The commentators 22-07-14
...on flight MH17
Without access to global finance, Vladimir Putin would face a repayment bill of $10 billion a month, which would rapidly point his country towards bankruptcy. “Londongrad” has proved a comfortable refuge for those who have made billions out of the Russian leader’s autocratic rule, under which the rich have got immeasurably richer so long as they have agreed not to question his Tsarist style. They might not feel quite so comfortable, or remain quite so quiet, if they find themselves facing the prospect of becoming as bankrupt as their government.
- Con Coughlin, Daily Telegraph
The danger is that the only way for Mr Putin to disguise his repeated failures is to further ratchet up the atmosphere of crisis, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy in which Russia is indeed faced by an increasingly hostile west. That policy is dangerous for the world – and, most of all, for Russia itself.
- Gideon Rachman, Financial Times
Perhaps what we really find ugly in the way Twitter responded to MH17 is the suspicion that people are using pictures of dead bodies to boost their own followings. Humanitarian concerns justify sharing pictures of dead Palestinians, yet when MH17 crashed gratuitous violence was posted to provoke a gasp and a retweet.
- Felicity Morse, Independent
Putin must be looking, desperately, for a way to save face. If the MH17 trail leads, as it surely will, back to the rebels, he may disown them and say it had nothing to do with Russia itself. The trick then will be for the west to steer him towards real engagement by promising constitutional talks with Ukraine, provided he takes resolute action to kick out the separatists – who, he has now discovered, are nothing but a liability.
- Angus Roxburgh, The Guardian
Putin has been playing with fire. His irredentism has made him a hero in Russia. It has endangered the world. Crimea was the swaggering precedent to this crime. The shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 amounts to an act of war. It was impromptu perhaps, but still. Dutch corpses have rained down on the sunflowers and cornfields of eastern Ukraine, to be defiled even in death, 193 innocent Dutch souls dishonoured by the thugs of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
- Roger Cohen, International New York Times
The annual Editorial Intelligence comment awards were officially launched last month with the announcement of the seventy-strong panel of judges to be led by Stevie Spring, chair of Children in Need.
They include Lorraine Heggessey, Nihal Arthanayake, Karren Brady, Damian Barr, Lynne Franks, Nicky Gavron, Laura Kuenssberg, Adrian Monck and Kirsty Lang.
Anyone is invited to nominate their favourite commentators for the awards, which are divided into 16 categories. There is no charge for entry.
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