We really are in a 'through the looking glass' phase of national and international politics with a dangerous growth of 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend' dogma. Self styled moderates behaving like the right. Vexed liberals coming over all authoritarian. Reactionary western nationalists having a love-in with long time foe Russia.
Russian officials accuse Ukraine of having activated the military conflict to keep Ukrainian affairs in the international agenda. Ironically, it probably will be these kinds of escalations that will make President Trump & Prime Minister May understand that they will have to take a more firm stand against Russia, independently of commercial or domestic considerations.
Whether this is another case of sabre-rattling by the Russians or something more sinister, it remains the truth that an invasion of Ukraine would be so complex and costly it would tie up Russia for years, making any interference in the Baltic States by Putin to be quixotic to the extent that along with his involvement in Ukraine and Syria, it may prove instantly fatal to his regime.
During a visit to a summer camp for children affected by the conflict in Donbass, eastern Ukraine, I met a boy close to the frontline who had made a drawing of a tree, on top of which he drew a house with a family. When asked why the house was in the tree top and wouldn't it fall down in the wind, the boy confidently assured me 'no', the house is strong and secure. I later found out that this boy's dog had been killed by a landmine.
In the aftermath of the vote on whether to bomb ISIS in Syria, the new Labour Party will have to face some uncomfortable questions about the new direction in which Corbyn wants to take, spurred on both by Corbyn's supporters, and by the group that now seems to take pride of place in Corbyn's foreign policy: Stop the War Coalition.
As long as the conflict remains unsolved, many young Ukrainian lives are on hold. I recall what Dasha told me in the village. "I will remember this year for the rest of my life. I feel like I've lived 10-years in one because it was so tense." Her experiences will clearly never be forgotten. But with the right support, Dasha and young Ukrainians affected by the conflict can thrive once again.