With a population of 52 million, Ukrainian legislators are pushing this Soviet Republic toward complete democratic freedom and autonomy from Moscow. This would make it the largest nation in Eastern Europe, and potentially, with its agricultural richness and warm water ports in the Black Sea, on par economically with western European nations such as Germany, France and Italy.
The Ukrainian people are a nation with a complex history, yet until now they have never had a chance to establish independence for long enough to secure their own identity. But this December 1st, its eligible voters will go to the polls to cast two crucial ballots. The first is to decide whether the Ukraine will become independent; the second is to select the republic’s first democratically elected president. The Ukrainians will vote for independence and will choose a leader who will progressively steer the Ukraine toward its national sovereignty.
The economic situation is of a high concern during this time. When the Ukrainian government introduced an internal customs control blocking the flow of agricultural goods to Russia, the Russian government retaliated by blocking the flow of gasoline which has caused severe shortages for automobiles and have shut down factories. Economic ties to Russia remain strong, yet Ukrainians are resolute in their move toward complete national independence.
The most encouraging sign to come out of the Ukraine, however, is its burgeoning spiritual awakening. Long considered to be the “Hub of Christianity,” the city of Kiev is currently experiencing a strong revival of Christianity – the historic kind of Christianity practiced by Jesus and the Apostles. While the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian “Eastern Rite” Catholic Church have struggled over the issue of establishing a “national church” in the Ukraine, many Protestant and non-denominational churches are springing up everywhere.
As was the case in Eastern Europe and the Baltic nations, praying followers of Jesus Christ are sure to have a profound influence on the nation as it moves toward democracy.