Ukraine crisis impacts student’s family

Tension involving Russia’s attempt to gain possession of Crimea evokes concern from relative in Lynchburg

Sarah Babb, a Liberty University senior whose parents are working as missionaries in Ukraine, explained that when she heard about what was going on in the country, she immediately wanted to get in contact with her parents.

“When I saw the news and the situation seemed to escalate, my initial reaction was to call my parents right away to figure out what was going on,” Babb said. “My parents had a difficult time trying to figure out what was really going on.”

According to Babb, her parents did not leave their apartment for nearly three weeks.

Conflict — A dispute over Crimea has attracted the attention of world leaders. Photo credit: Breann Black

Conflict — A dispute over Crimea has attracted the attention of world leaders. Photo credit: Breann Black

“They made sure that they were ready to leave to a nearby country if the U.S. Embassy told (them) to do so,” Babb said. “They were told to stay away from the areas in downtown Kiev where the demonstrations were happening. Other missionaries with little kids actually ended up leaving to a nearby country for an extended amount of time, so it was a time of big confusion for all of us, as missionaries.”

Babb explained that much of how the media is portraying the crisis in Ukraine is much worse than it actually is.

“Most of what I hear on the news seems like it is all coming from a Russian propaganda,” she said. “The country is not as divided to the extreme as the mainstream media portrays it to be, and only a small portion of the government is pro-Russia — most Ukrainian people do not want anything to do with Russia.”

According to Babb, patriotic Ukrainians are being depicted as people who do not care for their country’s wellbeing.

“Looking at it from a historical perspective, since Ukraine went away from the Soviet Union in the early 1990s—they became a very prosperous, nationalistic country,” Babb said.

“Ukrainians are very patriotic to their country, and what the media seems to portray isn’t an accurate representation of what is actually happening in Ukraine.”

Because those who are pro-Russia are trying to seize control of Ukraine, Babb explained she thinks the United States should help Ukraine remain their own country.

“I think that for any country to have their freedom taken away like Ukraine, the U.S. and the United Nations has the right to press on harder on Russia, even by the means of military intervention, to make sure that things like this do not happen again,” she said.

Babb encouraged people to pray for peace and discernment, especially for the missionaries working in Ukraine.

“As everything about this crisis is still up in the air, we would appreciate your prayers for peace for the country and for discernment for my family and other missionary families as they figure out what is going to happen next,” Babb said.

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