An Unpopular Opinion Regarding the On-Going Russo-Ukrainian War
by Jeff Dominguez
Last February 24, 2022, Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, launched a full-scale attack in an attempt to invade their neighbor country, Ukraine.
This caused immediate chaos and panic across Ukraine and has made the entire world worried. International leaders joined forces to convince Vladimir Putin to stop this invasion. When Putin refused, they were forced to implement economic sanctions against Russia to pressure him. And almost a week after the initial attack, the ongoing invasion continues to worsen. Many Ukrainian civilians, including women, volunteered to defend their country. It didn’t take long for the countless heartbreaking stories to spread across social media. There’s a viral video of a crying father as he bids goodbye to his very young daughter. There’s an 80 y/o man who volunteered despite his old age. There’s a report of a soldier who sacrificed his life by manually blowing up a bridge to prevent the Russian soldiers from advancing to their land. There are several reports of women who joined the military (with many of them seen crying). Lastly, there’s the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who was photographed on the battlefield, wearing full battle gear, defending his country.
These stories made the whole world sympathize with Ukraine. Wherever you look, people are advocating to pray for Ukraine. This is very understandable. After all, it is very apparent that they are the victims of this war, and Russia is the oppressor. But this is the question that I want to explore in this article:
IS RUSSIA REALLY THE ENEMY?
With Russia reported as the oppressor, it’s very easy to label them as the villains of this story. What makes it even sadder is that even before this war, Russia has been a consistent villain in many Hollywood movies. Not only will this war validate those stories, but this war will surely leave a negative legacy for Russia for generations to come.
The reason why I’m writing this article is that for the past few days, many people around the people are advocating to pray for Ukraine. However, I never saw anyone advocating to pray for Russia. This saddens me because Russia is not the enemy in this story. Just very recently, The New York Times posted in their Facebook account that there were thousands of Russians who protested in the streets to stop the war. But sadly, many of them were apprehended and locked up.
Another heartbreaking picture that went viral is this Russian man apologizing for the war.
Clearly, the Russians are not the enemies here. Just like Ukraine, they are also victims of this war. I’m sure that even the Russian soldiers don’t agree with this war. This proves true the quote by Brock Chrisholm:
“No one wins a war. It is true, there are degrees of loss, but no one wins.”Borck Chrisholm
Since the Russians are victims too, we need to pray for both Ukraine and Russia. This war is causing pain and suffering on both sides and both of them need our help and understanding.
SO IF RUSSIA IS NOT THE ENEMY, WHO IS?
Then maybe it’s Vladimir Putin!
Ahmm, NO. Not even Putin is the enemy here. While logic and facts would strongly encourage such a conclusion, it’s truly not him. He’s not the victim that’s for sure, but he isn’t the enemy either. For me, he is only being used by the true enemy: SATAN.
Yes, Satan is the true enemy behind all of this.
War is not uncommon in the Bible. Since the time of the conquest of Canaan up to the days of the Kings, the Israelites have faced numerous wars. Even after Jesus’ ascension, the world continues to wage war against one another. Because of this, it is very easy to judge that humans are naturally violent and that lasting peace amongst ourselves is impossible. But surprisingly, the Bible disagrees. While it affirms that we are sinners, it also reveals that another force is at work around us; and that is Satan and his evil forces.
Satan was said to be the most beautiful of all the angels. Unfortunately, his pride and greed got the better of him. He desired to be like God and tried to usurp His throne. As a result, God banished him from heaven.
“How you are fallen from heaven,
O Day Star, son of Dawn!
How you are cut down to the ground,
you who laid the nations low!
You said in your heart,
‘I will ascend to heaven;
above the stars of God
I will set my throne on high;
I will sit on the mount of assembly
in the far reaches of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.’”
– Isaiah 12:12-14
From this passage alone, the rebellious and warmongering character of Satan is already apparent. The Bible also describes him as the “ruler of this world” which means he is the cause and the influencer of all the evil and violence that we suffer from.
“Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.” – 2 Corinthians 4:4 NLT
This is why the Apostle Paul encourages us to stop hating and fighting with one another. In his discourse about Spiritual Warfare, he taught that our true enemy is not each other, but Satan and his evil forces alone.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” – Ephesians 6:12 NIV
It is important that we learn this truth because as humans, it is very easy for us to judge and hate one another. In the case of the Russo-Ukrainian War, it is very easy for us to condemn Russia and its leaders. But as the Bible is teaching us in Ephesians 6:12, we shouldn’t condemn anyone of them because they are also only victims or instruments in this war.
On another point, the Apostle John said:
“[Jesus] paid for our sins with His own blood. He did not pay for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world.” – 1 John 2:2 NLT
This verse states that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world which means it includes the sins of everyone involved in this war, most especially the leaders behind it. So just as Jesus showed compassion and mercy to the sinners He encountered, as His followers, we must also demonstrate the same compassion and understanding to everyone involved in this war. Again, our enemy is not each other, but Satan alone. We shouldn’t pray just for Ukraine. We must also pray for Russia and for the rest of the world to respect the sanctity of life and to prioritize world peace. Let’s do that. Let’s pray:
Dear Heavenly Father, the God of all nations and the King of all Kings, we come before you today in humility to ask for your help.
Once again, our world has fallen into war and chaos. The leaders of Russia and Ukraine have decided to forego peaceful talks and have entered into a violent confrontation. As a result, fear and death have spread across their lands.
Father, we know that you are the God of all peace. We know that you are the One in control and only you can do the impossible. We come before you to ask for your intervention in these lands. May you calm the hearts of the leaders behind this war and encourage them to resume peaceful negotiations. We also pray for the people of both lands to be safe from this conflict. May you protect them and assure them that you are in control.
Lastly, we also pray that you remove all fear and anxiety in our hearts. Remind us Lord that even in the darkest of times, you are the light, the source of all hope and peace.
Thank you, Lord, and we pray this in the mighty name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.
God Bless 🙂