Wyoming Minister Returns From War Torn Ukraine
A Wheatland Wyoming native and Ukrainian minister Renee’ Chebotarev has returned to Wyoming due to health and personal issues.
Leaving the war behind she is now in what must be a far quieter place.
Most of Ukraine is flat farmland. That's not too much different from the Wheatland side of Wyoming, minus the Laramie mountain range visible from Wheatland on the west side of Interstate 25.
“A lot of people don’t know this, but Russia’s strategies from 2014 until now is that they take inch-by-inch,” she said. “The keep moving the property lines. Over time they already have two or three states on the western and southern sides of Ukraine.” (Platte County Record Times).
Russian troop movements were common in the area. Many doubted that the invasion would actually happen. That includes many Russian soldiers who had no idea that they were actually going to invade.
“When the first started coming in and building up their troops, people were like, ‘ah, they’re not going to do anything,’” Chebotarev said. “That’s how Russia works and the Ukrainians weren’t really bothered by it.” (PCRT).
“So, when they did invade, and it’s been exactly a month, it was disaster,” she said. “Flying bombs, explosions, and my best friend in Kyiv said that they were running to the underground metros. The subways. That’s the only bomb shelters there are." (PCRT).
“And everybody’s running to these bomb shelters, and I have such graphic photographs of people sleeping in the subways, the buildings destroyed, my beautiful city in ruins and my friends hiding and scared, huddled underground.”
Chebotarev ministered with her husband on the outskirts of the city of Kyiv.
“I was at war alongside of them,” she said. “I was on the front lines."
Communication with friends and church members has been spotty.
The church had grown to around 2000 people and she is worried sick about how they are doing.
The story goes into detail about escaping and helping others to escape in the middle of a full-scale invasion and through the destruction raining down on them.
There are three people in Wheatland who have set up a much-needed nonprofit right now. The need is urgent. It has come down to life or death for those who still remain in a conflict that is getting worse before it gets better.
“You can write checks or give cash to Christina Lamber, Dixie Mount, or myself,” Chebotarev said. “They can give a check to either of us directly or mail to me at: Renee Chebotarev, P.O. Box 1462, Wheatland, Wyoming, 82201. Please make checks out to: Humanitarian Aid for the Crisis in Ukraine.”