The 24th February marked two years since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The following article published in the March Joint Public Issues Newsletter reflects on these past two years, moving from lament to justice and thinking about the future.

We might refer to this as President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, firstly because leadership matters in every national context and secondly because Putin has amassed power around him providing him with unchallengeable authority.


The consequence has been hundreds of thousands of deaths among military forces across both nations and tens of thousands of deaths of civilians in Ukraine. The immediate Christian response has been one of lament. Regardless of the politics, when tens of thousands of people are killed, we cry out to God over the tragic loss of life. The cry goes out whether those killed are wearing uniform or are civilians, or whether they are our close neighbours or on the other side of the globe.


Quickly following lament comes the search for justice. The invasion was contrary to the most fundamental aspects of international law and precisely the type of conflict that the establishment of the United Nations after the Second World War sought to prevent. It is sobering that while two UN General Assembly resolutions have overwhelmingly condemned the invasion, there are far too many states who are reluctant to do so.

The situation in Ukraine

The conflict is currently at an uneasy stalemate on the ground. Over the past nine months, the frontline positions of both sides have moved little. A stalemate does not necessarily indicate a decrease in intensity of the fighting. Every week, many more soldiers and civilians are killed. The scale of loss in Ukraine and the long periods of military service required by troops is separating families and wearing down the whole of society in Ukraine. Yet the vast majority of Ukrainians feel that they have no alternative. If Russia succeeds in its aggression, how could they ever feel safe in the future?

The future

The future may be decided on the battlefield. It is a battlefield that increasingly relies on new technology and competence in the use of remote weapons and electronic warfare to gain an edge. There will come a point when Russian and Ukrainian parties will have to talk and work out a future that turns away from war. We pray that this day may come soon and that President Putin’s aggression is blunted.

Steve Hucklesby

(Steve’s background is in international relief and development, having worked for 10 years on programmes in conflict and post-conflict settings in Africa and Asia. He is committed to exploring Christian responses to conflict and injustice, covering areas such as non-proliferation, ethical investment and climate change.)