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Members and Temple in Kyiv Ukraine

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3 hours ago, Metis_LDS said:

Anyone know how the members and the Temple in Kyiv Ukraine are???

Probably frightened out of their minds and heartsick, God bless them. My guess is that we will not know much until this horror has passed. Knowing what I know of that part of the world, and the constant tensions that prevail, even from my time in the military while serving on East-West borders back in the late 70’s, early 80’s. The events of the last few days have reminded me of the power keg, which is that part of the world. I know I am praying for every soul, those who are being attacked, and the poor souls doing the attacking because of that madman in Russia! May God have mercy of all involved. I know that no one hates war, more that a soldier. 🥲

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1 hour ago, Thinking said:

I'm not sure Metis_LDS deserved your snarky response. It was a legitimate question since the major news shows are not going to talk about the LDS temple. Thanks Rain for finding that information.

I did not mean it as snarky.  It was just what came to mind. 🤔

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5 hours ago, longview said:

Ukrainian choir was invited to sing in the opening segment of SNL.


1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

This was touching, thanks for sharing.

Certainly, that deviates sharply from SNL's usual opening schtick.  Frankly, I was shocked ... and then, pleasantly surprised.  SNL's powers-that-be certainly are not known for not being "tone deaf."  Kudos to them.

Edited by Kenngo1969
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9 hours ago, The Nehor said:

An optimistic take is that this conflict might end the remnants of the old Soviet block. If Putin ends up ousted it could break open more of the Russian republics to the gospel. We had limited access to some nations but this could open the whole thing and end some of the more repressive regimes. While Putin gone would be the best net good to be deposed I admit I want that weirdo in Turkmenistan gone. That place is almost like North Korea level repression. Then there is that Putin lackey in Belarus. Okay there are a lot of dictators i would like to see gone.

A more pessimistic take is Cold War 2.0 or World War III: ICBM Slapfighting. I don’t we will get the Cold War one. The Russian economy collapsing is what ended the first Cold War and that is happening much faster this time.

If you aren’t following some of this there is a lot of things that just seem absurd. TikTok videos teaching people how to operate captured Russian vehicles, the head of Urban Warfare at West Point is tweeting to civilian resistors how to effectively ambush enemy vehicles in an urban environment, about a dozen independent hacker groups are all busy with DDoS attacks on Russian government and propaganda sites. Sweden is donating weapons. Finland is debating joining NATO. The hardcore neutrals like Cyprus, Monaco, and Switzerland that usually bank with anyone are cutting the Russians off. Russian currency is useless. Swift has cut off Russia meaning virtually all credit card transactions are gone. Earlier they tried to reopen the market there partway and it plummeted and they shut it down again. The stock market was down over 50% in one day and would have fallen further. The US and the rest of NATO are passing intel to those resisting and they are ambushing them left and right. They made a big deal over sending in the scary Chechen fighters from previous conflicts and there are reports that the leader and possibly most of the rest of them are dead.

We may all die in atomic fireballs but it is an interesting ride so far getting there.

The kids growing up now may get calls to serve in Turkmenistan or Chechnya. I know that there were hints by some that John the Beloved was behind the fall of the Iron Curtain. I guess he has been busy again.

Someone made a similar point in Relief Society yesterday, that after wars are over it often opens the way for the gospel to be preached to people who never had access before.  If some people are going to choose war and bloodshed hopefully it can also bring about some good somehow.

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Just now, Calm said:

Everyone loves an underdog who is winning…in the case surviving.

Yeah, they are not winning. They are just losing slowly. As fun as I have with some of this there is a lot of death mixed in with the black humor and heroism. Russia is moving artillery toward Kyiv. If they level the city from a distance it is going to be horrifying. I don’t think Ukraine can stop them from moving up. There are donations of incoming eastern bloc planes donated from a bunch of nations to get Ukraine back in the air in force operating from highways in the western portions of Ukraine but I am guessing the Russians will have a lot of AA cover over the convoy. One thing that has hurt the Russians is their fast timetable. When the US moved into Iraq and Afghanistan we had time to make sure we had air superiority, could hold and wait if we needed time to bring in reinforcements, etc. The Russians are under heavy economic pressure to end this thing now.

