The Russians call me the Bloody Pastor! In 2014 I decided to start an Anti-Terrorist Operation in Donbass. The most important thing is that God is with us, with Him we can defeat any enemy! – Oleksandr Turchynov, former Acting President of Ukraine, First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, and former Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, was a guest on Go Against the Tide Television. Turchynov is also a preacher at the Protestant Christian Baptist Church and a soldier in the Territorial Defense. Interviewed by editor Tymoteusz Chojecki.
“Eight years ago it was I who made the decision to launch the Anti-Terrorist Operation in Donbass, in the east of Ukraine, to prevent the aggression of the Russian Federation. […] It all started in 2014. At that time I was addressing our partners, strategic partners in the US and in Europe. I said that the aggression that began then was not an aggression against Ukraine, but against the entire civilized world,” Oleksandr Turchynov says and adds:
“I asked the West for help at that time – to provide us with the necessary things, to sell them to us. However, we received nothing from them, not a single bullet. They didn’t even give us helmets or vests in 2014. At the time, they said that if they provided us with something, they would irritate Russia. They didn’t want to do that, hoping that Russia would calm down and stop. But that was when the time was right to break Russia and support Ukraine. Because this was not done in 2014, this spiral of aggression, the spiral of warfare spun and led to a war on such a large scale, in 2022.”
Nevertheless, the Ukrainian politician does not doubt that Ukraine will prevail in this war with God’s help:
“We are able to win on the battlefield – because we have faith and trust in our strength. And most importantly, God is with us. And if God is with us, then there is no enemy that we couldn’t defeat.”
Turchynov is not only a politician, but he also serves in Ukraine’s Territorial Defense and is a preacher in a Protestant church:
“Russians call me the Bloody Pastor. But now I don’t serve as a pastor, although I do preach, I am a preacher, but to be a pastor you have to devote yourself completely and all other activities have to be discarded.”
As he says in the interview, by trusting in God, soldiers are ready to sacrifice their lives to defend their homeland and compatriots:
“It is very important that people do not simply go to their death, but that they understand that when they give their lives, they express the highest level of love. This is what the Bible says. There are many strong believers among Ukrainians. A true believer is not afraid of death because he knows that he has eternal life. And a true believer is more courageous and also more responsible. I am convinced that now many people are turning to God, under the influence of the circumstances. I have seen how soldiers before going into battle – when they take risks, when they face the risk of death – turn to God. And this is a normal human behavior.”
The Ukrainian politician also explained why he believes Christians should be active in politics:
“In Ukraine and in other countries, many Protestants thought that politics is dirty and not worth getting involved in. Dirty politics is done by dirty people. But if dirty people don’t deal with it, it won’t be dirty. I think Christians have even a duty to participate in politics to clean it up. Because when you act for a good cause, God is with you. And when politics has God’s blessing, the country has God’s blessing, such a land will always be victorious and flourishing. Politics will be pure if pure people are involved in it. So I always encourage Christians – go and do important things. Politics, honest politics, pure politics, is a very important thing.
Oleksandr Turchynov warmly thanked for the support shown to Ukrainians by Poles:
“I would like to sincerely thank our Polish brothers and sisters, our Polish friends, for this real help they’ve been giving us. It’s political help, a strong pro-Ukrainian stance in the European Union, it’s also military help. And of course helping our wives and children who have been forced to flee Ukraine to save their lives. We know how many of our people are now in Poland and we know how much help they have received.