A prayer for Ukraine


My grandma was Ukrainian. My granddad was Russian. They lived happily in Ukraine all their life and are now both resting in peace next to each other…

What is happening in Ukraine now is not as simple as a pro-Western faction of residents protesting a unilateral decision to pull away from deeper EU integration made by a democratically elected government. There’s much more to the story.

While a few experts are trying to put the story straight in Ukraine from the geopolitical perspective, propaganda machines is busily working on all sides, manipulating public perception. Similar to the media coverage of the conflict in Afghanistan in 1984-1986 , the story gets twisted by the media machines in support of a certain agenda.


From When the Media Chooses the Side

As Neil Clark points out in his article Ukraine & EU: Why some protestors are more equal than others, “leading western media outlets have not only have deemed the protests to be a major story, but their reporting makes it quite clear whose side they are on….It’s revealing to compare the highly sympathetic, high profile western coverage of the Ukrainian protests with the way other protests have been covered in recent years… Generally speaking, we can say that if the protests are against a government the western elites don’t like or it’s a cause they support… then they will receive extensive coverage. Not only that, but the protest will be reported in a very positive way, even if violence is used by the protesters… “, while if similar violence is used by protesters in Western countries they will be “condemned as ‘thugs’ and ‘criminals’”.

From Getting the Story Straight in Ukraine

Russian media on the other hand is focusing all attention on the most controversial element of the anti-government alliance in Ukraine – Svoboda, an extreme right-wing political party that has representation in Ukrainian parliament and is widely known for its neo-Nazi views. Its leaders are included on the top ten list of most active anti-Semites of the world for their calls to fight with “goat-likes [Russians] and kikes [Jewish].”


The history of the radical nationalist movement in Ukraine is very long.  The radical nationalist organization under the leadership of Stepan Bandera actively cooperated with Hitler’s troops during the war, fighting against Jews, Russians and Poles.

Sergey Kirichuk, a member of the group Borotba, which publishes and anti-fascist magazine in Ukraine, told Channel 4 News that these neo-Nazis are the most violent elements on the streets. “They are the ones throwing molotovs and trying to kill policemen… Svoboda are leading ideologically now. Fascism is like a fashion now, with more and more people getting involved.”

What about people? Ordinary people like my uncles, aunties, cousins, nieces and nephews? They can only hope that their beautiful country won’t turn into a Hell on Earth. 😦

Let’s pray for the safety and well-being of all hard-working peaceful people in Ukraine – for dear Ukrainians, Russians, Jews, Poles and all the other people living in that beautiful land. Pray with us too, dear grandma and granddad, from your resting place to keep peace.

From Please Pray for Ukraine

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57 thoughts on “A prayer for Ukraine

  1. bkpyett says:

    What a comprehensive look at the problems in Ukriane! It must be hard thinking of your relatives living through such chaos and crisis.
    Yes, prayers are needed. Thank you for your personal look into this situation.

    • Otrazhenie says:

      I could not sleep last night thinking about all my relatives and friends there, including my little nephew who is still a baby. When I was a child, I used to spend summer holidays in Ukraine with my relatives. I always felt safe there and remember Ukraine as a very beautiful land with kind warm-hearted people.

      • Mélanie says:

        I had guessed a while ago you were Russian and I do believe you, O… 😦 I had a wonderful Ukrainian friend at highschool…
        * * *
        I think that another Pandora’s box has been opened with this riots… and here in Western Europe we don’t trust communist KGB-ist Putin & his “gang”… I do belive in concrete actions as prayers are simply virtual and God never does anything in our place.
        * * *
        wish you and your relatives my very best…<3

      • Otrazhenie says:

        I do not believe in the power of prayer without actions too – hence that post. Yes, it does look like another Pandora’s box has been opened. Personally I do not trust either Putin nor US government or any geopolitical games. Fascism and ethnical cleansing however scares me the most. 😦

      • Mélanie says:

        same here, O… remember when bush-w stated that God had whispered to him to invade and occupy Iraq!!! ILLEGALLY!!! with his shame coalition while 99% of the planet was against it… the US troops have installed “freedom and democracy” in Iraq, right?! dahhh!!! more than 150 000 Iraqi civilians killed!!! 😦

  2. Simply tragic. Holding good intentions for a positive and peaceful outcome.

  3. agrudzinsky says:


    I lived 27 years in Lviv, Western Ukraine. Lviv is at the heart of the nationalist movement. I am an ethnic Russian. Russian persecution in Ukraine is such a bull shit (forgive me my French). In Ukrainian social media people are laughing at this neonazi BS.

