Russia Declares War, How Movies Expose The Dangers of Communism

Ukrainian Flag – Photo by Artem Kniaz via Unsplash

Russia Declares War, How Movies Expose The Dangers of Communism

By Cooper Dowd

On Monday, Feb. 21, Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, ordered his troops into Russian-backed republics, Donetsk and Luhansk, located in an eastern territory of Ukraine called Donbas. Two days later, Putin commenced “shelling” and military force at the border, effectively declaring war on Ukraine. 

“Putin has ordered Russian troops into Ukraine. The decrees on recognizing the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics order the Russian armed forces to go into separatist territory on peacekeeping missions,” Financial Times’ Moscow Bureau Chief Max Seddon wrote in a Twitter post on Feb. 21.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the United States classified Putin’s act as a violation of international law and implemented sanctions against Russia. 

The EU called Putin’s invasion “a blatant violation of international law as well as of the Minsk agreements.”

“The Union will react with sanctions against those involved in this illegal act,” the EU wrote. “The Union reiterates its unwavering support to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.”

However, Ukraine reported that Putin started “a full-scale invasion” with the economic backlash of looming sanctions offering little deterrent. Over the past few weeks, Russia gathered almost 200,000 troops along the border of Ukraine, which now operates on three fronts. 

While Putin claimed that he did not plan for “an occupation” and that the military force was directed away from highly populated areas, Russia’s bully tactics prove that Putin will continue to press forward should the West not take action.

Conservative political pundit Ben Shapiro notes that this could fit into a larger plan to destabilize NATO countries as a whole, not only Ukraine. 

“The logic that Putin originally used to back the separatists was: ‘These are Russian-speaking areas, they want to be part of Russia, at the very least they want to be independent and aligned with Russia. They don’t want to be part of Ukraine that’s aligned with the West and therefore we should provide material and essentially foment civil war in these areas,'” Shapiro said in a recent episode of THE BEN SHAPIRO SHOW. 

“Think about NATO countries,” he continued. “Putin has used a tool here that NATO is really susceptible to because there’s a difference between Russia just crossing borders and Russia funding uprisings inside NATO countries. How do you intervene in a Latvian civil war? Once they carve out areas, can Russia just walk into those areas without any sort of severe punishment? Because that’s the pattern here, that’s what we’re seeing.”

While Putin described the three-front invasion as a “special military operation,” Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova, said otherwise. 

“Make no mistake,” Markarova told reporters at Ukraine’s embassy in Washington, “it’s not a military operation or whatever it was called yesterday in Donetsk or Luhansk. It’s a war against Ukraine.”

Markarova called on the US and EU to impose stricter sanctions, cutting Russia out of SWIFT, a system used for international transactions. 

“We do not expect anyone to fight for us, but we expect all the help and all the response the West can send to us,” she said. “It’s the moment when it’s not okay for anyone who values peace to continue business as usual with Russia.”

“We will defend our country, and we are not scared,” she added. 

In a 1948 speech to the House of Commons, Winston Churchill paraphrased author George Santayana when he said, “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” 

While the current tension between Ukraine and Russia may have started as a result of the 2014 conflict, the Russian government’s use of bully tactics to impose communist and socialist ideals on other countries at the expense of their citizens is not a new occurrence. 

One of the most striking ways to remember history is through the medium of well-made, truthful movies about the brave men and women who stood up for truth in the face of tyranny.  

A portion of Movieguide®’s review of the 1987 movie, REPENTANCE, reads

REPENTANCE is the one movie credited with helping to overthrow Communism. This magnificent movie exposes the evils of Communism, statism and totalitarianism while lifting up the suffering and the triumphant, eternal Church of Christ Jesus.

CHURCHILL, MR. JONES, RED DAWN, THE WAY BACK, BITTER HARVEST, A TALE OF TWO CITIES, THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, and more exposed Communism for what it is: an ideology used by sinful men to suppress the truth and oppress people.  

Dr. Ted Baehr, founder and publisher of Movieguide®, has spoken several times to international organizations of leaders and to the largest Baptist church in Kyiv. One year that Dr. Baehr spoke, the country had just cast off a leftist dominated government for more Western democracy due to the Orange Revolution. The Orange Revolution was portrayed in the powerful Ukrainian movie JULIA BLUE. The next year that Dr. Baehr spoke there, the country had just moved back in the other political direction. That said,

Kyiv is one of the most beautiful cities and has been rebuilt several times due to the destructive invasions from Soviet Russia and then from Nation Socialist Germany.

While many will suffer should Russia continue its invasion, Christians in Ukraine are prepared to stand for their faith and in opposition to Communism, as many Christians have in the past. 

Vasyl Ostryi, a pastor at Irpin’ Bible Church and professor of youth ministry at Kyiv Theological Seminary, said that he and his family are choosing to remain in Ukraine despite the war. 

“In recent days, the events from the book of Esther have become real to us in Ukraine. It’s as if the decree is signed, and Haman has the license to destroy an entire nation. The gallows are ready. Ukraine is simply waiting,” Ostryi wrote in a recent article published by The Gospel Coalition. 

“In recent weeks, nearly all the missionaries have been told to leave Ukraine,” he added.  

But Ostryi, his wife, and their six children plan to stay in Ukraine to serve their local church body. 

When similar events happened in 2014, Ostryi notes that the church led relief efforts. 

“We have decided to stay, both as a family and as a church. When this is over, the citizens of Kyiv will remember how Christians have responded in their time of need,” he wrote. “And while the church may not fight like the nation, we still believe we have a role to play in this struggle,” he continued. “We will shelter the weak, serve the suffering, and mend the broken. And as we do, we offer the unshakable hope of Christ and his gospel. While we may feel helpless in the face of such a crisis, we can pray like Esther. Ukraine is not God’s covenant people, but like Israel, our hope is that the Lord will remove the danger as he did for his ancient people. And as we stay, we pray the church in Ukraine will faithfully trust the Lord and serve our neighbors.”

Join Movieguide® in prayer for the Christians in Russia and Ukraine. 

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