"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.
IRAN: Iran is complying with its commitments to dilute its stock of enriched uranium, the nuclear watchdog IAEA said Monday (AFP). The report comes after Iran and world powers announced a four-month extension of negotiations.