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Baptist pastor temporary president of Ukraine

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Baptist pastor Dr. Oleksandr Turchynov was recently named as the interim president of the Ukraine, according to an article in the Christian Post yesterday, Tuesday, Feb. 25. While Christians in the divided country praised the peace deal which ended several months of anti-govenment protests, Russian leader Vladimir Putin is evidently angry.

The European Baptist Federation said Sunday, "Joy and sadness overfills our heats as we celebrate the news of birth of a New Ukraine and grieve for the young men, students and husbands who died for this to happen."

The peace deal hopefully will end the violence which has erupted in this former member of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Most of the Russians live in the eastern part of the country while the non-Russian populace is in the western section.

The Baptist federation said that Christians played a major role during the months of protests which engulfed this nation, saying, "During all these days of protests and confrontations, the Christian community in Ukraine has been the light and the salt for both parties. The doctors, nurses, cooks, students and other Christian groups have been helping whenever there was a need."

Churches and denominations prayed and feasted together for peace and for God's intervention, according to the European Baptist group.

"People started crying out to God and even the TV media spoke about the role of the church and quoted Scriptures," the Christian organization said.

The Ukrainian parliament voted to impeach President Viktor Yanukovych after he attempted to flee the country during protests which resulted in several deaths. Yanukovych was an ally of Putin and his ouster has not made the Russian president happy. Putin was head of the KGB under the Communist Regime.

Turdynov, a pastor and ally of politician Yulia Tymoshenko, was elected interim president until a presidential election can be held May 25.

The Baptist Federation further said, "The Parliament has taken a responsibility to end the crisis in the country and adopted a number of vital laws. Our brother in Christ and minister of one of the Kiev Baptist churches Dr. Oleksandr Turchynov, a leading opposition lawmaker, was elected Speaker of Parliament. Among other rapid developments Ukraine's ex-minister Yulia Tymoshenko also was released from prison after which she was taken in a wheelchair to Kiev to make a speech at the Independence Square in Kiev. The Parliament also voted to remove President Viktor Yanukovych and set new presidential elections for May 25."

Yanukovych was backed by Putin who has responded. The Russian leader today, Wednesday, ordered massive troop maneuvers in western Russia near its border with Ukraine. Many obervers see this as a threatening gesture. Russia has a naval base on the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine which borders the Black Sea.

Russian speakers in the Crimea have spoken out against the new government, according to Reuters.

The European Baptist group also said, "Ukraine needs love, mercy and forgiveness. Ukraine needs Christ!"

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