Veteran America journalist Russ Jones will join a team of observers representing the Florida-based Spiritual Diplomacy Foundation for the general elections on Sunday, December 19, 2010 in Belarus. Each team member received a letter of official confirmation from the Minister of Foreign Affairs – Sergei N. Martynov.
Russ Jones arriving in Haiti earlier this year
"The reality of the experience hit me when I received a letter from the foreign minister," Jones told the ASSIST News Service. "I've been reporting for a long time, but this is new territory."
Other members of the team include Mikhail Morgulis, Mark Bazalev and Michael Markham.
Morgulis, born in Kiev, Ukraine, is a writer, editor and evangelist, and founder of the Spiritual Diplomacy Foundation and Christian Bridges International. The aim of both organizations is to reduce hatred and eliminate wars between nations by using biblical principles.
Carrying the message of peace and God's love, Morgulis travels around the world, meeting with presidents and high-ranking political figures sharing about God. In 2007 Mikhail Morgulis met with a number of leaders in the former USSR countries.
The team will be in Belarus December 15-21, 2010. Based in Minsk, the nation's capitol, Jones and his fellow team members will travel throughout the region observing various polling stations.
The Central Election Commission (CEC) of Belarus has accredited 930 international observers to monitor the presidential election in Belarus.
Jones is an experienced international traveler, reporting on assignments such as Israel, Jordon, India, Italy and VietNam. He was in Haiti just days after its devastating earthquake on January 12, 2010.
"I am truly honored to join the team," said Jones. "I am especially anxious to report about this region of the former Soviet Union many know so little about."
Ten candidates are running for president in the elections. Alexander Lukashenko, who is running for re-election, is expected by many to win a fourth term as president.
Russ Jones is an award winning journalist and co-publisher of Christian Press News (www.ChristianPress.com). Based in Newton, Kansas, he is also a freelance print and broadcast journalist. Jones holds degrees from the University of Missouri and St. Paul School of Theology. As a former NBC TV reporter he enjoys reporting where evangelical Christian faith and news of the day intersect. Jones freelances for media outlets like the Christian Broadcasting Network, the Total Living Network, Travel with Spirit and American Family Radio Network. Russ may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.