The way Ukraine wins is Russian morale collapsing or the Russian military leadership refusing to continue and/or Putin being forcibly retired by gunshot or poison or whatever. Putin is losing it too. He used to be able to control his emotions and was more calculating. He was never a genius like some say but he was crafty. Now he is backed into a corner and everything is on the verge of possible collapse. Reports from the Kremlin are the he is more isolated and is talking to fewer people. He was probably lied to about the military readiness of the army and possibly the earliest combat reports. Normally Russia would use the threat of cutting off their energy supplies to force the West to calm down but the solidarity is insanely good and that just won’t work. I was cautiously optimistic that the sanctions would bite harder this time but they didn’t just bite harder they were like sharks in a feed frenzy. They didn’t just freeze the assets of Russia and its oligarchs. In many case they are just outright seizing them. A lot of Russia’s elite are losing everything. It feels wrong to hope someone organizes an assassination from within but that is one of the better scenarios.

Russia has two cards to play. One is direct cyber warfare with the US and NATO. Russia could do a lot of damage but I think the retaliation would do even more. Then the big card. The nukes. No one really knows what condition they are in. It wouldn’t surprise me if they try to launch and find out enterprising missile crews drained the fuel and sold it to buy food and vodka. Some will probably launch and the US only has limited anti-ICBM capability and MIGHT be able to take out a few but lots of things blow up. I want to believe it won’t come to that. I really wonder what NATO’s contingency plans in this scenario are. One other thing. I am pretty sure there is a mole in the upper echelons passing on information. The information coming about what is going on in the Kremlin is pretty specific. So if NATO’s intelligence agencies got that information and made it public they know they are telling Putin there is a mole or are at least insinuating there is one. Dangerous mind game to play but might work well.

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Two links from Daniel Peterson's blog:

“In occupied Donetsk, seized Mormon church turned into “Russian House””


The occupation authorities in a stronghold of Russian proxies of Donetsk have opened the so-called “Russian House” at the premises of what earlier was a Mormon Church.

That’s according to journalist Denys Kazansky who posted the relevant report via Telegram.

Local media run by pro-Moscow actors claim that the Russian House, which will be responsible for strengthening ties with Russia, was housed in a former movie theater, contemptuously adding that after the 2000s, Mormons rebuilt the abandoned location, turning it into “their church.”

However, after the coming to power of the occupation administration, members of the religious community, the report adds, “dissolved in space” so the “Republic” Center for Development of Youth Initiatives was opened in the former church.

Kazansky clarified that the Mormons rebuilt the temple at their own expense, while the occupiers chose not to mention this in the report.

“Mormons earlier built this building at their own expense. But the Russians won’t bother to do anything like that. Why build anything if you can just grab what belongs to others?” Kazansky wrote.

It is not specified how exactly the Russian House will be “establishing relations” with the aggressor power.

“Daily review: Russia opens “cultural center” in seized Donetsk temple [sic], US&UK warn Russia against invading Ukraine, Associated Trio visits Brussels”


This is a digest of today’s Ukrainian and Ukraine-related news. Russia has opened its “cultural center” in occupied Donetsk in a former Mormon temple, seized by Russian-hybrid forces back in 2014.

Russia opens “Russky Dom” in captured Mormon temple of occupied Donetsk

Russia has opened its so-called “Russky Dom” (Russian House) in the occupied city of Donetsk, establishing yet another way to promote the narratives of Russian propaganda in the east of Ukraine. Presented as cultural centers, the Russian Houses across the world are affiliated to Rossotrudnichestvo, the Kremlin’s main organization for advancing Russia’s so-called “soft power” abroad.

LDS Church temple in Donetsk prior to 2014. Photo: shukach.com

Notably, the occupation authorities of Donetsk didn’t come up with any better idea than to open this “cultural center” in the temple of the local LDS church, seized by Russian-hybrid forces back in summer 2014.

I had no idea this had happened back in 2014.

From one of the above links (using Google Translate) :


NSDC: Terrorists seized Mormon church in Donetsk
June 26, 2014 15.29

The prayer house of the Mormon Church will become a center for the placement of militants, said the official representative of the Information Center of the National Security and Defense Council Andriy Lysenko.

On June 26, terrorists in Donetsk seized the prayer house of the Mormon Church. Andriy Lysenko, official representative of the NSDC Information Center, announced this at a briefing, Ukrinform writes .

"Apparently, there is nothing to do," Lysenko commented on the incident .

According to him, the church will become a center for the deployment of militants.



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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

I saw this morning that the EU has blocked all russian planes from their airspaces.  

And more bad news for Russia from . . . China?


