Questions and Answers About the Ukraine Crisis - March 7, 2022

Here are a series of questions answered by one of my good friends who lives few miles away from the rumble in Kiev. – Jay Rogers

St Andrew's Church
St Andrew's Church is located at the top of the Andriyivskyy Descent in Kyiv.

KIEV, Ukraine (Forerunner) — I’ve been surprised so far to see so many people who agree we are not seeing the whole story from the western media. The solution to the Russia and Ukraine crisis has always been some simple concessions to Russia.

  1. Recognize the sovereignty of three breakaway regions (Crimea, Lugansk and Donetsk).
  2. Obtain a guarantee that Ukraine will never join NATO.
  3. Agree to the demilitarization of regions surrounding Crimea and Donbass.
  4. Make a legal declaration of Ukraine’s neutral status — possibly a constitutional amendment.

These seem to me to be reasonable demands. Former U.S. representative Tulsi Gabbard was criticized for saying that such concessions in 2021 could have avoided this horrific military conflict. Numerous other commentators have agreed that now this ought to be considered a good exit strategy. Instead we given the unending narrative that Putin wants to occupy Ukraine permanently and resurrect the Soviet Union. Yet we are told we cannot interfere with his nefarious plan. We cannot go to war with a nuclear superpower either. Instead, we are to arm Ukrainians for a long drawn out resistance that will kill many thousands on both sides and finally ruin Putin. That is the media narrative, but I believe that scenario to be absurd and cruel.

I asked the following questions of my friend.

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What is really happening in Kiev, Ukraine

The following comes from a friend who was born and lives in Kiev, Ukraine. He has asked not to use his name because he could be at risk of attacks by Nazi radicals. This is the name used by Ukrainian Nationalist militias – “Nats” and “Natzis.” This is a real thing despite the incredulous reaction of our media to Putin’s goal of the de-Nazification of Ukraine. The following is shared to give accurate information for those who only hear the reports from CNN and FOX News. It is for the purpose of directing prevailing prayer, not saying which side within Ukraine is right. We should be praying for all involved. ~ Jay Rogers

The Forerunner: What’s your immediate view of everything so far?

A:- I see the agony of the Kiev regime and they care very little about our citizens. They distributed tens of thousands of AK, RPG and hand grenades among people who never touched firearms before, with no mind about criminals, drug addicts and alcoholics among them. All civilians killed within the city of Kiev are victims of “territorial defense” groups. We have information that these armed people are firing each other and at civilians who are suspicious in their opinion. So far, all you have heard about Russian saboteurs in Kiev is a lie. They shoot each other and later claim they neutralized Russian soldiers. Do not believe this baloney – when Russians capture Kiev, you will see and know the truth.

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Understanding the Ukrainian Crisis

After the Bolshevik Revolution, the Donbas region was incorporated into the Ukrainian portion of the Soviet Union. However, its overwhelmingly Russian population and industrial might have made the region a flashpoint of contention.

By Peter Hammond

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On the Brink of War
Along with the growing crisis over Red China’s threats to invade Taiwan, the world is facing the first real threat of a major war, possibly even including nuclear weapons, between nuclear-armed superpowers since the Cold War. In early November of 2021, the world was shocked by the sudden announcement of a massive Russian military build-up along Ukraine’s eastern border. The long-simmering territorial dispute over the Donbas, a region in eastern Ukraine that is culturally and linguistically Russian, almost overnight became a potential theatre for a major war between East and West. American and European leaders lined up in support of Ukraine and its president, Volodomir Zhelensky, even as Russia’s President Vladimir Putin drew a line in the sand. Ukraine, Putin insisted, was historically part of Russia’s sphere of influence and could not be permitted to join NATO. The West, in turn, accused Russia of threatening Ukraine’s sovereignty and vowed resolute action against Russia, including possible military involvement, should Putin invade.

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How should Christians view Russia and Ukraine?

I am starting to see more neo-conservatives and Christians supporting NATO’s position on the situation between Russia and Ukraine. A foundational problem is that there is a misunderstanding of the conflict because of the way that news pundits spin it. Although Christians should be patriots and support their country, we should also try to understand the perspective of the patriots of other nations, especially those with a rich Christian history such as Russia and Ukraine. Besides having a majority of Orthodox Christians, the two countries have the first and second largest populations of evangelical Christians in all of Europe.

