Samuel Pizzetti of Italy competes in the men's 800m freestyle heats at the European Swimming Championships in Budapest, Hungary, on Thursday. Reuters
Palestinian children wait to receive food, donated by the Islamic endowment authority Islamic waqf, at a soup kitchen in the West Bank city of Hebron on Aug. 12. Ammar Awad/Reuters
A Shih-tzu dog named Cookie stands in a basket to head to a morning market in Bangkok, Thailand, on Thursday. Sakchai Lalit/AP
Lightning strikes the ground during a thunderstorm near Zurich, Switzerland, on Thursday. Alessandro Della Bella/AP
Visitors look at handcrafted wooden dancers created by Taiwanese artist Ju Ming, displayed at the Living World Series Sculpture Exhibition at the Museum of Art in Beijing, China, on Thursday. Andy Wong/AP
The Radio City Rockettes hold a pre-Christmas event with a coast-to-coast kickoff outside Radio City Music Hall on Thursday in New York City. Amanda Schwab/AP
Workers try to pull a small jet from the ocean in Guanabara Bay after it crashed at Rio de Janeiro's domestic airport in Brazil on Thursday. All three people aboard survived. Felipe Dana/AP
A woman places a candle tribute Thursday at the St. Nicolas Cathedral in St.Petersburg, Russia, where the lists of seamen who perished in submarine disasters are displayed. Russian naval ships are flying flags at half-mast and memorial ceremonies are being held across the nation to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Kursk nuclear submarine disaster. Dmitry Lovetsky/AP
Golf fans walk past a wet spider web during a fog delay before the start of the first round of the PGA Championship golf tournament on Thursday at Whistling Straits in Haven, Wis. Charlie Riedel/AP
Charlie Hoffman relaxes on the putting green during a fog delay before the first round of the PGA Championship golf tournament on Thursday at Whistling Straits in Haven, Wis. Charlie Riedel/AP
A swimmer floats on his back to escape the summer heat on a lake in Nanjing, China, on Thursday. Sean Yong/Reuters
A man watches the rising water level of the River Tawi in Jammu, India, on Thursday. Hundreds are still missing after flash floods sent massive mudslides down remote desert mountainsides in Indian-controlled Kashmir, officials said. The deluge came as neighboring Pakistan is suffering its worst flooding in decades, with millions displaced. Channi Anand/AP
Ukrainian political elites have repeatedly tried to fob off their failures onto Moscow and the West, while extorting maximal support from both. The West must make any cash handouts conditional on meeting protesters' demands for democratic reforms.
Ukraine is teetering on the brink of disaster, once again drawing the West and Russia into diplomatic conflict. But as pundits and policymakers debate the appropriate Western response to the showdown in Crimea – and raise the specter of a renewed cold war – they would do well to recognize the responsibility of the Ukrainian elite for the present East-West showdown.