Two Ukrainian SU-25 ground-attack jets have been shot down in Donetsk Oblast, about five miles away from the MH17 crash site. This double strike reinforces a chilling message: the separatist war in Ukraine continues to escalate.
Still, I’m not surprised. There’s a key reason why MH17 has failed to temper this conflict: alongside Russia, the rebels’ strength of purpose exceeds that of the West.
Since the MH17 massacre, international attention has flooded back to Ukraine. Nevertheless, the West’s response has been tepid at best. The EU and US have hedged on new sanctions and continue to rule out military support to Ukraine. Common grief has led to anger, but the anger has led to no escalation in policy. And this is a western strategic calculus from which President Putin has taken solace.