The Russian Federation has maintained they have legal standing for protecting their own borders from an encroaching NATO military presence – for recognizing the sovereignty of Russians separatists living on Ukraine’s border – for their claim on Crimea’s naval base and territory in 2014 – and for protecting ethnic minorities in disputed territories on the border of Georgia from a mafia-run government in 2008.

Likewise, the United States has made numerous incursions into Latin America throughout our history to protect our military and economic interests, and to liberate nations from oppressive governments. Since the 1950s, the United States has conducted covert operations in the cases of Guatemala (1954), Cuba (1961), Guyana (1961–64), Chile (1970–73), Nicaragua (1981–90), as well as outright military invasions of the Dominican Republic (1965), Grenada (1983), and Panama (1989).

The Monroe Doctrine tells us that the United States is responsible for order in the Americas. Cuba was the Soviet Union’s ally and now maintains that relationship with Russia. The United States has had troops in Cuba since the 1800s at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. There is a military base there and it is U.S. soil. It is perfectly right for the United States to control this base as a matter of security. The Russians have a similar notion that they are the protectors of the Slavic people.

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The Ukraine Crisis: Facts Versus Lies

Let’s look at the media lies and propaganda and contrast it with facts. I write from the worldview of an American Protestant who places his Christian religion above his nationalism.

Since the Soviet empire fell and the various satellite nations of the Eastern Bloc gained their independence, the present Russian Federation, created in 1991, has done nothing to threaten the United States or to compromise its borders. They have not planted military bases near the United States, nor have they posed any threat to our domestic economy. Yes, Russia is competing with the US to provide natural gas to Europe, but they are doing so—ahem—in a capitalist free-market manner. Their product is quicker and cheaper. Remember, it was Germany who asked Russia to build Nord Stream II.

If the question is formulated, “Was the Soviet Union an enemy of the US?” then the answer would be yes. But there is no more Soviet Union, which Reagan accurately labeled “the Evil Empire” with its expansionist military aggression.

Russian president Putin has come under tremendous criticism in his own country for being conciliatory to the US in his public addresses, referencing the US as “colleagues and partners.”

Putin, along with his foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, has always resorted to dialogue and cooperation rather than coercive military action, “foreign aid” bribes, or meddling in the internal affairs of other nations. When dealing with NATO, the foreign policy of Russia toward Ukraine has been strictly defensive. Their time is running out. Just as the United States in the early ‘60s did not want Russian nukes in Cuba, so too Russia does not want NATO military bases and missiles in the Ukraine.

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Is the Russian Invasion of Ukraine “Imminent”?

At the top of the headlines for the past few months, we have constantly heard that the Russian invasion of Ukraine’s eastern border is “imminent.”

Putin has insisted that he is placing troops on Ukraine’s border solely for negotiation that Ukraine never be admitted to NATO and is insisting that NATO allies curtail their military exercises on Russia’s border. Since the 1990s, NATO has routinely run military exercises along Russia’s borders in eastern European nations, while the renewal of nuclear weapons treaties have run into repeated road blocks. He’d also like the Soviet-era the Strategic Arms Limitations Treaties (SALT and SALT II) reinstated. Another underlying strategy is to provide a fail-safe so that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will open on schedule.

Ironically, it is a foregone conclusion that Ukraine will never be a NATO member because most member nations do not want Ukraine for various reasons. Everyone involved with the negotiations knows this. In the time of the Soviet Union, NATO guaranteed certain security measures along the bordering eastern bloc countries. With the dissolution of country in 1991, NATO reneged on those guarantees while continuing to view the Russian Federation as though it poses the same threat. Putin now wants the security measures reinstated and to move forward with energy supply and better trade with Europe. Short term nuclear missile limitations are in everyone’s best interests. There is no reason that the negotiations Putin has demanded on these central concerns should not go forward.

