“The LORD gives strength to His people;
the LORD blesses His people with peace.” 
Psalm 29:11 (NIV)

Shalom, my friend & Happy Israel Independence Day!

Today, as we celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut with joy and festivities, my attention is turned towards the words of the Psalmist who acknowledges the reality of God strengthening His people – and blessing them with peace. 

With the war continuing in Ukraine, and the ongoing tragic loss of life – more than ever we need a supernatural measure of strength and peace.

Maybe you’re facing an overwhelming challenge in your own life.

I pray over you now that God will pour out upon your heart and mind the strength and peace to overcome.

And I also ask that you join me and everyone at Jewish Voice as we pray for God’s strength over His people, in Ukraine and around the world — and His blessing of peace.

Thank you for your special partnership.

RUSSIAN OFFENSIVE IN EASTERN UKRAINE INTENSIFYING 

The Times of Israel reported late last week that Ukrainian officials stated the Russian offensive in Eastern Ukraine has picked up momentum, with several towns coming under intense attack as Moscow’s forces attempt to surround Ukrainian troops.

According to The Times of Israel, the General Staff of Ukraine’s military says Russian forces were “exerting intense fire” in several places as they pushed on with the second phase of their invasion.

Reports indicate that the fighting intensified after Russia suddenly cut off natural gas to two NATO nations last week, in what was seen as a bid to punish and divide the West over its support for Ukraine ahead of the potentially pivotal battle in the eastern industrial region of the Donbas.

The most intensive action, according to The Times of Israel, is around Donetsk and close to Kharkiv, which lies outside the Donbas but is seen as key to Russia’s apparent bid to encircle Ukrainian troops there.

FORMER RUSSIAN BANK EXECUTIVE JOINS UKRAINIAN DEFENSES IN KIEV

The Jerusalem Post reports that Igor Volobuev, Vice President of Gazprom Bank, the third-largest bank in Russia, fled Russia to join the Kiev territorial defense forces.

According to a recent interview, Volobuev, who left on March 3 – just one week after Russia began its invasion of Ukraine – said that he couldn’t stay in Russia.

“The Russians were killing my father, my acquaintances and close friends. My father lived in a cold basement for a month. People I had known since childhood told me they were ashamed of me,” said Volobuev, who worked at Gazprom for 16 years before holding Gazprom Bank’s top position for six years.

According to The Jerusalem Post, the former bank executive went on to say that the way the Russian President is acting is a crime.

International sanctions were imposed on Gazprom Bank – among several Russian banks hit with unprecedented sanctions – the day after Russia began its assault on Ukraine.

According to other media outlets and reports, including The Moscow Times, other top executives and officials known to have left Russia during the war include Sberbank's first deputy chairman of the board Lev Khasis, presidential envoy Anatoly Chubais, and Aeroflot deputy CEO Andrei Panov.

U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL CLAIMS SECURITY COUNCIL FAILED TO HALT RUSSIA’S WAR AGAINST UKRAINE

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres visited towns outside the capital of Kiev late last week to review evidence of mass killings of civilians that were found after Russia’s retreat from the area.

According to The Jerusalem Post, Guterres told reporters during his visit, “The Security Council failed to do everything in its power to prevent and end this war. This is a source of great disappointment, frustration and anger.”

Russia is one of five nations that have permanent seats on the 15-member U.N. Security Council (UNSC) – having veto power. The Jerusalem Post reports that Russia has used its veto power to block any UNSC action against it on the war in Ukraine, thereby underscoring the need for UNSC reform.

When asked about reform, Guterres replied: “I have not the power to reform the Security Council. I have no illusions about the possibility to do it immediately, but I will do everything I can through making the U.N. as effective as possible in situations like these to at least compensate for a failure that I cannot solve. And you can be sure about [our] total commitment to support Ukrainian people in this difficulty and to our permanent voice asking for the end of this war.”

According to Guterres, the U.N. has provided aid to 3.4 million people inside Ukraine and hopes to increase that number to 8.7 million by the end of August. There are some estimates that indicate some 25 million people could need assistance by the end of the year.  

LET US PRAY TOGETHER

Please pray with me for:

  • God to bring peace and safety to the situation in Ukraine, protecting the lives that could potentially be at risk
  • God to move in the hearts of world leaders and give them the wisdom to address the global threat of a nuclear Iran
  • God’s protection to be upon His people in Israel, who are constantly facing threats and violence from surrounding enemies
  • Peace in the hearts and minds of the people of Israel and their enemies
  • Jewish people to recognize Yeshua (Jesus) as their Messiah

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