Fighting in eastern Ukraine resumes as MH17 investigators arrive; Indonesian election results likely to be rejected; China sends spy ship to waters off Hawaii; illegal migration from Central America to US slows but protests continue; deadliest day yet in Gaza conflict; and more
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Fighting Resumes as Inspectors Arrive in Eastern Ukraine
Fighting in eastern Ukraine resumed on Monday, raising new concerns about access for the international investigators who began arriving in Donetsk to inspect the wreckage of flight MH17 and victims' bodies (Reuters). Russian president Vladimir Putin urged that the incident not be used for political ends (Guardian) as the UN Security Council was set to vote on a resolution that would demand a cease-fire around the vicinity of the crash site and the United States laid out its claims that Russia bears responsibility for the incident (WSJ). Meanwhile pressure mounted on European leaders to widen sanctions ahead of Tuesday's meeting of EU foreign ministers (EUobserver).
"The tactically clever and deeply cynical maneuvers of propaganda and military improvisation that have taken [Russian president Vladimir Putin] this far, one of his former advisers told me in Moscow earlier this month, are bound to risk unanticipated disasters. Western economic and political sanctions may be the least of it," writes David Remnick in the New Yorker.
"According to one close observer of Ukrainian politics, the MH17 tragedy has unified almost all Ukrainians against Putin, even those who might sympathize with some elements of the pro-Russian opposition. And rather than undermining NATO, it has breathed new life into the alliance. The more that Moscow meddles in its neighbors' politics, the more likely that other states will move toward the west," writes Joshua Rovner for the Monkey Cage.
"None of this looks very good for the West, which is clearly hoping that MH17 is the thing that will bring Putin to his senses and get him to agree to some kind of off-ramp, or, at least, a deescalation. But that's hard to do if neither your public nor your political class see it as a game-changer or as anything that should force Russia to end this game," writes Julia Ioffe in the New Republic.
Contested Indonesian Elections Results Expected
Indonesia's electoral commission is expected to declare the winner of Indonesia's tightly contested presidential election (Bloomberg). Ex-general Prabowo Subianto signaled that he would reject the results (SMH), calling for a delay in the announcement amid allegations of fraud.
CFR's Joshua Kurlantzick comments on the election and other developments in Southeast Asia.
CHINA: Beijing defended its dispatch of a spy ship to international waters off Hawaii (SCMP), where China is participating for the first time in the U.S.-hosted Rim of the Pacific naval exercises.