Uncertain Times in Eastern Ukraine Continue into 2022

2022 has begun with more uncertainty for those living in Eastern Ukraine with violence and danger increasing daily.
Fears that armed conflict could again erupt in eastern Ukraine are being reported in the media as recent remarks and events point towards escalating tensions in the region.

For those people who live in eastern Ukraine’s conflict zone, however, many are too focused on everyday survival to pay much attention to news reports or to what the politicians are saying.

As further invasion threats loom, there are more pressing needs to face, such as where the next meal will come from.​​​​​​​

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Oleg Serbo, a MWB staff member in Slovyansk, Donetsk oblast, eastern Ukraine, said, “This is our pain and our daily reality, that the war continues. The economic situation is deteriorating. Many people live on the brink of survival, far below the breadline. I believe that people’s spiritual awakening is the one and only answer to what we see here."

He says, “When it comes to the threat of war, we’ve already become used to living with that sense that things could take a turn for the worse at any given moment.

“In some ways, people are braced for the worst to happen, but at the same time, they hope that somehow everything will settle down and there will be no full-scale war.

“In general, probably like everyone else, we simply don’t know what will happen tomorrow, and we live in the hope that everything will be fine. Believers continue to pray for peace.”

The severe poverty that people are living in is an ongoing battle that they wake up to every day. The economy in eastern Ukraine, based around mining, metallurgy and chemical processing, has been shattered first by the ongoing conflict and then by the Covid-19 pandemic. High unemployment, food insecurity and a lack of access to basic services are challenges here, and there is a general unwillingness to invest in the region while the threat of further conflict looms.

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Oleg said, “People here are living in a great deal of poverty. This is probably the case not only in our region, but throughout Ukraine. Gas and electricity bills have become especially unbearable. Many people find that half of their salary goes on paying these bills in a shared apartment. And a lot of people can’t afford anything beyond the absolute essentials – if that – as prices are just constantly increasing.”

Oleg visits families and elderly people regularly, providing practical support to them and sharing with them the message of God’s love. “Among those who aren’t Christians, there’s little interest in God or the church,” he said. “Most of the non-believers I talk to explain their reluctance to attend church by saying that they need to survive and all their time is spent on work or on looking for work.

Although politics are the focus in the news, families in Eastern Ukraine are more focused on providing for their basic needs day to day.

“However, when I visit families in poverty to give them food and hygiene parcels, they’re really grateful for the help. More than once, people have said to me, ‘Today I had nothing to give to the children to eat. Thank God, and thank you, for bringing this food.’”

MWB will continue to be there for families and elderly people living in poverty in eastern Ukraine, thanks to our supporters – and we pray for peace, for God’s protection, and for his blessing on Ukraine.

Delivering Operation Christmas Love Boxes in the conflict zone of Eastern Ukraine

Your gift to Mission Without Borders will help people living in Eastern Ukraine during these uncertain and dangerous times. Donate today and help bring hope and light to those in need.




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