Ira Kapitanova (Kyiv)

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness
of the Lord in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!
Psalm 27:13‭-‬14

Today, it felt like I was glued to my phone, constantly checking the news and praying. Two days ago, the President of Ukraine said the Ukrainian army had liberated 1,000 square kilometers of our land. In tonight’s report, that number doubled.

Over the past two days, our army liberated several towns in the Kharkiv region and successfully conducted offensives in the Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kherson regions. The enemy army is running away in fear, leaving behind their weapons, so our soldiers joke that despite the lend-lease with the US, it looks like Russia is our leading ammunition supplier. The occupational authorities are panicking and trying to escape to Russia.

I can’t tell you how many videos from the newly liberated territories I watched today (I will include some links in the comments). I was watching and crying. I think everyone has seen pictures of the soldiers being greeted after WWII, with people coming into the streets, throwing flowers, and waving at the soldiers. I remember those scenes from Soviet post-war movies, and I always thought those were staged and scripted. However, when I look at the people greeting our soldiers, I think the emotions were downplayed in the movies.

In one video, the people in the Kherson region stand along the road of a newly liberated town and bring watermelons and fruit to the soldiers passing by.

In the pictures from the newly liberated Shevchenkove (Kharkiv region), people are painting a bus stop in the colors of a Ukrainian flag. I can’t help but wonder if they were stocking up on paint in hopes for this day or if it was the urge of the moment.

Kupiansk, one of the larger (and strategically important cities) in the Kharkiv region, is liberated now. The Russians left it in a hurry, but during the raid, our soldiers found Russian teachers who came there to teach the Russian curriculum to our children. They were left behind by the occupational authorities and will have to face charges for the illegal crossing of the border and assistance of the occupational forces.

Encouraging reports also came from the international arena. The Russian propagandists claim that Europe is tired of Ukraine, but recent sociology polls say the opposite: 70% of Germans said they would keep supporting Ukraine despite the increasing fuel prices, and only 21% said the support for Ukraine should be decreased, especially if it meant lower fuel prices.

In this whirlwind of emotions, reports, and pictures, one video (posted in the comments) stood out. It gave me goosebumps because it’s something that could have only been orchestrated by God. Our soldiers pull down a Russian propagandist poster from a billboard in Kupiansk, and underneath it, they find a poster with the portrait of Taras Shevchenko and an excerpt from his poem. It felt like a tremendous encouragement and prophetic message:

And glory, mountains blue, to you,
In ageless ice encased!
And glory, freedom’s knights, to you,
Whom God will not forsake.
Keep fighting — you are sure to win!
God helps you in your fight!
For fame and freedom, march with you,
And right is on your side!

These kinds of reports are coming from many different sides, please pray with us that these are true and that God is answering prayer. Pray that lives would be spared on both sides.

Al Akimoff and the Slavic Ministries Team