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.

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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.

Threats and Counter Threats
President Biden threatened drastic consequences. While the American Biden administration is evidently not at all interested in protecting America’s own borders, it is apparently willing to go to war to defend the territorial integrity of Ukraine. American Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) of the Senate Armed Services Committee, threatened to “rain destruction on the Russian military” should Putin launch an invasion of Ukraine, a campaign that might include nuclear strikes, since “we don’t rule out first-use nuclear action.” Dmitry Kiselyov, head of the Russian state-owned news organization Rossiya Segodnya (Russia Today) told the BBC that Russia was preparing to deploy more missiles, including its vaunted new hypersonic missiles. “If Ukraine ever joins NATO or if NATO develops military infrastructure there, we will hold a gun to America’s head. We have the military capability,” Kiselyov told BBC. “Russia has the best weapons in the world — hypersonic ones. They’d reach America as fast as US or British weapons could reach Moscow from Ukraine. It would be the Cuban missile crisis all over again, but with a shorter flight time for the missiles.” Kiselyov warned that America could be “turned into radioactive ash” if Russia’s conditions were not met.

Luhansk and Donetsk
The Donbas region has been part of Russia for centuries. It first rose to international significance in the 19th century as a result of its enormous coal resources. The largest city, Donetsk, was founded by a British industrialist who made a fortune there mining coal. 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. The local population is decidedly in favour of independence from the corrupt, kleptocratic, and discriminatory Ukrainian government and even of outright annexation by “Mother Russia.” In March 2014, after the revolutionary overthrow of the elected Ukrainian government, a separatist war erupted in the region along with Russia’s annexation of Crimea, another Russian majority territory. Amid bitter fighting, Russian separatists seized control of most of the Donbas and proclaimed two independent republics, Luhansk and Donetsk. Much of Ukraine is almost entirely ethnic Russian — the Donbas, Crimea and the major Black Sea city of Odessa are actually Russian populations.

The Expansion of NATO
Russia has been increasingly alarmed at the advance of NATO into its backyard, which has seen the amalgamation of many former Soviet republics and Warsaw Pact allies. Despite previous assurances by the West to Russian officials after the breakup of the Soviet Union that NATO would make no inroads into the Russian sphere of influence, the ensuing decades have seen the three Baltic republics — Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania — as well as Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, and many of the previous regions of the former Yugoslavia all formally join NATO. Moreover, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, and Kazakhstan are all beneficiaries of Individual Partnership Action Plans, or formal cooperative agreements with NATO, that might be upgraded to Membership Action Plans in the future. With the exception of China, Finland and the Russian Far East, Russia now finds herself virtually encircled by NATO members or potential members. And nearly all of these new European NATO members have also joined the European Union.

Nationalism vs. Globalism
It is understandable that Russia is deeply suspicious of Western motives. A post-Cold War policy of strategic encirclement has left Russia increasingly isolated, except for ally Belarus. NATO was founded for the stated purpose of countering Soviet expansionism. But following the collapse of the communist menace of the Soviet Union, NATO expanded instead of disbanding. NATO redefined its mission to include the decades-long war in Afghanistan. Just as NATO is the most powerful international military alliance ever created, so too is the European Union the most effective attempt at economic and political union in history. The European Union, originally created out of the deceptively named European Common Market, has become an attempt to set up a centralised regional government. The goal of such continental arrangements is to drastically reduce the number of independent nations and provide for the integration of regional Unions into a global government. Former U.S. National Security Advisor and globalist Zbigniew Brzezinski declared in 1995, “We cannot leap into world government in one quick step…. The precondition for eventual globalization — genuine globalization — is progressive regionalization, because thereby we move toward larger, more stable, more cooperative units.” Regional military alliances, especially NATO, are promoted as a means of internationalizing military force, to prepare for the eventual consolidation of regional military alliances into a global military as an indispensable ingredient of a consolidated global government.

Resisting the New World Order
Russia remains nationalistic and resistant to assimilation into existing international systems. Russia is very reluctant to enter into any type of binding agreement or treaty with other countries or under any international authority. The ultimate objective of the internationalists is the establishment of a single world government. Most of their actions are guided by their objective of creating political, military and economic conditions favourable to the establishment of such a New World Order. All of the major innovations in foreign policy since World War II — the establishment of the United Nations, the WHO, World Trade Organization, the IMF and the World Bank, the establishment of the European Union and the formation of permanent international military alliances, especially NATO — have had as their purpose replacing independent nations with world government.

