Russia (MNN) — After suffering a string of military defeats in Ukraine, Russia has doubled down on its invasion.
Russian-backed officials now plan to hold referendums in the occupied Donetsk and Luhansk regions, formally making them a part of Russia. Eric Mock with the Slavic Gospel Association says, “The reason these referendums don’t carry the same weight as they carried in Crimea is that the Ukrainian military is still very actively engaged, and these are truly contested regions.”
“So it is more statesmanship than it is anything else.”
In addition, Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of Russia’s population into the military. Mock says, “The mobilization, in a sense, is a shift of terms away from the Russian perspective of a ‘special military operation’ to a war. Once you state war, you’re now saying there is an intent to either fight to victory or capitulate to a loss. It’s no longer just a special operation.”
In an address, Putin said the mobilization would apply to military reserves. However, the decree itself sets no boundaries on who might be called up. Protests against the war erupted across Russia, and thousands have been arrested.
Pray that Russian Christians would reflect Jesus in a chaotic time.
All this is a sign the invasion won’t stop anytime soon, Mock says. “Two nights ago, we saw rockets hit a heating and electrical plant in the Kharkiv region. The loss of electricity and heating is a disastrous result for the people of Ukraine as they’re getting into winter. There’s going to be a great need for wood and coal.”
You can help SGA’s efforts in Ukraine here. Mock says, “We’re working through the SGA supported missionary pastors as well as all the Baptist Union churches there, about 2,000 churches. So this has allowed us to truck in aid through the churches so that the Gospel and the love of God are shown.”
The header photo shows damage during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Photo courtesy of the Slavic Gospel Association)