Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Official Ukraine Report from Niranjana Swami
By Niranjana Swami   |  Feb 26, 2022
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Sri Sri Radha-Madhava ISKCON Kyiv

 

February 26, 2022
Sri Mayapura Dhama 11:30 AM EST

Dear devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I’m receiving communications from devotees all overexpressing their concerns about our devotees in Ukraine. My gratitude knows no bounds, just for your well-wishing thoughts for the Ukraine devotees’ well-being. If you will keep them in your thoughts, I’m sure there will be no limit as to the kind of support it will give them just by knowing that you are thinking of them.

At this point in time, I’ve been spending most of my waking hours since the events in Ukraine began, staying in communication with devotees with whom I can communicate without a translator. Beyond the news which is accessible online, my concerns have been focused almost exclusively on devotee morale, Krsna consciousness, and safety.

So far there have been no reports of harm which has come upon any of the devotees. In Kiev, devotees have areas below ground level in the temple. The temple devotees along with some devotee families living nearby are chanting together, having kirtan together, and discussing Krsna katha while missiles are flying overhead, and explosions and gunfire can be heard from a distance. But they seem to be happy.

The Ukraine Regional Secretary, Acyuta Priya dasa, has been in regular communication with all temple leaders throughout Ukraine. His concerns have been the same as my concerns. His reports have confirmed that so far, devotees are in good spirits, although, understandably so, many of those living outside the temples are quite scared.

So many devotees from outside Ukraine are asking what they can do to help. At this point in time it’s too premature for me to provide answers to these questions. At some point in the near future, things may become more clear if there will be a way to help financially.

My experience from 2014, however, has led me to believe that I may not be able to facilitate the same kind of help which poured in during the previous events from 2014. The devotees around the world helped the Ukraine devotees tremendously in 2014 and for that, the devotees are tremendously grateful.

In fact, I have a video (in Russian) which I’ve never posted out of concern for the devotees who were speaking. It was filmed the year after everything began in Eastern Ukraine. I was personally speaking with a group of devotees outside that region. Some of these devotees were in tears, while they were giving first-hand reports on how they were helped… spiritually, morally, and physically, from the donations provided to them from the international support which unexpectedly appeared in their lives.

I was “on-site” in 2014 and 2015, however, and was able to observe how the funds were being disbursed to help the hundreds of devotees who had been displaced with passports as the only possessions they were able to keep with them. This time, however, it seems like it will be different. I am not in Ukraine and presently there is no way to get funds into Ukraine. I’ve also heard that all transactions for basics in Ukraine are currently taking place on a “cash only” basis.

If you would like to receive future updates, I would be honored if any of you would express a desire for me to serve you in this way.

Hoping this meets you in good health.

Yours in Srila Prabhupada’s service,
Niranjana Swami

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