A Warning from the New American:
“While the partisans of world government have always preferred a peaceful, incremental approach, there can be no doubt that a nuclear war between the West and Russia would furnish the ultimate pretext for fast-tracking world government — a pretext they would certainly not hesitate to exploit should such a war occur. A nuclear World War III would be an unprecedented calamity not only for the lives of millions of people, the fabric of modern civilization, and the rest of life on Earth, but also for future generations who would likely face permanent bondage under a world government in which an independent America was only a distant memory. American leaders have no sound moral or strategic interest in the broils of eastern Europe, and it is deadly folly to risk nuclear war — and its abyssal aftermath — by meddling in quarrels whose moral contours are unclear and whose outcome ought to be none of our business. The meddling needs to stop. Americans should insist, therefore, that their elected representatives in Congress get the United States out of NATO and the United Nations and adopt a noninterventionist foreign policy” Charles Scaliger (TNA February 14, 2022)

First Hand Experience
I have served the persecuted Church throughout Africa and Eastern Europe. I had the privilege of travelling on numerous occasions with Rev. Bill Bathman in East Germany, Hungary, Yugoslavia, ministering in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Bulgaria and Albania. I have numerous friends in Eastern Europe and have also ministered to Russians in Africa, including during the war in Angola and Mozambique. When I was captured by communist forces in Mozambique in 1989, I was escorted by Russian forces in Mi8-Hip helicopters and then in an Antanov 26, to Machava (SNASP Security) Prison in Maputo.

Double Standards and Hypocrisy
Many of my East European friends think that Biden’s US government is extremely hypocritical, considering that the Americans betrayed over 100 million Christians in Eastern European countries, to Stalin’s Soviet Union through the Yalta Agreement in 1945. Ukraine was freed by Germany in 1917 and this independence was reluctantly recognised by Vladimir Lenin’s Soviet Union in the Brest-Litovsk Treaty of March 1918.

Double Betrayal
However, in 1919, through the Versailles Treaty the Allies betrayed the Ukraine back into the hands of the Soviet Union. Many millions of Ukrainians were slaughtered under, first Lenin’s and then, Stalin’s brutal purges. Ukraine was again liberated by Germany in WWII, but then betrayed by Allies, through the Yalta Agreement, back into the blood-stained hands of Stalin’s Soviet Union. Under Operation Keelhaul over 2 million Russians and a million Ukrainians in Western Europe were forcibly repatriated by British and American troops into the hands of the Soviet NKVD, most massacred out of hand and the rest consigned to slave labour in the GULAG in Siberia. “While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption…” 2 Peter 2:19

Strength and Weakness
Referring to the Communists, Winston Churchill declared: "There is nothing they respect more than strength. There is nothing they despise more than weakness!"

Valiant Struggle for Freedom
The Ukrainian Army continued to fight for their freedom and independence for 10 years after the conclusion of WWII. Units of the Ukrainian Army were still operating, with field artillery, fighting valiantly against Soviet oppression, as late as 1955. Yet without receiving any support from the Allies, because what FDR called the Arsenal for Democracy seemed dedicated primarily for Josef Stalin’s communist dictatorship of the Soviet Union.

Capitalists Saved Communism from Collapse
As our friends in Eastern Europe point out to us, without the extravagant support of the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, Stalin’s Soviet Union could not have survived Operation Barbarossa in 1941. Even before America entered WWII officially, vast quantities of military hardware were being flown, shipped and trucked into Russia via Alaska, Persia and Murmansk. An official list of military hardware supplied by the USA to the USSR from 1941, includes: 7,056 tanks; 14,795 military aircraft; 51,503 Jeeps; 375,883 trucks; 35,170 motorcycles; 8,071 tractors; 8,218 artillery pieces; 131,633 machine guns; 345,735 tonnes of explosives; 1,981 locomotives; 90 cargo ships; 4,478,000 tonnes of food supplies; $1,078,965,000 of machines and equipment; 2,670,000 tonnes of petroleum products; 49,860 tonnes of leather; 3,786,000 tyres; 15,417,000 pairs of army boots; 106,893,000 tonnes of cotton; building equipment valued at $10,000,910,000; another 802,000 tonnes of non-iron metals; along with 29 oil tankers; 433 combat ships; mobile bridges; railway equipment; aircraft radio equipment and vast amounts of other items. This list does not include the very generous aid given by Great Britain to the Soviet Union, which included 5,800 aircraft; 4,292 tanks and 12 mine sweepers. Canada supplied the Soviet Union with another 1,188 tanks; 842 armoured cars, 1,000,000 artillery shells and 208,000 tonnes of wheat and flour. "Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Because of this the wrath of the Lord is upon you." 2 Chronicles 19:2

Failure to Support Freedom
However, no aid was supplied to the Ukrainian Freedom fighters, or the Lithuanian forces, who were battling the most brutal dictatorship in the history of the world. So our friends in the Ukraine are extremely cynical about what NATO, the EU and the US are involved in now, interfering in this Ukrainian - Russian conflict.

Lessons of History
As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, declared: "If we do not know our own history, we will simply have to endure all the same mistakes, sacrifices and absurdities all over again."

Strategic Realities
Russian friends point out that there is no way that President Vladimir Putin can allow Russia’s only ice-free port in the Crimea to fall out of the control of the Russian Federation. As Murmansk is up in the Arctic Circle and under ice most of the year and Vladivostok is frozen up with ice half the year, the Russian Navy’s only ice-free ports are in the Crimea. To compare what is at stake, one should consider what Americans would think if California (with the strategic San Diego Naval Base) or Virginia (with Norfolk) strategic naval bases were to secede and be affiliated with Russia. How acceptable would that be?

