"All words are symbols that represent unspeakable realities. Which is also why words are magical." (Donald Miller tweet)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

watching Ukraine

I watched the Munich Security Conference this weekend, via Twitter, while waiting to pick Spike up from his latest root canal. (It went well, thanks. He's feeling much better.)

President Poroshenko held up the passports of Russian soldiers who apparently "lost their way" in Ukraine. I know people are sick of "talk" - "do something!" - but I'm grateful world leaders are talking, thinking. I can't imagine the weight they carry.

And I'm grateful that Canada continues to send humanitarian aid.

Yesterday, Merkel (Germany) visited both Obama (US) and Harper (Canada - that's us - I'm Canadian, for those of you who don't know). There is lots of talk about arming / not arming Ukraine. Merkel is against it, as it seems much of Europe is. I don't blame them one bit. It's their continent. They remember World War II. And World War I. Only a couple of generations ago.

Sometimes I wish I didn't know history.
I wish I didn't have the distinct impression that it is repeating.

And the thing is - the idea that "someone has to stop him (Putin)" - while I entirely, wholeheartedly agree with that statement, the thing is ... no one is at all certain that sending arms to Ukraine will do that. In fact, most seem pretty certain that it won't. Putin isn't afraid of Ukraine. Or the world.

Today - a city called Kramatorsk was unexpectedly shelled. It's a bit north of Debaltseve. There was fighting there last summer, but then Ukraine took it back, I think in July.

Tomorrow, unless plans change, Merkel and Hollande (confusingly for North Americans, he's the President of France) are meeting with Poroshenko and Putin in Minsk, Belarus. The point is not to come up with a new ceasefire agreement. The point is to figure out how to implement the ceasefire that was agreed upon last fall.

Merkel has promised to stand for the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Poroshenko has said that he trusts her. Putin still says they aren't even in Ukraine.

I haven't really heard anyone express much hope that this will go well.

But history has moments that make no sense, moments that turned the tide.

So ... I pray. And I watch. And continue to make plans, stubbornly, to go there this year, to hug friends very tightly, to pray and sing together with them, and to help where we can.

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