The Russia Command Today
On August 1, 2015, a significant change occurred to the structure of the Salvation Army in Eastern Europe with Russia becoming a command on its own under the leadership of Lt. Colonel Alexander Kharkov, the first Russian commanding officer. Prior to this change, Russia had been a territory under the Eastern Europe Command.
During the Christmas and New Year period, a number of corps supported refugees entering Russia after the political turmoil in Ukraine. Emergency relief funding from International Headquarters was a blessing, and the physical needs of many people were met.
The Russia Command continues to move toward self–financing through the Norwegian Fretex program (SPAtex) in the St. Petersburg and Murmansk corps with a vision to expand across Russia. SPAtex is a second–hand store chain that is assisted by the government labor department in rehabilitating physically challenged people in various communities.