Russia (MNN) — The European Union has approved a partial ban on Russian oil imports.
The sanctions package also disconnected the largest Russian banks from the SWIFT international banking system. SWIFT stands for the Society for Worldwide International Financial Telecommunications. It is one of the pillars of the financial world, allowing banks from different countries to securely message each other.
Impact on Russians
All these measures aim to cut off funding for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. How do they affect the average Russian citizen?
Eric Mock with the Slavic Gospel Association says, “Since the very beginning when it became difficult, we were hearing from Russian believers who were sobbing over this. They were embarrassed, they were frustrated. Some of them had almost immediately lost their jobs.”
Mock knew many Russians who had worked with western firms. “When Western companies began pulling out and then the sanctions started taking root, there are a great number of people who lost their livelihoods.”
For Russians living outside Moscow especially, the sanctions have taken a toll. Many people struggle to put food on the table, while also suffering emotionally as they watch their country invade their neighbors.
SGA continues to serve local churches in Russia, as well as Belarus. Mock says, “I think in the middle of recognizing the brutality of what Putin is doing in legislating this war, we shouldn’t group the Russian people in with the Russian leadership. There are many faithful Bible-teaching churches in Russia who are faithfully doing everything they can to minister to those suffering.”
Praise God for the faithfulness of these Russian churches. And pray for an end to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The header photo shows a destroyed Russian vehicle in Ukraine. (Photo courtesy of Mvs.gov.ua, CC BY 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)