Call this one the Mother Of All Signals, if true. China’s financial entities have cut off credit for Russian energy sales, Bloomberg reports, following an avalanche of Western sanctions over Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine:

Singapore’s biggest banks are restricting trade financing for Russian raw materials, as the war in Ukraine spurs lenders in Asia’s largest energy and commodities trading hub to reduce exposure to the sanction-hit country. …

DBS Group Holdings Ltd., Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. and United Overseas Bank Ltd. have stopped issuing letters of credit involving Russian energy deals because of uncertainty over the course of sanctions, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the information isn’t public.

A choke on trade financing in a top commodities hub such as Singapore could snarl the trade of some physical cargoes and add further pressure to prices, even though the U.S. and European Union sought to exclude energy from the latest round of new sanctions.

It’s not just Singapore, but China itself. Singapore is apparently responding to that signal:

Lenders in the city-state, a key trading hub for commodities trade and finance in Asia, join at least two of China’s largest state-owned banks and some banks in Europe in restricting the ability to purchase Russian commodities.

Reuters reports more directly on the Bank of China’s actions, via The Straits Times:

Bank of China’s Singapore operation has stopped financing deals involving Russian oil and Russian companies, amid concerns of western sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, said a source on Monday (Feb 28) with knowledge of the matter.

Bank of China did not immediately reply to requests for comment. …

At least two of China’s largest state-owned banks are restricting financing for purchases of Russian commodities, underscoring the limits of Beijing’s pledge to maintain economic ties with one of its most important strategic partners in the face of Western sanctions.


The ruble is now damn near worthless in the short term, and his access to hard currencies has been severely limited if not entirely eclipsed. The only reliable and substantial income Russia still has comes from sales of oil and natural gas, but they need lines of credit to move those commodities more than ever. They don’t have enough cash up front, and they’re presently contracting their monetary supply with high interest rates to check inflation.

These relatively quiet measures by China speak to a dawning realism in Beijing. Perhaps they shared Putin’s delusion that the West was too fractured to respond effectively to provocations. Or perhaps even China got blindsided by Putin’s military aggression and are now wondering whether they signed onto the Soviet end of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact over the last few weeks. For a country that’s decrying sanctions, this new report makes it look like China’s at least complying with enough of them to send a warning shot across Putin’s bow.

At the very least, China’s now seeing some value in playing both sides of the street, which is a signal in itself. If China’s yanking back on credit for Russian oil sales for the long haul, Putin’s in a severe, existential crisis. He has nowhere else to go if China cuts him off, and no way to bully China back into a firm alliance.

Meanwhile, also this: Unprecedented Western sanctions strangling Russian economy


Financial sanctions imposed by the U.S. and Western allies are strangling the Russian economy.

As Russian President Vladimir Putin wages war against Ukraine, his country’s economy has begun to collapse under the weight of unprecedented penalties from the Biden administration, United Kingdom, European Union and other major economic players.

“Everyone in the economic sphere, the banking sphere, knows we’re in new territory here—a coordinated shutdown of a country’s economy with the strongest arrow being in the heart of the banking sector,” said George Lopez, expert on economic sanctions at University of Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs.

The value of the ruble plunged Monday after the U.S and its allies took action to cut the Russian government off from roughly $600 billion in reserves held by the Central Bank of Russia and further cut Russia’s ties to the global financial system. 

The Western bloc banned most transactions with the Russian central bank — along with Russia’s finance ministry and foreign investment fund — blocking Putin from funds he stowed away for years to cushion the blow of sanctions. The sanctions also cut off Russian access to the U.S. dollar, the linchpin of the global financial system, as its value climbs amid global tumult.

The U.S. and EU are also barring certain Russian banks from access to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), a messaging system used by banks to conduct transactions. 

Roughly $300 billion of Russia’s reserves are now locked away from Putin in the U.S., Europe, and other allied countries. While Russia still holds billions of dollars worth of gold within its borders, experts say Moscow will find few willing buyers with its banks under their own crushing sanctions.

“The problem is they can’t convert it into something useful if other people aren’t willing to deal with them,” said Derek Tang, co-founder and economist at research firm Monetary Policy Analytics. 

“They own it, but they can't use it.”

Without access to its reserves, the Russian government has resorted to desperate measures to keep its economy and financial sector afloat. The Russian central bank hiked its baseline interest rate to 20 percent and banned the sale of securities held by foreigners to prevent the ruble from collapsing further.

