PRAYER ALERT: Will the tug of war between East and West result in civil war in Ukraine? Maybe not. On one side, the opposition is already divided. The right-wing Svoboda party accepts the government’s amnesty plan and seeks a compromise which will avoid bloodshed. The left-wing Spilna Sprava faction aims to seize more buildings and demands the resignation of the top Ukraine leader Yanukovych himself. Now the two wings are fighting over currently occupied buildings and using rubber bullets and bludgeons against each other. The pro-Western former Ukraine leader Yushchenko complains that the opposition has lost control of the street protests and lacks a comprehensive plan.
On the other side, the Yanukovych government is mired in the worst corruption of any European country. (Ukraine ranks 144th of 177 nations in Transparency International’s corruption index). Its military is poorly-trained, badly-equipped and low in morale. Defense Minister Pavlo Lebedev refuses to involve the army on either side. So Yanukovych has had to rely on police, Interior Ministry forces, and his elite Berkut unit. The Berkut troops number only about 4000. Will Yanukovych recruit more troops, and use more repressive tactics, leading to a civil war in Ukraine? Or will he turn to Russia for a solution? It was a $15 billion loan deal with Russia which sparked the protests. But Russian President Putin has refrained from playing his hand. This week he said he would delay Russia’s loan payments to Ukraine. “It’s rational,” he said to his government ministers. “Let’s wait for the formation of the new government in Ukraine.” Does that mean he expects that Yanukovych’s current sick leave of absence from office will be permanent?
PRAY WITH US: Father God, You are sovereign over the nations. You have shared You authority with us, and we have misused it. But we declare that the whole world is still in Your hands. It is You who changes the times and the epochs. You remove kings and establish kings. Look upon Ukraine, divided between east and west. Look upon Your church there, divided among Orthodox and Catholic and Protestant. Each of those divisions are divided. But Jesus prayed that we would be one. Lead us all to pray the prayer of Jesus. Lead us to find common ground in Him and His word. Help us find the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. And make Your people a light to this divided nation, and to the divided Eastern and Western worlds.
The peaceful Orange Revolution held out great hope for national transformation. But it fell into the same division and corruption as before. Do not let Your people give up or give in to the same conclusion. Do not allow civil war in Ukraine. Make Your people reconcilers who make peace. Make them shine in this dark time for Ukraine. Make them disciples who make more disciples. Make them witnesses to the world that we do not have to repeat history. Instead we can repeat His story, which can be our story too. Jesus’ kingdom came to this formerly pagan land before. Let it come again in greater and greater measures, until Jesus Himself comes again. In Jesus’ name, amen
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Tags for Civil War in Ukraine: Yanukovych, Svoboda, Spilna Sprava, amnesty, Mykola Azarov, civil war in Ukraine, Pavlo Lebedev, Ukraine, Ukraine parliament, EU, Russia, Putin, Russification, Soviet Union, Orange Revolution, Ukrainianization, Yushchenko, Eurasian Trade Union, East and West, Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, Jesus
Eurasian Trade Union
Civil war in Ukraine may be averted by reciprocal concessions