My First-Hand Report About Events in Ukraine

March 2, 2014

Summary page of reports

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Today I spoke with my friends in Ukraine to see how they were doing. I have been very concerned about their safety and state of mind. Over the past few weeks the protests, violence and killing on the mall in Kiev that I have walked over numerous times has filled me with a grievous sadness.  While we continually hear of terrible things happening in the world, this one strikes close to home. 

I had the privilege to come to the United States in 1949 through my World War II refugee parents.  My mother was from eastern Ukraine, my father from the west.  I have no extended family in the United States; they are all in Ukraine.  I have worked in humanitarian terms with the Revival Centre for Rehabilitation of Children near Chernobyl for 18 years and with Sabbath-keeping churches in Western Ukraine and dearly know many people and communicate continually with them. I speak Ukrainian fluently.

Thankfully, I was able to reach everyone today via Skype to phone with clear connections…both in Eastern and Western Ukraine.  What did I learn? 


My first conversation was with the director of the rehabilitation center for children in Chernihev.  We have known each other for almost two decades and he and his wife have been our friends. Through LifeNets we have sent considerable aid for the center through the years.

In our conversation he stated that the war now is psychological and is based on biased negative reporting by the Russians. Ukrainians have different views about what’s happening as they are seeking elections to sort out the leadership and go on.  The Russians report that the Ukrainian government has been taken over by terrorists and bandits. Russia is trying  to provoke an incident to give reason to invade and bring “order,” an order which usually means that they plan to stay.

Various ideas about what’s next are spoken of in Ukrainian news. Some are talking about a divided Ukraine with the East either being absorbed by Russia, becoming a separate state or part of a confederation of states. It’s all not clear. The west is clearly pro-western and wants nothing to do with Russia.  Already pro-Russian rallies particularly in Kharkov (close to where my mother came from) are being staged.  Similar ones are taking place in Donetsk and other eastern and southeastern areas.  My friend told me that anything through the media is “not the full story.”  I told him what was reported here and he confirmed that generally it is correct, but not the full story.  He was thankful for US and Canadian sentiments of support and hopefully coming closer ties with Europe in order to bring stability, but for now they are very worried and concerned.  They live about 100 miles north of Kiev near the Russian and Belarusian border. 

In the west I spoke with my dear friend who has made our LifeNets projects work. We have visited numerous times, help street children and orphans, help with summer camps for children and much more.  He is a businessman and Sabbath-keeper.  In the west it is more relaxed.  People seem to be going about their regular business with no alarm in the air. The hot situation in Crimea is a long ways away (for now). Deposed Ukrainian president Viktor Yankevich is looked up as a corrupt and immoral person who has squandered budgeted resources and looks on the people as “little sticks” who just work for the government.  Putin is regarded as the irrational and arrogant person seeking only to continue his mission of conquest. 

The Sabbath-keeping churches held special prayer for protection for the people and their families yesterday.  They look in faith for God to deliver them as He has multiple times before 1991 when they were under the Soviet Union.  The warning winds of tribulation are beginning to blow against them and they turn earnestly to God.

My calls to Ukraine this morning have sobered me…

-- Victor Kubik


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