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Peace amid fear

Peace amid fear?  Today it is reported that we had a death-free day in the conflict zone… the first since a truce was brokered in Minsk 10 days ago.  It must be said that they may as well have agreed to send an expedition to Pluto as agree on a truce.  There was no chance of that truce being honoured.  And as the country processes a day of no killing and hopes for peace… it fears.  This cannot last.  Putin has sent so much weaponry into the Eastern States and they have tasted the highs of success… what reason do they have for stopping now?  Combine this with a big hit on the savings and living standards of the majority of Ukrainians (over the past two days) as the Hryvnia has gone into free-fall and prices of goods have risen in some instances more than 50%… and the threat of an increase in electricity prices by 40% starting next month brings fear right there to the surface!  During the month of January, over 30% less petrol was bought by drivers here in Ukraine.  That figure alone speaks volumes on the state of the short-term economic future here.

And yet… life goes on.  People still go to work.  Kids go to school.  Mothers still collect their little ones from kindergarten.  Young people meet to hang out on the week-ends… It somehow seems wrong.

Alyosha Kurilko

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Alyosha Kurilko, husband of Natasha and father of Lilya and Denis, just called.  Natasha and her kids were here for the evening and she took the call. 

He and his fellow soldiers were on their way to support a position in Piski, (located slightly to the left of centre in the photo).  The airport you see on this Google-maps image no longer looks like this.  It is under snow and is a bombed out wreck from all the fighting that has gone on for it’s capture during the last several months.  Alyosha said that they came under attack from artillery as they drove along the road just near Piski, and were hiding in cellars that they’d managed to find in buildings they were passing.  He’s in extreme danger and would appreciate our prayers. 

Thanks, on his behalf.

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Grad

There are a few things in life that make me emotional.  I was just brought to tears as I watched a video of the war going on in this country of ours.  Not sure what it is that affects me so.  The cruelty of war?  Suffering?  The hate that war stirs up between men?  I’m not sure.  I do believe; however, that a sovereign God will, in so many ways, be glorified because of the events of these days.  May His people be faithful!

 There have been a number of times over the last 12 months that Ukraine has been shaken to its core.  The bombing of Mariupol by the Russian-backed separatists last week was one such time.  The war has been quietly ticking away over the last few months; then this happens, and suddenly everyone is again talking and wondering what will happen in the short-term future and voicing frightening possibilities.  Here’s a clip of the “Grad” (Hail) missiles on YouTube which fell on Mariupol.  (This weapon used to be impressive in my eyes.  I now see it from a different perspective – it’s death.)  The clip is actually one put together by the separatists.  Funnily enough, I’m still surprised by their audacious attempts at lying their way out of sticky situations.  I guess their philosophy is that they only need to convince their own people.  (Click on the link.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3O0hTNulR-w

Exchange rate

                                  (A year ago)                                     (Today – but no one will sell dollars at 16.65!!)