    Russian flags on the buildings in Eastern Ukraine are raised by paid Russian provocateurs – same people in multiple cities. Locals are singing Ukrainian anthem under blue-and-yellow flags.

    • Otrazhenie says:

      I’m not sure in what social media people are laughing at neo-nazis – my friends and relatives in Ukraine do not find Ukrainian neo-nazis ‘funny’ at all, as I do not find Russian neo-nazis ‘funny’. Here is what we see when it comes to neo-nazis in either Ukraine or Russia: http://youtu.be/79wU5B6hAEQ – does that really make you laugh?

      • agrudzinsky says:

        Sorry, I did not say it well. Neonazis are not funny and I’m concerned about them as well. What I meant to say that people make fun of the Russian lies. E.g., here is a recent mock “invitation” from Lviv residents to Putin to visit their city.

        And here is a video showing the “search” for neonazis in Odessa. The video is titled “ALARM! BANDEROVTSI IN ODESSA!” (This, by the way, is made in March – very peaceful streets).

        This may be somewhat inappropriate, but this picture is mocking “Russian soldiers searching for neo-Nazis in Crimea”

        These videos and pictures are reposted and shared on Facebook by West and East Ukrainians alike. This may illustrate the level of the “neo-Nazi” threat in Ukraine.

      • Otrazhenie says:

        Glad that Odessa, the famous Ukrainian capital of humour, did not lose its sense of humour over the years. I got lost there once – almost missed my train while ‘playing jokes’ with ‘helpful’ people on the streets of Odessa, who were providing me with very ‘humorous’ directions to the railway station. Will make sure to take GPS when visiting Odessa next time. 🙂

        Glad to see that Lvov is catching up with Odessa when it comes to sense of humour. Thanks for reminding me the Ukrainian sense of humour – I needed it 🙂

        We should not forget however that a number of people died in recent weeks so it is not all jokes after all. 😦

      • agrudzinsky says:

        No. It’s not a joke. People are dead serious and willing to die for Ukraine. I have a friend who signed up as a volunteer in the army to defend Ukraine from Putin. I’m proud for them. I was skeptical a few months ago, but now I’m proud and excited.

      • Otrazhenie says:

        And that’s what scares me the most – the war, Russians and Ukrainians killing each other. I don’t feel excited about that at all, though I do understand your ‘proudness’ and would not be surprised if my family and friends volunteered in the army to defend Ukraine from Putin or any other invader if it comes to that.

        Everyone knows that neither Putin, nor Obama or any other leader truly cares about either Russians or Ukrainians. It is all about geopolitical power, it is all about their ‘status’ as ‘powerful’ leaders. Let’s hope however that we won’t get to any further conflicts or wars there. We had enough tears there already…

      • agrudzinsky says:

        At this time, I’m pretty sure, there will be no war with Russia in Ukraine. There are already news of Putin relaxing the situation. News anchors at RT openly quit denouncing the anti-Ukrainian propaganda.

        I believe, if Putin had serious plans for war, he would not allow this to be aired. But since he is not going to invade Ukraine, he can afford playing a sugar daddy.

        Invading Crimea is not in his interest. Consider the Tartars backed by Turkey and the rest of the Muslim world.

      • Otrazhenie says:

        War between Russian and Ukraine would be totally bizarre. With so many Russians living in Ukraine and Ukrainians living in Russia, it would be almost like a civil war. “Sugar daddy” – like how you coined that term 🙂

      • agrudzinsky says:

        My concern is that the way things go in Crimea right now, the likely outcome may be Ukrainians fighting Ukrainians. Hopefully, not. Ukrainian army holds itself together quite nicely in Crimea.

