PRAYER ALERT: Russia says it has photos that place the blame of the July 17 Malaysian Flight MH17 crash on Ukraine. The photos allegedly show the following: on the day of the MH17 crash, Ukrainians moved 3-4 Buk missile systems and deployed them near rebel-held Donetsk. A Ukrainian fighter jet accelerated toward MH17. The fighter jet got as close as 3-5 km to MH17. And the MH17 crash took place inside the operating zone of Ukraine’s Buk missile systems.
And so Russia asks, why was Ukraine using Buk surface-to-air missile systems, when the rebels have no airplanes? Why was the Ukrainian fighter jet flying in a civil aviation corridor at the same time as the passenger plane MH17? Why did Ukraine not close this corridor to any commercial flights? Why did MH17 diverge 14 km from its flight path as it neared Donetsk? Why did Ukrainian air traffic controllers allow this deviation?
Russia further asks, can Ukraine provide accounts of what its Buk systems were doing at the time that MH17 was hit? Why doesn’t the US provide images from its satellite which was flying over MH17 at that same time? Where is the proof that the missile that struck the plane was fired from rebels in a rebel-held area, as the US claims? Or proof that, as Ukraine claims, it was fired from Russia by Russians?
So far the US and Ukraine have responded only to the last of these questions. US officials say they have a video of a Buk launcher entering Russia from rebel-held territory with at least one missile missing. They imply that the Buk launcher was loaned to the rebels, fired one missile causing the MH17 crash—mistaking it for a Ukrainian military plane—and returned to Russia.
Ukraine’s director of informational security, Vitaly Nayda, went a few steps further. He says Ukraine has tapes of conversations proving that a well-trained Russian officer near the border was informed that a big plane was coming. Nayda alleges that this Russian pushed the button that launched the missile. And that the Russian should have known it was a passenger plane.
But neither the US video nor the Ukrainian tape have been made public. We only have the Russian photos to go by. If we do not gain clear evidence of what really happened soon, this conflict could turn into a wider war fueled by mutual fears and suspicions.
PRAY WITH US: Father God, You know our hearts. You know our actions and our motives behind them. Nothing in creation is hidden from Your sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before You. And to You we must all give account. We ask that You cause a true account of the MH17 crash come forth. Then grieving relatives will know and move toward closure. Then the wrongly accused will be cleared. Then the real culprits will be identified and face justice. And those who consider more such acts will fear.
The enemy has used the Ukrainian conflict to kill the innocent. To steal their belongings. To destroy the bonds of peace between nations. But Jesus came to destroy the works of the enemy. So Lord, destroy the killing machines. Bring compensation for what was lost and stolen. And make new bonds of peace. Russia, Ukraine, and the US are all nations with majorities who profess to be Christians. Raise up true Christians to be peacemakers. Lead them to cross national and denominational lines. Help them to show Your way through this crisis. Make all Your people more one in the process. We ask for right relations among these nations, and the rest of Europe, to prevail over greed, envy and antagonism. Help them find You as their Savior, Provider, and Lord instead. In the name of our Lord Jesus, amen.
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Tags for MH17 crash: Russia, Ukraine, Ukrainian rebels, MH17 crash, Malaysian Airlines, surface to air missiles, Buk missile systems, Donetsk, Vitaly Nayda, US, Europe, Orthodox, Catholic, Jesus