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1Dec21 -Ukraine Russia- Original

Dear prayer partners,

In recent days, tensions between Ukraine and Russia have escalated, raising fears of possible armed conflict between the two nations. The years-long war in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, where Russian-speaking separatists have clashed with Ukraine’s armed forces, has regularly threatened to spill over into a larger regional conflict between Ukraine (backed by the US and NATO – an alliance of countries from Europe and North America) and Russia (who sympathises with the separatists, but has denied direct involvement). Both nations have exchanged numerous accusations.

Russia recently staged military drills in the Black Sea saying it needed to enhance their conventional and nuclear forces’ combat-readiness due to heightened NATO activity near its borders. In a press conference, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy acknowledged the threat of Russia’s military build-up and said Ukraine would be ready for it. The US and NATO have voiced concern about a possible Russian attack and have issued warnings of possible consequences should Russia commit any aggressive act towards Ukraine.  The head of the Russian delegation at the Vienna military security and arms control talks, Konstantin Gavrilov, countered that there is no proof of a Russian military build-up on the border of Ukraine. He went on to say the main aim of the US and the Ukraine government was to deflect attention from problems within Ukraine. On Friday 26 November, Mr Zelensky reported that his intelligence services uncovered a plot involving a group of Russians and Ukrainians to overthrow his government. Although much of the back and forth between the two countries could simply be posturing and shuffling to gain geopolitical mileage, there is the danger that a miscalculation could spark open conflict.

Ukraine is home to about 43 million people, 73% of whom profess to be Christian – 67.3% of the population adhere to one or other form of Orthodox Christianity and 3.6% are Evangelical. Russia is home to over 144 million people, 57.6% of whom profess to be Christian – a large percentage adhere to Orthodoxy, while around 1.5% are Evangelical. In April 2021, as tension heightened over Russian troop build-up in the area, requests for prayer went out around the world. About two weeks later we saw the fruit of those prayers— Russia withdrew military units from the Ukrainian border and the Crimean Peninsula. We need to persevere in interceding on these nations’ behalf, that the Lord would intervene, opening doors for fruitful, high-level discussions to take place between Russian and Ukrainian representatives. Ephesians 6:12 (NLT) reminds us: “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” As believers we need to remember that our enemies are not people but rulers and authorities in the spiritual realm. These enemies are not fought on a physical battlefield with earthly weapons, but on our knees in prayer – for a major shift in the heavenlies, resulting in the breaking down of strongholds in the physical realm.

Please join with us as we intercede for Ukraine and Russia.

“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” (2 Cor 10:4, ESV)