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If you haven’t had the time chance to look at the thoughts we published in the last edition about the situation in the Ukraine, not least in terms of the history of the nation, and an exploration of the power of propaganda, we have included the links in the second time round section at the bottom. We are so aware of a spirit of pride manifesting in Russia at the moment, fuelled and fired from the top downwards, but hooking into many atavistic spirits. There’s more than a hint of the Cold War again these days . . .

Vladimir Putin has never made any secret of his love for the territories of the former Soviet Union. “Whoever does not mourn for them,” he wrote, has no heart.” However, and possibly to balance that, he also said, “Whoever wants it back has no brain.” Has his brain become infatuated with the desire to reclaim these territories under the Russian flag? Or has his ‘gesture’ in reclaiming Crimea satisfied his appetite?

No wonder the Baltic States and even allies like Belarus and Kazakhstan are nervous. More to the point, we should not forget Moldova, the poorest nation of all in Europe, a small landlocked strip of land between Romania and Ukraine that has been the traditional passageway between Europe and Asia.

According to Operation World, Moldova, which literally possesses the richest soil in the world, remains very fertile ground for the gospel despite twenty thousand evangelicals having had to depart the country in the last fifteen or so years. The Orthodox Church has been very active in opposing to evangelical movements. For economic reasons many have been forced to find work abroad.

Please note for prayer: Moldova is the largest source for young women being lured abroad into human trafficking rings.

With Russian backing the largely autonomous Transnistria effectively seceded from the rest of Moldova in 1992. It has unfortunately become a ‘haven for organised crime and smuggling’. Political tensions in the region remain unsettled following civil unrest at that time. A referendum held in 2006 voted overwhelmingly in favour of reabsorption into the Russian Federation. Moscow has not, until recently, been keen on this idea, but recent events have put it well and truly on the radar. Much to Russia’s annoyance, Moldova supported the Western backed uprising in Ukraine. It was only to be expected that they will do their best to prevent the country’s efforts to integrate more fully with the Western alliance.
Hold Moldova too in prayer.