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The Russia-Ukraine Conflict: One Ukrainian Christian's View

As a short term missionary who founded several media projects in Russia and Ukraine, I have spent a total of several months in both countries on 12 trips. A good friend of mine and co-worker who was born and lived in Kiev his entire life has written the following. ~ Jay Rogers

National Reserve of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, Kiev, Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine – In my opinion, all Russia wants is to preserve the situation with its security on the same level as was guaranteed in the 1970s and 1980s. Namely, NATO nations and Russia will not place nuclear weapons near each other’s borders. Putin wants to reinstate the SALT I and II Agreements on short and mid-range missiles, counter-missile defense, and stop further NATO expansion into Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia.

In addition, something that might amaze Americans, is that Russia wants the Ukraine to be a truly independent and friendly neighbor country with strong trade ties – not a poor, hostile state at their fence – not a nation that is only alive because of constant IMF loans – not a nation that harbors 15 U.S. biological laboratories near Russia’s borders, which make (God knows what?) since 2003.

Americans ought to know that Ukraine is totally dependent on Russian coal (used locally to generate electricity) and direct electrical power from Belorussia and Russia. Ukraine imports near 40% of its gasoline and 70% of diesel fuel from Russia and Belarus (made of Russian oil), not to mention uranium for local nuclear power plants.

Russia wants Ukraine to be something like Mexico or Canada is to the United States, not an enemy allied with the Cold War organization NATO. It’s that simple. They also want the United States to stop fueling anti-Russian coups in Ukraine (such as the so-called “Maidan” movement here, although the west called the coup of 2014 the “Dignity Revolution”). Putin also demands some other concessions – nothing special or unreasonable.

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Why is Christmas celebrated on December 25th?

Video: Why is Christmas celebrated on December 25th?
Why is Christmas celebrated on December 25th?
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The date of Christmas was not determined by Church Fathers by copying the date of a pagan Roman winter solstice festival. Instead, the date was calculated from the Jewish calendar using the date of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, September 22nd, 6 BC, when Gabriel appeared to Zecharias in the Temple according to Luke 1:5. The conception of John occurred “immediately after that” when Zecharias returned home to Elizabeth to the hill country of Judea, by calculation on September 24th, 6 BC.

The conception of Jesus was calculated to have occurred when Elizabeth was “in her sixth month” (Luke 1:26,36) on March 25th, 5 BC, which was also the first day of Passover in that year. John’s birth was June 24th, 5 BC, followed by Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem on December 25th, which was also the first day of Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights, in that year. The Church Father, Hippolytus of Rome, in his work Chronicon, saw that each date had allegorical significance.

So why is Christmas celebrated on December 25th?

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Mexico's Supreme Court Rules Criminalization of Abortion Unconstitutional

America’s Pro-life Movement Strangely Silent

As of 10 January 2011: Red = States with legal Constitutional protection for all people from conception to natural death. Blue = Mexico City offers abortion on request to any woman up to twelve weeks of pregnancy

I was confused to hear a report in numerous media headlines about Mexico’s Supreme Court. An abortion law in a Mexican state that criminalized abortion was struck down. I heard that the “Mexican Roe v. Wade” would now lead the way to liberalize abortion in this nation of 128 million people. This came in the wake of the recently enacted Texas Heartbeat Act that seeks to restrict abortion. I also heard in the same hour that a powerful earthquake shook southwest Mexico.

I expected to hear an outcry from the U.S. pro-life movement condemning this ruling, calling for a national Human Life Amendment in Mexico, and audaciously declaring that the earthquake was a sign of God’s judgment on a nation that has allowed the killing of preborn children.

But most pro-life groups were silent.

Why?

Simply, America’s pro-life movement has long agreed with the decriminalization of abortion.

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The History of St. Patrick

You may be planning to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this week, but you probably know little of the true history of Patrick. Contrary to popular belief, he was not Irish at all. He was a British bishop who lived at exactly the same time as St. Augustine. And the people he preached to in Ireland, were not “Irish,” but “Scots.”

Most people don’t know it, but two genuine writings of Patrick survive.

Letter To Coroticus

and

The Confession of St. Patrick

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Freedom

The Model of Christian Liberty. This DVD includes “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations” and bonus features.

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