Ukraine is a beautiful country in Eastern Europe, full of rich art, literary & agricultural history. Previously part of the Soviet Union, Ukraine declared independence again in 1991.
Ukrainian is the official language, however Russian is understood & spoken in most all cities (for which I am thankful! Yura is trilingual, but Ukrainian is not in my wheelhouse yet!).
In 2004 the Orange Revolution was a nonviolent protest against the corrupt elections that year. Hope was high for change, but it did not last long. A decade later the Euromaidan Revolution ousted a corrupt President with ties to Putin & violent protests & war began. Putin directed the annexation of Crimea by Russia, as well as the invasion of troops into Eastern Ukraine. Nearly 10,000 Ukrainians have died in this war, & that number rises weekly.
More recently war broke out in Eastern Ukraine & Crimea as Russian forces & separatist rebels took over much of the territories there. Yuriy’s family was displaced, along with nearly a million other Ukrainians. It has impacted the economy greatly.
In 2016 Gallup conducted a poll on world suffering & hopelessness. Ukraine ranked third in the world for natives rating their lives poorly enough to be considered suffering. They also ranked in the bottom for level of happiness. Though these are self-described numbers, it speaks volumes that Ukrainians are without hope, uncertain of the future.
We pray that our feet can be some of many bringing the news of ultimate hope & certainty in Jesus Christ.