
20th of February, 2014
The city is in panic -- many are dead, stores and gas stations are almost empty or have long lines. Banks are not releasing people’s money. Some parts of the city are full of thugs with automatic weapons and snipers on rooftops. Prayer is all we need! May God keep us all safe!
Ukraine is Tienanmen today. Word first came at about ten o’clock local time that the police forces were pulling back, and we assumed that meant that the truce, which the president had signed a day earlier, was finally in place. We then began to hear troubling reports, which turned into alarming, then shocking, then unbelievable reports, which finally became just tragic news.
In the end we saw snipers and a few remaining police with live ammunition shooting into the crowd for much of the day. The hotel that overlooks the main square, which is hosting many foreign reporters, became a hospital ward and then a morgue. Our friend Sergei, who was at the square most of the day, said he saw three people go down near him after receiving fatal shots. Slowly people came to the realisation that citizens were being shot. After the final body count came in, 67 died today in the Ukrainian capital -- but local doctors put that number much higher.
The EU and the US began to finally impose some strict sanctions, freezing some bank accounts of those responsible. That seems to have been the tipping point; all night we’ve been hearing stories of expensive cars heading for the airport to board their private planes to leave the country. In a late night session of parliament the president’s party seemed to crumble and many resolutions were passed to bring order and peace to the city. However, just as last night’s truce was shaky, this new turn of events needs time to see if it will hold.
We are safe -- we have enough money, food and petrol to last us for a while. And now we wait. We wait for an end to the violence that seems close at hand, we wait for calm so we can start up our school again, we wait for the church to fill the great spiritual need left in the wake of this two month crisis, and we wait for peace.
21st of February, 2014
This afternoon Parliament has been talking about reverting to the 2004 Constitution, which cuts the President’s power and gives it more to the Parliament, and an hour ago it happened. Now Ukraine is a Parliamentary Republic. The fires have ceased and the riot police just left the government block downtown -- very quickly, not even taking all their stuff. Now the Parliament is working to bring the situation to peace and convict the guilty. It is still a fight, but not physical any more. I hope the Spring is here.
Thank you for your prayers; please continue. We don’t want to reverse the situation to the status quo before the protests. We want it to move forward to freedom and true democracy.
22nd of February, 2014
Friends! It seems that revolution in Ukraine has won. The President, Yanukovych, is gone -- no-one knows exactly where, but in a minute his resignation will be announced in Parliament. So far, Parliament is ruling the country, according to the Constitution. Kiev is pretty safe. The only uncertainty remains in the East of Ukraine and Crimea. We are not sure yet how they will accept these changes. Please, continue to pray. Our former prime minister, who is in prison accused by the president, is going to be released any moment. Thank you for your continuous prayers -- those are heard. I am proud to be a Ukrainian.
5th of March, 2014
Calm in Ukraine but tense due to the ongoing occupation of Crimea. The international community, including China, are behind the territorial integrity of Ukraine. We continue to bury people in Ukraine as some of the wounded from the snipers are dying in hospital. We continue to anxiously wait as we are at the brink of a disaster. Crisis times often reveal who people really are. I am proud of how the Ukrainian people have responded to internal and external tension. Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement.
Please do pray for the people of Ukraine in these troubling times, and for the Church there to bless all peoples in Ukraine with the good news of God’s great love in Christ, pointing them to a hope that will never change.
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