Ukraine in the Frame Word on the Week 12th February 2022.
The frame is composed of Russian weapons of war. It extends from Belarus in the North to Moldova in the South West taking in Donbas a Russian speaking portion of East Ukraine and including the recently annexed Crimea in the Black Sea.
President Putin’s expansionist policies have worked well for him as he endeavours to recover the portions of the Russian empire that gained independence from Moscow during last century. His military might has virtually secured Kazakhstan, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, and effectively controls Belarus.
Reports of Russian military manoeuvres in the Black Sea and on the borders of Ukraine have dominated the news this week. The troop build-up threatens to swell into a full-scale invasion of a country that has only ever known three decades of independence from its overbearing neighbour!
Moscow has repeatedly denied any intention to invade Ukraine but why would it amass such a show of strength only to disband? It is reminiscent of The Grand Old Duke of York: – Oh, the grand old Duke of York, He had ten thousand men; He marched them up to the top of the hill, and he marched them down again.
But Putin is not known for indulging in futile behaviour! However, wars are expensive and if he can get most of what he wants without firing a single shot that would have its appeal. On the other hand, a speedy incursion to the capital city Kyiv followed by the installation of a puppet regime would do his pride no end of good!
How far removed is all this from the task, first given to Israel to be a light to the Gentiles by showing God’s Laws in action (Deuteronomy Chapter 4 verses 5 to 9). Their failure, Isaiah prophesied, would be addressed by the Servant of the Lord who would restore Israel and be a light to the Gentile Nations “that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth” (Isaiah Chapter 49 verses 3 to 6).
In fulfilment came Jesus declaring “I am the light of the world”. He also said that “whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (St John Chapter 8 verse 12).
The spreading of the Kingdom of God (i.e. the People of God) is a work in progress which the “gates of hell will not prevail against” (St Matthew Chapter 16 verse 18) – far less Putin’s armies!