"There would appear to be inexorable momentum for further sanctions: (1) Europe now is less of a constraint on further U.S. action; (2) Ukraine is achieving success on the battlefield, and without intensified Russian involvement would likely see further gains. If recent evidence of Russian shelling across the border is any indication, Russia has intensified its support in response to developments on the ground, which is justification for further sanctions; and (3) sanctions are likely to be extended over time in response to evasion," writes CFR's Robert Kahn.
"This change of view makes all the more troubling France's continued determination to deliver at least one of the two Mistral-class warships it is building for Russia for 1.2 billion euros, or about $1.6 billion. The Mistral is not heavily armed, but it is a serious military asset," writes the New York Times' boardin an editorial.
Israeli shells struck a UN school sheltering displaced Gazans on Wednesday, killing at least twenty (NYT), according to Palestinian health officials. Israel said UN facilities had not been targeted. Meanwhile, Israel's Foreign Ministry pushed for a UN Security Council resolution to set terms for ending the war (Haaretz), while Hamas' military chief said there would be no cease-fire without Israel lifting its blockade of Gaza.