  4. randomrose says:

    So, so sad. Wars and unrest will never end.

    • Otrazhenie says:

      Very sad. I still hope the wars and unrest will end one day. If we keep fighting, we’ll never be able to focus on global issues facing the whole humankind and the whole planet Earth.

  5. agrudzinsky says:

    The video is sickening. Some of the antisemitic graffiti is in Russian! I believe, the video is fabricated. Most of it relates to WWII and shows German Nazis, not Ukrainian nationalists. The WWII events are 70 years old. There are few skinhead thugs in Ukraine (far fewer than in Russia). But, as a whole, the nationalist movement is more patriotic than racist. It’s more of “proud to be a Ukrainian” type of thing – it’s about love to Ukraine rather than hatred to others. Swastika on the synagogue in Crimea appeared only after Russians occupied the peninsula. Even Jews say that it was a Russian provocation. I lived in Lviv for 27 years. I am an ethnic Russian. 2/3 of my class at school were Jews. I and many of my classmates emigrated, but not because of the persecution. Mostly, because of the corruption of Ukrainian (now past) government and the dismal economic situation.

    Now, after the victory, the people are hopeful that they have a chance of building Ukraine for themselves (if Putin lets them to).

    • Otrazhenie says:

      I don’t have much trust in Putin and his geo-political games either, as I don’t have much trust in US or any other geo-political manipulations 😦

      With regard to neo-nazism, when I was spending my summer holidays in Ukraine in 1980-1990s with my Ukrainian relatives, I did feel safe and was not aware of any ethnic issues. That did change and is getting worse according to my family, who is still living in Ukraine. The same in Russia – I’ve not seen even a single skinhead neo-nazi on the streets there until the collapse of the USSR, when everything went totally out of control. It got only worse and worse since then.

      I have a close friend living in Crimea too. I’ve heard plenty of stories of Ukrainian neo-nazis, Swastika and violence in Crimea from him too over the last decade. Working in a hospital as a medical doctor, he has seen a lot over the last decade.

      You were lucky to emigrate from Ukraine before neo-nazism developed beyond the ‘laughing point’. It is not funny at all.

      • agrudzinsky says:

        I have my concerns too. Some videos from the recent event are alarming. But, from what I see and hear, in general, I cannot call the overturn of Yanukovich “a faschist coup”. It was a truly people’s movement. There were extremes, but they do not dominate the general picture. I have a lot of hope, as most Ukrainians today.

  6. Another good post to open the eyes. Thank you Big O. MM 🍀

  7. agrudzinsky says:

    I very much agree with your post. It’s very difficult to get an unbiased picture about Ukraine in any media. The events are so complicated that, even being on the spot, it’s hard to understand what’s going on. There are thugs in police uniform. There are thugs killing police. There are people who pretend to be “revolutionaries”, just robbing other people and harassing authorities. There are “unidentified armed objects” and “little green people” (as locals call them) in Crimea. There are provocateurs from Russia who hang Russian flags on administrative buildings. There are paid actors who play “victims” in many different Ukrainian cities for Russian TV. On top of that, there are speculations of politicians and all kinds of rumors.

    From what I hear from Ukraine, it’s largely peaceful now. I believe, Putin has no intention of war with Ukraine at this time.

    Sorry for flooding your blog with posts. For the last few weeks, I’m a bit obsessed with these events as you may understand. It’s mind-boggling how propaganda machines act on the mind.

    • Otrazhenie says:

      Totally agree with you on that – it is a total mess with provocateurs and thugs from all corners and in all sorts of uniforms.

      I’ve just got confirmation from my nearest and dearest, that their are OK and the situation seem to be OK at the moment. Hopefully, that will last.