Russia also urged foreign financial firms to join a SWIFT alternative, but has seen few takers with the threat of sanctions hanging over countries who don’t toe the Western line. 

Russia may ultimately be powerless to prevent bank runs, skyrocketing inflation and deep, long-term economic damage.

And here:


Why Putin's '£15BILLION-a-day' invasion ISN'T going to plan: MI6 chief warns war is 'unwinnable' and ex-defence chief says Russia will run out of cash and arms if Kyiv holds out for 10 days as Moscow send in superweapons after Ukraine OBLITERATED convoy

  • Vladimir Putin's invasion with Ukraine is not going to plan due to Kremlin 'overconfidence' about war aims
  • MI6 chief endorsed an article on Saturday saying Russia's war is 'unwinnable' because of Ukraine's resilience
  • Ukrainian intelligence has claimed that Russia is running out of money, weapons and resources fast 
  • If Kyiv can hold off the Russian advance on Kyiv for 10 days, the Kremlin may have to enter negotiations 
  • Dramatic video shows a destroyed Russian convoy with Z-markings near Kherson in southern Ukraine 
  • Two Russian military transport planes 'carrying paratroopers', a fighter jet and helicopter were downed 

The head of Britain's MI6 Secret Intelligence Service has said he believes Russia's war in Ukraine will prove 'unwinnable' because President Vladimir Putin will never attain political victory over the country's people.

Richard Moore, the chief of MI6, wrote how a report suggesting Putin's forces will ultimately fail in Ukraine because it underestimated its neighbour's military strength and fierce determination 'makes sense to me'.

The article Moore, 58, was reacting to was penned by Lawrence Freedman, the Emeritus Professor of War Studies at King's College London.

In the article titled 'A Reckless Gamble', Professor Freedman said Putin had 'become obsessed with Ukraine, and prone to outrageous theories which appear as pretexts for war but may also reflect his views.'

He wrote that victory for Moscow does not come in the form of a successful invasion that overthrows Ukraine's government, but with winning over the people of Ukraine.

This, the professor writes, is something Russia does not have the strength for.

'Even if the government loses control of the capital and is forced to flee, and the command systems for Ukrainian forces start to break down, that does not mean that Russia has won the war,' he wrote.

In an unusual move for the chief of MI6, Moore shared the article with his over 130,000 Twitter followers, writing: 'Fascinating. Makes sense to me.'
Moore's endorsement of the article came as other intelligence sources claimed Putin's war with Ukraine is not going to plan due to Kremlin 'overconfidence', poor tactical planning, and 'shock' at the fierce resistance put up by brave Ukrainians fighting for their nation's survival.

{A} senior US defence officials claimed Russia is facing more resistance than Moscow anticipated in its invasion of Ukraine, and appears to have lost some of its momentum. 

Professor Freedman's article backed this theory. He wrote: 'Despite the superiority of Russian forces they made less progress than might have been expected on the first day of the war when they had the advantages of tactical surprise and potentially overwhelming numbers.

'The Ukrainians demonstrated a spirited resistance and imposed casualties on the invaders,' he added.
Estonia's former defence chief Riho Terras has now claimed that Putin's war is not going to plan because Russia is fast running out of money and weapons, and will have to enter negotiations with Volodymyr Zelensky's government if Kyiv holds off the Russians for 10 days.

Russia's tyrant has allegedly convened a meeting with the oligarchs in a bunker in the Ural Mountains, at which it is claimed that he furiously vented that he thought the war would be 'easy' and 'everything would be done in one to four days'. 

Citing Ukrainian intelligence sources, Terras claimed that the war is costing Russia around £15billion-per-day, and that they have rockets for three to four days at most, which they are using sparingly.



Edited by smac97
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12 minutes ago, smac97 said:

And more bad news for Russia from . . . China?

Meanwhile, also this: Unprecedented Western sanctions strangling Russian economy

And here:



That's promising. All of this may well serve as a signal that China should reconsider any possible incursions into Taiwan considering the massive backlash against Putin in Ukraine. IMO, an incursion into Taiwan would be even worse considering that she has been a stable democracy for some time as well as an economic powerhouse. My only worry is that should Putin become increasingly desperate, he may well consider some type of nuclear option. You know, the 'despotic, desperate tyrant syndrome'...?! So much infrastructure damage and blood loss has been inflicted in the Ukraine that even if Putin were to pull out (which he should), it will spell years if not decades of damage control and rebuilding in the now war-ravaged Ukraine. : (

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