Russellvillian who knows Ukraine well comments on its future
By Charlie Roney

Posted on April 11, 2014 7:41 PM

Charlie Roney spent 18 years as minister of Crittenden Drive Church of Christ. In that role, he visited the Ukraine five times and helped build a congregation there which Crittenden Drive has helped support for many years. After living in Alabama for a few years, Charlie and Pat Roney returned to spend their retirement years in Russellville. He is now an elder of the Crittenden Drive church and also preaches on Sunday mornings at Hillcrest Church of Christ in Dunmor.

The Eastern European country of Ukraine has been in a difficult struggle to get on its feet for years. For 70 years the country was ruled by the Communist Party of the United Soviet Socialist Republic. When Communism fell, the country of Ukraine was free to have their own elections and the people rule themselves. This would be looked upon as good news; however, Ukraine did not know how to govern itself and the country had been pushed so far back by Communism that it was like trying to roll a huge rock uphill with no one to help you.

When I began making trips to Ukraine in the 1990's, I found a very proud and humble people who wanted to do the right thing. The young people there were seeking to get a good education and some were thinking of coming to America to get advanced degrees and then return to their homeland. One public school teacher told me that they (the Communist) told her there was no God but she never believed them. “I taught it but I never believed them,” she would relate.

On my trips to Ukraine I found the people very open and friendly and glad to see and converse with Americans. Their economy was in the pits. Many had jobs but many had received no paychecks in a long while. They were seeking something better. But they really didn't know how to get things better. It is not a one-man job.

Today in Ukraine, they are still searching for that way out. The economy there has improved but there is much left to be done. They probably need outside help for which they have asked recently. But they may need more than other countries are willing to give. A poll just released here shows Americans are not in favor of sending any kind of aid to Ukraine. Whether this will impress our government officials is yet to be seen.

It is good to see the Ukrainians willing to stand in the streets and take a stand against the Communists wanting to return. They know what Communism is all about and how it works and they aren't interested. The only reason the Communists succeeded in Crimea is because most of the population there are Russians.

What should we do? I don't know. I don't own a crystal ball. I do not know what the future holds for Russia or Ukraine. I believe that Ukraine will continue to oppose Russia. Will Russia win or Ukraine? I hope for Ukraine's sake that Ukraine will remain as they are today except in peace. It’s not much of an answer, but time will tell.

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