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“The Wild, Wild East”- News from Ukraine

After thirteen years, we are not surprised at the speed and velocity of the revolution. Ukraine has extraordinary potential; natural resources and geographical position, yet the country is divided.uk14_1

If East could meet West, it would likely be in Ukraine. To the East lies Russia, to the North Belarus and to the West, five European countries. Ukraine has been invaded so many times it’s difficult to remember them all. Think about that, living in America. On the surface, Ukraine is a usual Eastern European country, underneath the government is between a dictatorship and democracy.

What happens next, even after today’s mediation and compromises which diminish the President’s power, call for new elections and a coalition government to be put in place, within the next ten days, amnesty for all protesters, the release of Yulia Tymoshenko (political prisoner) and the dismissal  of the interior minister, will ultimately depend on Russia. The Olympic Games in Sochi end on Sunday, February 23 rd. It is widely believed that Russia will then begin an offensive on the ground and/or economically. In the Western part of Ukraine people are solidified. They clearly want connection to Europe, however, the East, South and Crimea are on the fence.

Yesterday’s deadly attack in Kyiv claimed at least 108 lives. One, was the best friend of a Gift of Life driver. A member of the church in Krementz, a women doctor who was attempting to drag a victim to safety, was struck in the neck. She remains in critical condition. The protesters vow to remain on the Maiden until all agreements are met. Some insist that the President Yanukovych step down.

Today, the atmosphere is calmer because leaders in the West dug in their heels against the violence. Trains are running, the highway to Kyiv is travel-able.  The metro (underground subway) in Kyiv is operating, and air travel in or out of the country is unobstructed.

Interestingly, in Ternopil, police are in plain clothes keeping law and order per the city Mayor.

Gift of Life operates as usual. The Ukrainian support staff  have stepped up to the task. Preventative measures were put in place by administration ahead of the crisis.  Kyiv counselors continue to work and numbers of clients coming to them have not declined. Praise be to God!  We thank you, supporters. Please pray for Gift of Life and the people of Ukraine during these difficult times. May God bless you all!

Nicholas Laper
Gift of Life – Director



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