Pro-Russian separatists declare new leader for Eastern Ukraine; China to form anti-corruption bureau; US, Australia and Japan to meet during G20 to dicuss security and economic ties; suicide bomb kills dozens in Pakistan; pilot error cited in Virgin Galactic crash; and more
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Separatists Declare New Leader in Eastern Ukraine
Pro-Russia separatist Alexander Zakharchenko easily won elections (NYT) to become the leader of the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine on Sunday. The two regions have been largely under rebel control since the spring; clashes there continue, violating a cease-fire signed in September. Despite criticism from European states and the United States, Russia backed the results (Guardian) of the elections and called on Ukraine to halt its military advances. The elections were held a week after Ukrainian parliamentary elections voted for a pro-Western agenda.
"Neither the separatists, nor Russia, are sticking to the agreements. Instead, the secession of parts of eastern Ukraine seems to be inevitable. The Minsk peace process has been rendered null and void. New borders are being drawn in Europe, by force and with the help of pseudo-elections," writes Bernd Johann in Deutsche Welle.
"The Kremlin is seeking more than the annexation of Crimea and control over the Donbas rust belt; its aim is to prevent Ukraine from going West, force it to turn East, and quash any risk within Russia's wider orbit of further revolutions like the one that brought down Yanukovych," writes former Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt in Project Syndicate.
"The single most difficult challenge facing Ukraine is still the relationship with Russia. Russia has shown through its annexation of Crimea, its intervention in Donbas and its use of the energy and trade cards that it has the ability to wreck the Ukrainian economy and destabilise its security and politics almost at will. A Ukrainian reform agenda is simply not sustainable if Russia continues this destructive approach. Russia has to be dealt with," writes Timothy Garton Ash in the Financial Times.
China to Reform Anti-Corruption Bureau
Chinese leadership will overhaul (SCMP) its twenty-year-old anti-corruption bureau and create a new body to focus on major cases, according to a top prosecutor. The announcement comes as Wang Qishan, head of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, vowed to bolster the agency's long-term anti-corruption campaign.
AUSTRALIA: Heads of state from the United States, Australia, and Japan will meet to promote security and economic ties (Japan Times) on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in mid-November in Brisbane. It will be the first trilateral meeting of leaders from those states since 2007.
Suicide bomb kills dozens in Pakistan
Pilot error cited in Virgin Galactic crash
This is an excerpt of the CFR.org Daily News Brief. The full version is available on CFR.org