Short-sighted and Disastrous
Patrick Buchanan has dealt with the consequences of these short-sighted policies and double-standards in his books: A Republic - Not An Empire; and Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War - How Britain Lost Her Empire and The West Lost the World.

The New Evil Empire
Christians in Russia have expressed their shock at how America has become a new evil empire. Promoting abortion and privileges for perverts, with an aggressive pro-homosexual agenda, bullying Africa governments to legalise abortion and homosexuality, and sending generous aid to radical middle-Eastern governments, which severely persecute the Christian Church.

Fuelling Islamic Extremism
Most Americans seem oblivious to the devastating consequences of their State Department’s foreign policy: The bombing and burning of churches in the Middle East that followed the Arab Spring, was in so many ways funded and fuelled by US State Department policy. The devastation of Christians in Iraq, where under the dictator, Sadam Hussein, Christians were protected, but now under the Islamic democracy installed by American forces, Christians are severely persecuted. More than a million Christians have fled Iraq since the US invasion of 2003. These realities are seldom understood in America.

Christian Casualties of Western Policies
Now the US government is channelling aid to Al Qaida affiliated Islamic Jihadists in Syria, who are viciously persecuting Christians in the areas that they control. The secular military dictatorship of Assad had left the Christians alone. At 6% of the population, the Christians in Syria were not considered a serious threat and were actually protected from radical Islamicists. Now by supporting Islamic insurgents who are turning Syria into a catastrophic bloodbath, the West destabilised one of the last countries in the Middle East where Christians were experiencing some stability and protection.

A Warning from Russia
Xavier Lerma of Pravda in Moscow, wrote: "Reagan called the Soviet Union the Evil Empire and rightly so. The Soviet Union was the Russian people held hostage by the Communists. Putin and Reagan listened to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Those who listen to their elders tend to be wiser. Vladimir Putin allows Christianity to flourish, unlike the liberals in America, who have their own warped idea of freedom from God and a denial of evil’s existence in the world.

The Spiritual Threat
"There is a reason why most public schools in America do not teach the Bolshevik Revolution and its true consequences. There are people in the West that want to remove everything related to Christ from public view, just as the Communists did during the Soviet enslavement of Russia. 21st century Russia is proof that Christianity can prevail against darkness and confusion. Today the liberals who control the West fear Putin as though doomsday was tomorrow. It is not a nuclear threat, but rather a spiritual renewal that threatens them. It is not Putin, but Russia’s Christianity they fear. Rather it is Christ they truly fear and hate. They tried to persuade Americans by scaring everyone with ideas of Putin as the evil KGB out to destroy the world… They demonized Putin because it is not our world, but their liberal world that is in danger of being destroyed.

Ignoring Christian Brothers
"How can conservative media sources in America, who claim to be Christian, ignore their Christian brothers in Russia, who are now successful? Martyrs they ignore and the blood that was shed to restore the Christian Church in Russia. They are con-artists playing the conservative side as fools while the liberals enslave the rest. Devout Russian Christians are on the march… not like the Communist Soviet Union, who spread wars like Obama and the US are doing now. These Russians are like disciples of Christ, who lovingly reach out to their brothers and sisters, helping men and women in darkness, enslaved by a materialistic society, who are truly in need of Christ."

The Pink Agenda
Xavier Lerma wrote that the reason Western media are demonizing President Vladimir Putin in Russia, is because Russia has passed laws strengthening the penalties for "propagating homosexuality amongst minors, and for insulting peoples’ religious convictions in public." The so-called Gay Propaganda Bill introduced fines for propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations to minors, including on the media, on the internet and via viral adverts. Under this law, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transvestite (LGBT) rallies are prohibited, as is the distribution aimed at forming non-traditional sexual morality in children. Fines and imprisonment are prescribed for the propagation of homosexuality in Russia. The All Russia Public Opinion Centre showed that 88% of Russians supported this amendment to the law.

Reversal of Roles
It is an incredible irony that religious freedom is under assault by the US Democratic Party and government while the Russian government is printing Bibles to place in hotel rooms! It is an incredible reversal of fortunes that the countries behind what used to be the Iron Curtain, now have some of the most dynamic Christian Churches and the highest percentage of Church attendance in Europe.

Church Growth
It would appear that Western decadence, immorality, materialism, compromise and superficiality in Churches and shallow, sensational entertainment, have been more deadly to the Church than virulent atheist propaganda and vicious communist persecution in the East. Today there are more Evangelical, born-again Christians in Russia than in any other country in Europe. The Ukraine has the second largest group of Evangelical Christians in Europe, followed by Romania. When Russians enjoy more religious freedom in public than Americans, then something is seriously wrong. When Russians expressed their concern about lack of freedom and spiritual discernment in America, we should be very concerned.

Pray for the Christians in Russia and Ukraine
"Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the Word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith." 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2

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