      As for Putin, we have plenty of thugs and corruption in Russia to keep him busy and away from Ukraine 😉

    • Otrazhenie says:

      And don’t feel sorry for flooding my post with comments. I enjoyed a lot chatting with you and getting a breeze of Ukrainian-Russian humour 🙂 Laughter is better than war. 😉

  8. Reblogged this on OddGirlNextDoor and commented:
    Chant for the good of all. Or pray, meditate, whatever it is you do, do so. 🙂

  9. samotako1 says:

    Remember what happened to the Former Yugoslavia…the propaganda machine is at it again, and Westerners will lap it up feeling all superior about politics, history and culture that they know nothing about and will only be interested in until the next perceived “injustice” somewhere else in the world.
    I notice that no one cares what’s going on in Africa.
    The US is only wants to bring “democracy” to places it has vested interest.

  10. Great comment, thoughtful, and not buying into all the propaganda around. Neither Western powers nor Putin have the interests of the Ukrainian people at heart, they both want control of a strategic nation which is so sad for the people themselves. I agree with how the West portrays “people power”, if it’s against governments they don’t like, they’re all for it. But in countries they like, “people power” means thugs and anti-democratic activists. Utter hypocrisy. A very sad situation for the Ukrainian people, I hope they find a peaceful situation with the neo-Nazis being opportunists and trying to take over.

    • Otrazhenie says:

      I hope they will find peace in Ukraine, though am wondering what will come up next and where. It seems like a never-ending story in the world affairs….

  11. […] via A prayer for Ukraine | Otrazhenie. […]

  12. Thank you for the insight here. It is often hard to sift through the propaganda we get fed to find the truth.

  13. I find this very moving O, the rise of neo nazi parties in any place in the world is worrying. One wonders what people are thinking, or have things become so bad that these extreme groups offer a ‘hope’ to the disenfranchised. I pray with you for the safety of the honest hard working people of the Ukraine.

  14. I pray for the people of Ukraine and also those in Russia who do not approve of Putin and his nonsense. I am American, but first and foremost I am a human and a Christian and my heart weeps for the people of Ukraine who are now being put between two great beasts whose aims are selfish and not at all for the people. Thank you for your post and know my prayers remain ever with the people. My country shames me at times.

  15. commart says:

    Reblogged this on BackChannels and commented:
    The hotheads must not win!

  16. Thank you for leaving your wordpress in a comment on my blog. This was a great post and very informative. I’ll be keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers.


  17. Janis Cox says:

    Thank you for commenting on my blog. Yes – it is the people we pray protection over. We pray for God to give wisdom to leaders in order to keep the peace for the lives of the people. We also pray for His will to be done. And as for propaganda – we do not listen to men – we listen to God and pray for Him to be in the midst of this.

    Praying for Ukraine.
    Thanks again,

  18. […] The democratically-elected President of Ukraine was overthrown by a revolution. You know I’m not a fan of revolutions. This one wasn’t as bloody and violent as many, but the revolutionaries were armed with guns and petrol bombs and nearly a hundred people were killed.  I’m not saying that the Ukrainian police behaved well, but attacking armed police with firearms is inevitably going to lead to people getting killed. Not widely reported in Western media was the fact that a neo-Nazi organization was prominent in organising the anti-government protests and violence. […]

  19. I am very sorry about this – it could easily escalate into World War III and sincerely hope we find a solution. Not religious person as such but will pray.

  20. mytiturk says:

    Thank you for following my blog but I do not see you listed on my site. Have you changed your mind?

    I very much enjoyed your about page and was complimented that you found things there you liked.

    Your category on the Ukraine caught my eye. I was heartened to see a view different from the one-sided stuff that our media are feeding us in the “world of the good guys.”

    I hope you are still there…

  21. craiglock says:

    Reblogged this on “THE JOURNALIST “… REVEALING AND INTERESTING and commented:
    Some interesting and well-written thoughts here

  22. […] is a person whose grandmother was Ukrainian and grandfather was Russian, as revealed in her post A Prayer for Ukraine. Her youthful summers visiting relatives in a coal-mining town in the Ukraine in the 1980’s […]

  23. […] A Prayer for Ukraine […]

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