Tomorrow, Tuesday 13th March, people from a Ukrainian TV station will come to Rzhyshchiv to interview various people from Vlad's life, from his closest family members, to church friends and co-workers. Tom from our church will most likely be involved, as will Sasha who has overseen much of the work on our house, which Vlad was also involved in for a long period. The hope and expectation, is that they will then also be able to follow the case when the appeal is held. There is much hope that this media attention will lead ultimately to fair trial and Vlad's release. Similar things have happened in recent years, so please join us in praying that it will happen again.
Vlad has now been in prison for over 4 months, and in that time not seen his toddler son at all. His wife and mum have made it in a couple of times, and Tom also got in (as his brother!) a couple of weeks ago. Conditions are not good. Vlad has managed to get a job of sorts, moving rubbish, cleaning sewage, things like that. For this, he earns 8 grivnas (about 65p) per day - but if he takes a day off, he has to give back 40 grivna! He was unwell for a few days back in February, but had little choice but to work through it. The church has been taking food, clothes and literature packages to the prison every week, which are greatly needed and which Vlad is able to share with his cellmates.
Some of the stories Tom has been told by Vlad beggar belief. (As does Vlad's own story). One of his cell mates was driving home one day, saw a woman lying injured by the road, picked her up and took her to hospital. She later died, and he is now in prison for murder. Stories like this are very common. We contacted Amnesty International to see if there was anything they could do to help, but they said that for two reasons they don't really get involved in cases in Ukraine. Reason 1: There's very little hope of any success, the system is so corrupt to the core. And reason 2: They fear for their own safety. That about sums it up.
BUT, with God ANYTHING is possible (and not even difficult). And this media interest encourages us, Please pray for a wonderful outcome, the only fair and right outcome. Our brother's freedom.
The TV crew activity here in Rzhyshchiv will start around 1pm local time, 11am UK time.
The church in Rzhyshchiv.”