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Weekly Update: Where is the Ukraine crisis heading? Trust in God

25 February 2022

President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is part of Russia’s broader confrontation with the West. This includes Russia’s deep involvement in Syria, where it is cooperating with the Syrian regime and Iran.

The Ukraine crisis raises a much larger problem for the West: what capacity does the West, which has been down-sizing its military capacities, and has no appetite for military conflict, have to confront Russia’s expansionist ambitions? What if Russia tries to take over the whole of Ukraine, whose sovereignty it denies? How should the West deal with Russia’s growing cooperation with Iran and China in the Middle East?

However all of this plays out in the coming weeks and months, Russian and Iranian aggression have major security consequences for Israel.

Most immediately, Ukraine’s Jewish communities are threatened. Israel, rightly, is preparing for large-scale evacuation of Jews from Ukraine, which number up to 300,000. Christians for Israel’s team in Ukraine is working hard to assist.

Koen Carlier reports: “Our priority is to continue to pack and distribute the food parcels now. In addition, we are constantly monitoring the situation at the airports so that the Jewish people who are planning to leave can actually go to Israel. We are strengthened by the knowledge that the Mighty One of Israel holds everything in His hand.”

As Corrie ten Boom so beautifully put it:

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”

 

The Editorial team – Israel & Christians Today

Ukraine’s Jewish community on edge as Russia invades country
Chief Rabbi Yaakov Bleich told JNS that the Jews “are part of the general community. What’s good for Ukraine is good for the Jews of Ukraine. What’s bad for Ukraine is bad for the Jews of Ukraine.”

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From Kyiv to Damascus, Moscow is confronting the West
Eyal Zisser (Tel Aviv University) writes at JNS: “The world’s attention is now focused on Eastern Europe, but Russia is large enough to act on multiple fronts.”

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Putin’s winter war
Clifford May writes in JNS: “A strategy to contain him should have been implemented years ago.”

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‘My bag’s paced’: Jewish lawyer who fled 2014 Ukraine fight readies for the worst
Sue Surkes writes in Times of Israel: There are Russian troops in the north with Belarus. The only place left to escape is to the west, to Poland and Romania, and that area. Will refugees be welcome there is also a big question.”

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Biden Ignoring Budapest Memorandum Commitments to Ukraine

Gordon Chang writes at Gatestone: “To induce Ukraine to give up the nuclear weapons inherited on the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the U.S., Great Britain and Russia agreed to provide assurances. If Washington were to allow Russia to gobble up the rest of Ukraine, it would tell non-nuclear states they must have nuclear arsenals because they cannot rely on the nuclear weapons powers for security.”

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Russia’s alliance with Iran

The Institute for National Security Studies warns about growing cooperation between Russia and Iran. “Israel must consider Russia’s interests, both vis-à-vis Iran and vis-à-vis Washington, within the changing international circumstances, and take into account that at some point the Iranian card may be played in ways that directly harm Israeli interests. This is both in the context of freedom of action in Syria (joint flights with the Syrian Air Force?) as well as in political statements contrary to the Israeli interest. In an extreme scenario, there may even be an interest in increasing tensions in the Syrian arena as a means of Russian pressure on the West over the Ukrainian issue.”

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Scripture for the week: 

Psalm 120

A song of ascents.

I call on the Lord in my distress,
    and he answers me.
Save me, Lord,
    from lying lips
    and from deceitful tongues.

What will he do to you,
    and what more besides,
    you deceitful tongue?
He will punish you with a warrior’s sharp arrows,
    with burning coals of the broom bush.

Woe to me that I dwell in Meshek,
    that I live among the tents of Kedar!
Too long have I lived
    among those who hate peace.
I am for peace;
    but when I speak, they are for war.