Ignorant musings on Ukraine
I was planning to get back to blogging, honest, but life has been busy.
But here are a few thoughts about the topic on everyone’s mind; they’re not likely to be better than anyone else’s.
- Practically speaking, it makes absolutely no difference how much I express outrage here or on social media, or whether I put a Ukrainian flag in the window. But I still think I’ll join the rally in Nottingham city centre on Sunday.
- I want to pray for an end to the war, and an end that isn’t just Ukraine having to give in. Which is difficult to visualise. It means praying for overwhelming opposition inside Russia by people who will be risking imprisonment or worse; praying for a stance by other non-Western governments (China is alas probably a lost cause, but how about India? Indonesia? Nigeria?); praying for superhuman powers of negotiation at the UN.
- In 390 AD, the Emperor Theodosius’ soldiers massacred civilians in Thessalonica. He was forced to do penance by the tough stance of Bishop Ambrose of Milan, who refused him communion until he repented. What would happen if leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church tried something similar?
- I do have sympathy for the Russian government’s dislike of NATO expansion over the last 30 years. But then one can sympathise with the Germans after the Treaty of Versailles. Nothing remotely justifies invading Ukraine, and indeed there has been depressingly little attempt to justify it (to the West).
- My mother and I had a fascinating trip to Russia in 1988, visiting Moscow, Leningrad (as it then was), Novgorod and Vladimir (it’s a historic town.) I am so glad we went then, when glasnost and perestroika were in full swing, and hope and free speech were high.
I am very ignorant and shocked.
Love (and apologies for long absence) from the PPI Blogger