Ukraine in Crisis: What’s happening?
PTS graduate Youry O. wrote us this morning:
S.O.S. Urgent Prayer request from Ukraine!
Dear friends! We ask you to take with us a heavy burden of prayer for our country, Ukraine and our family. As you may know from watching the news, for the last three months our country was struggling from protests and violent clashes between police forces and protesters who tried to overpower corrupt pro-Russian government in the country. There are more then a hundred people killed and tortured, thousands are wounded already. After the former president of Ukraine fled to Russia, the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, commanded its military forces to invade Crimea (Southern Ukraine), and now there is a serious threat that they will advance into all Eastern part of Ukraine where we live. People are frightened. Economy is staggering. If the conflict escalates on the international level it may even grow into a WWIII. We ask you to think that suddenly some else’s war may very soon consume all of the world. Please, ask your church, your friends and families to pray for safety of our family, for the peace in Ukraine, and for the peace to all of civilized humanity. We do not want our children to see the war in there homeland! Please, do not stand aside.
DECLARATION OF THE UKRAINIAN CHURCHES AND RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS ABOUT THE FOREIGN AGGRESSION
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Ukraine’s UN ambassador vows: ‘We will succeed’
READ: Ukraine’s letter to United Nations
Who’s in charge of Ukraine?
Russia’s take: Viktor Yanukovych remains Ukraine’s elected leader, and Ukraine’s new government is illegitimate. Russian United Nations envoy Vitaly Churkin called it an “armed takeover by radical extremists.”
Ukraine’s take: Ukraine has a legitimate government and is set to have new presidential elections on May 25. “Let’s give an opportunity for that to work,” Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.N. Yuriy Sergeyev said.
United States’ take: Yanukovych abandoned his post last month, fled the country and was then voted out of office by Ukraine’s democratically elected parliament.
How many Russian troops are inside Ukraine?
Russia’s take: Russia hasn’t said how many troops it’s sent into Ukraine.
Ukraine’s take: Russia has sent military ships, helicopters and cargo planes to deploy 16,000 troops into Crimea since February 24, Sergeyev told the United Nations on Monday.
United States’ take: Russian forces “have complete operational control of the Crimean peninsula,” a senior U.S. administration official told CNN on Sunday, with estimates of 6,000 Russian ground and naval forces in the region
Do Russian troops have a right to be in Crimea?
Russia’s take: Yes. A treaty between the neighboring nations allows Russia to have up to 25,000 troops in Crimea, Russia’s U.N. envoy said Monday, adding that Yanukovych requested that Russia send military forces.
Ukraine’s take: No. Russian troops amassing in Crimea and near the border with Ukraine are an “act of aggression.”
United States’ take: No, and Russian President Vladimir Putin is playing a dangerous game. The consequences of military action “could be devastating,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power said Monday.
Why is the tense standoff unfolding now?
Russia’s take: Russia has said its parliament approved Putin’s use of military force to protect Russian citizens in the Crimean peninsula.
Ukraine’s take: There’s no evidence of any threat to Russians inside Ukraine. Russia wants to annex Crimea.
United States’ take: Russia is responding to its own historic sensitivities about Ukraine, Crimea and their place in Moscow’s sphere of influence, a senior White House official told CNN Monday. Russia fears that Ukraine is falling under European or Western influence, the official said.