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Ukraine6 min read


Ukraine update: Trade violations, child abductions, and more

Megan Stoia
Jun 02, 2023


You’ve been hearing about the war in Ukraine for over a year now.

And because we’re so far removed from the situation, it’s easy to become desensitized to the stories we read. Our feelings of outrage are calming. The overwhelming urge to help Ukrainians is fading.

Many of us skim articles about the war instead of actually reading them because, at this point, even recent events feel like old news.

So today, I want you to take a moment to posture your heart before you continue reading. Remember that these are real people affected by these issues. And God’s heart is breaking for them … just as ours should. Are you ready?

Here are just a handful of the recent events unfolding in Ukraine:

Attacks on Bakhmut and Ternopil

Russian bomb destroys Ukrainian buildings
Over a year after Russia’s full-scale invasion, Ukrainians are losing hope that things will return to normal

With the winter months behind us, Russia is ramping up its attacks on Ukraine again.

On May 21, 2023, Moscow declared victory over Bakhmut after a year-long assault on the city. This marks Russia’s first offensive victory in Ukraine since last summer … and the damages are catastrophic.

The New York Times reported that:

“[Bakhmut] became the scene of the war’s deadliest and most prolonged urban combat in Europe since World War II, with tens of thousands of casualties estimated on both sides.”

Russia hopes that by seizing Bakhmut, they can continue working their way into Eastern Ukraine.

Moscow also launched an overnight missile strike in Ternopil — destroying one of our partner’s humanitarian aid centers.

Estimates show that $250,000 worth of emergency aid for women, children, and the elderly was destroyed in the attack.

Now, our partner is struggling to help the people of Ternopil, who need physical and spiritual aid now more than ever after the attack … but it’s proven difficult to meet these needs with the sudden lack of resources.

Thankfully no one was injured during the bombing … but our partner said the attack served as a “stark reminder of the dangers the Ukrainian people live with every day.”

Pushback on the Black Sea Grain Initiative

Refugees are waiting for help from people like you
If this blockage continues, the price of basic goods like food and fuel will continue to skyrocket

The war in Ukraine hasn’t just affected Ukraine and surrounding countries — it’s making it harder than ever for struggling families around the world to put food on their tables.

Ukraine exports billions of dollars worth of agricultural products like corn and grain each year. So, when Russia first launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, it created a blockade around Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea.

Moscow hoped to cripple Ukraine financially by preventing them from exporting grain.

But this did more than just cut off one of Ukraine’s most crucial sources of revenue … it also has affected people worldwide who rely on Ukraine’s exports.

According to the Atlantic Council, a study by Ukraine’s Ministry of Infrastructure shared that:

“More than 400 million people in Asia and Africa face the prospect of mounting food insecurity due to Russian efforts to restrict Ukrainian agricultural exports.”

The U.N. and Turkey brokered a deal with Russia and Ukraine to re-open these ports last summer. Under the Black Sea Grain Initiative, the exportation of food and fertilizer out of several major ports resumed. Under this agreement, a team of Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish, and U.N. inspectors sign off on each ship.

But recently, there has been pushback from Russian inspectors. The last time they allowed any ships to come in or out of the Pivdennyi port was May 2.

Global leaders have raised concern, saying this directly violates Russia’s agreement.

And if this continues, more than 1.5 million tons of agricultural goods won’t reach their destinations. The price of food worldwide will continue to rise — and countless families will be at risk of starving to death.

The alleged abduction of Ukrainian children to Belarus

Mother in Ukraine needs aid for her children
During times of war, women and children face a higher risk of exploitation

The Ukrainian government is now investigating the disappearance of thousands of children from Russian-occupied territory … many of whom are being sent to Belarus.

And while the president of Belarus denies these accusations, critical pieces of evidence are coming to light.

Former Belarusian Minister of Culture, Pavel Latushka, has documentation of these forced deportations. Latushka leads the National Anti-Crisis Management, which estimated that over 2,150 Ukrainian children were illegally transported to Belarus.

Upon arrival, they’re placed in recreational camps and sanitariums for “Russification.” Once the process is complete, they’re sent to Russia to be adopted.

Under the Rome Statute, this is considered a crime against humanity. Ukrainian children are being systematically rounded up and packed onto trains headed to camps in Belarus.

Sound familiar?

With the evidence Latushka and the Ukrainian prosecution have gathered, they hope the International Criminal Court will issue an arrest warrant for Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

How you can help

You can send emergency aid to Ukraine today
The emergency aid you provide to Ukrainians will help replenish our partner’s warehouses in cities like Ternopil

Even though you are thousands of miles away from the war, there are two easy and meaningful things you can do to help Ukrainian refugees!

First and foremost, you can pray.

Please take a moment to pray for those who have lost their loved ones during this tragic war. Pray that God would provide and protect everyone affected by it. And pray for a swift end to the war so Ukrainians can return home safely.

Second, you can give.

For just $35, you can provide a week’s worth of emergency aid like food, water, and medical supplies for one Ukrainian refugee.

Please, give your best gift now to help refugees from Ukraine or another war-torn country around the world. Your gift will be a lifeline … and a powerful example of God’s love.


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