Blog No. 33 Update 2: Another Message From Ukraine

We have received a copy of another email from Nita Hanson in Ukraine.  As indicated in a recent blog (“Blog No 33 Update – A Postscript Directly from Ukraine”), Nita is the founder of an American, faith-based mission in Ukraine. We thought that this message, like her earlier one, would be of interest to followers of, and an excerpt appears below.

Interest in Ukraine on the part of the government, the media and the public has appeared less intense in recent days. The situation is no longer referred to as a “crisis” and, in the fashion of current news coverage, it has slipped from the front pages. Perhaps that is because, despite the Russian troops massed on the Ukraine border, it is believed that  Russia does not plan an invasion. For example, an April 10 article in The New York Times (relegated to page A8 of the print edition) was headlined “Russia Plotting for Ukrainian Influence, Not Invasion, Analysts Say.” That may be, and hopes that is the case, because as we have indicated, we see no prospect for a successful outcome to a military conflict in Ukraine.

Nevertheless, even if the analysts are correct in thinking that Russia would prefer to use more “subtle” means of achieving its objectives, events sometimes take on a life of their own.  Sunday morning brought fresh reports of a battle between pro-Russian protestors and Ukrainian security forces, raising concerns in the West that Russian might use such clashes as a pretext for an invasion. It is also possible that if conditions produce increasing levels of violence, Putin might feel internal pressure to respond more aggressively than he would prefer.  Thus, even the analysts consulted by the Times acknowledged that a Russian invasion cannot be ruled out.

In the meantime, those on the ground in Ukraine continue to view the situation as highly perilous.  Nita Hanson’s description is concise and compelling:

[T]he knowledge that we stand alone sits heavy on all of us. Today the mayor was talking about the agreement signed by Ukraine, England, the US and Russia which was supposed to guarantee protection for Ukraine in case of a threat from another country if Ukraine willingly stripped itself of all weapons (which it did).  He said that Russia has betrayed us first by invading and taking Crimea, and now by threatening the rest of Ukraine with invasion, and economically by threatening to turn off all gas to Ukraine. As for the US and England they are not willing to live up to their agreement to “protect” Ukraine, stating from the beginning that “we will not go to war over Ukraine.”

The anger against Putin is evident in everyone we talk to — and the fear. I feel especially sorry for our disabled community as so many of them are terrified of what will happen.

We are hearing more reports of refugees fleeing the Crimea. And it certainly hit home today as we were asked to help our village of Forcee with 3 refugee families who have come here with nothing but what they could pack in a suitcase. Most have had to leave their homes and belongings behind, not knowing if and when they can return.

The whole village of Forcee gathered bedding and food for the soldiers who have been called up. And I’m sure this is happening in every village and city in Ukraine. This outpouring I’ve never seen in Ukraine before — this unity in wanting to help is new and I rejoice in it.

As for us here at God’s Hidden Treasures, we continue to pray God’s protection over us and to trust that He will deliver us.

It is not difficult to understand and sympathize with Ukraine’s sense of betrayal by the United States and England that Nita reports.  It could hardly be otherwise, but the fact is “going to war over Ukraine” is not something that either is willing to do. So we must continue to attempt diplomacy, provide economic support to Ukraine, develop a consensus on more serious sanctions and encourage the Ukraine government to take a realistic view of their predicament.

In the meantime, direct support to the Ukrainian people would also be appropriate. Such support will not affect the strategic imbalance between Russia and Ukraine, but it would help in a small way to demonstrate our concern and to address our moral obligations.  While this blog is not an appeal for funds, one avenue to provide support – for those who are so inclined – would be a contribution to God’s Hidden Treasures. 

3 thoughts on “Blog No. 33 Update 2: Another Message From Ukraine

  • The mainstream debate seems to be suggest that the only alternatives are “boots on the ground” support to stop the Russians or to (one hopes guiltily) acquiescence to Russia’s takeover of the country.
    However, despite the Ukraine’s small population and inability to use effective military weaponry against Russia, the West could take a number of actions that would cause Putin to pause and think.
    1. The West has many economic sanctions available that it seems unwilling to use The US, not dependent on Soviet oil & gas, and with less ill-effects from cutting off trade would necessarily have to take the lead.
    2. The US also could reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian gas & oil. If the President would okay the Keystone pipeline and embrace, with proper controls, fracking, it would have plenty of oil & gas to send abroad.
    3. The US could send military aid to the Ukraine to bolster their ability to defend themselves. David may have been able to defeat Goliath with a slingshot, but he would have found it hopeless in the face of even tactical nuclear weapons, much less missiles. The message would clearly indicate that the US and West would not accept the loss of the Ukraine without causing the Russians what can be hoped would be greater losses than they are prepared to accept.
    4. The US could send military advisors and perhaps US troops to train the Baltic militaries , since those countries are also being threatened. It the US had had troops peacefully established in the Ukraine, this tragedy might never have taken place. The “hostage” theory prevented nuclear war for some 50 years.
    5. The US could approach the Poles and Czechs to revive the treaty to have missile defenses located in their countries. The countries agreed to the treaties and Obama unilaterally opted out.

  • If we know a man is a thief and he steals from you, why are you surprised?
    If we know a man is a liar, and he lies to you, why are you surprised?
    If we know that the U.S. has failed to support and protect allies,
    Why are you surprised?
    Ukrainians, why are you surprised?

  • Putin and his thugs know that as long as the Brits want the Russian cash deposits and his henchmen sustain the value of London real estate as they keep their assets out of Mother Russia and as long as Germany and France need his natural gas, that Western Europe will do little to stop him maybe short of his moving troops across the border into Ukraine ( and I doubt that will be enough for them) and therefor we are essentially powerless.

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