Ukraine: A Warfront Perspective

I am asked everyday why Save Ukraine Now is important. There are so many good organizations. Is one more really necessary?

Today we received this email from a woman who has directed a home for troubled youth for more than 15 years. She describes the situation as it is today. It will only get worse when the weather turns cold in a few weeks. This is why Save Ukraine Now is important.

 Gary Kellner
Save Ukraine Now

Guest Post

By Liz Milliken, NGO director for aged out orphan projects in Zhytomyr, Ukraine.

Hundreds of thousands of civilians are living in harm’s way, sleeping in basements at night and trying to survive without getting bombed (yes, in the middle of a ceasefire).

A friend of ours has taken in a family, three kids and their dad. The mom was at the open market and was killed in bombings along with her unborn child. Civilians and Ukrainian soldiers are dying every day. There are elderly and disabled people (who were unable to evacuate) who are now dying of starvation, especially in big cities where they are without access to garden plots. There is little to buy in the few stores that are open and no way for folks to get money to buy anything.

I wish things like this would make it to the news in the States.

As winter gets closer, the refugee crisis is getting more complicated. Many refugees have been living at government and non-government summer camps where there is no heat and they are being moved to new locations.

The refugees in my village were “lucky” to be moved to a sport campground that at least has some form of heat and where they are fed. The Zhytomyr ministry of sports and youth has been feeding these 60 people, but now they are out of money and are going into debt with every place they purchase food from, and their days are numbered for racking up debt with no way to pay it back.

I imagine it’s the same everywhere, nobody is sure how all the refugees are going to be taken care of. My friends from the sport campground are so grateful that they are not being bombed here in Zhytomyr like they were at home. They have peace that God can work things out, even though we don’t see a way through the darkness.

A Call to Action

The situation in eastern Ukraine is dire.

According to the UN, more than 1,000,000 people have been forced to flee their homes, leaving everything they had behind. Many more are without water and electricity. Food and medical supplies are running low and in a few weeks the weather will become bitter and the suffering will become deadly.

Without such assistance, thousands of individuals will get sick and many — especially the old and infirm—will die.

Because of the many years I have worked in Ukraine on charitable, educational and political projects, I believe that a synergy of government, NGOs and faith-based organizations offers the best hope for relieving the suffering of the population in the present crisis. I am hopeful of success because every sector of society has committed itself to cooperation, beginning with the Office of the President and including business leaders, charitable organizations and churches.

Responding to the humanitarian crisis alone is not sufficient.

It is time to tell the world the truth about Vladimir Putin and the threat he represents not only to Ukraine, but also to Europe and the US. The response of the Western democracies to Russian aggression in Ukraine makes it obvious that many of the leaders of these governments do not possess the historical perspective or an understanding of what is at stake. We need to help them understand that the place to stop Putin is the Donbas, not the Vistula.

A tragic and under-reported dimension of the crisis in Ukraine is the war being waged against the religion by the separatists.Bishops and pastors have been abducted, tortured and beaten. The murder of five pastors and deacons has been confirmed. Hundreds of churches have been closed, with many churches either destroyed or taken over by terrorists, leaving whole congregations without places to worship.

Persecution has not been experienced to so great a scale since the days of Communism.

This is the situation that gives rise to Save Ukraine Now, an organization that will provide direct aid to the Ukrainian people in the recently liberated areas of eastern Ukraine and will be a strong and aggressive advocate for Ukraine to the Western governments, the media, NGOs and wider public.

Dr. Gary Kellner
Save Ukraine Now