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A Letter from Ukraine

March 31, 2014

Greetings and Peace from Ukraine.

Dear Friends,

As you have been following, it has been a traumatic few months here in Urkraine. In February, the center of Kyiv was engulfed by violent confrontations between protesters and riot police that left up to 100 people dead and hundreds of others injured. The upheaval led the (former) president, Viktor Yanukovich, to flee Ukraine, which resulted in a newly elected government to serve the country.

Since those tumultuous events, the streets in Kyiv have remained calm, but conflict has spread to other parts of Ukraine. In recent weeks, Russian forces invaded Crimea, a move that resulted in this southern Ukrainian peniunsula to be annexed by Russia. Russian forces are now positioned along Russia's western border with Ukraine. There remains a fear that even a small provocation could lead to an invasion by Russian troops into eastern Ukraine.

Throughout these difficult months, congregations of the United Methodist Church in Ukraine have been fervently praying for a peaceful end to the violence. The conflict is not over, and so we remain in prayer, awaiting the next developments and striving to proclaim the Gospel message of peace. In these dark moments, we have found strength and comfort in the support of our many friends in the United States and around the world who have been joining us in prayer.

Recently, our bishop, Eduard Khegay, traveled from Moscow to western Ukraine to visit with our pastors and offer his support and prayers during this difficult time. You may read his personal reflection on the current situation.

Thank you for your continued support and prayers.

Yours in Christ,

Rev. John Calhoun

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