While I moved on twenty years ago, a little piece of Ukraine climbed into my heart and has stayed there. So much so that my first novel, The Road to Donetsk, was set in Ukraine.
The last week has left me in no doubt that this is quite literally a fight for Europe within Ukraine. Europe has to consider very carefully the consequences for all of us whether it is a fight we can afford to be lost and to decide for ourselves exactly what constitutes victory or defeat? Cold war, hot war or no war at all.
This time the world has institutions, practices and early-warning systems in place to encourage more far-sighted policy-making. Political leadership, however, remains trapped in national agendas, or smaller. Unless that changes, unless governments - and the publics to whom they are accountable - embrace the need to use and refresh those institutions, we will have learnt nothing from the previous, and finite, eras of peace.
The Conservative's foreign policy isn't foreign, it's not even domestic - it's electioneering skewed by Ukip's populism. That is not leadership and it undermines our diplomatic efforts... I am fully in favour of EU reform. But I am passionately against Euro-phobia. Especially in the context of a resurgent Russia, an assassinated opposition leader, 6,000 dead, an annexed Crimea and increasing nervousness around the Baltic states.
The cold hard fact is that unless Ukraine can somehow stand up to Russian aggression on its own, the response from the West will continue to be limited precisely because Russia is a nuclear power.
A huge explosion rocked the Ukrainian city of Donetsk on Sunday night, causing many to assume a tactical nuclear weapon was
They are not only subjecting a people traumatized by Stalinist violence to new threats and backdoor deportations. They are showing an implicit disdain for, and testing the limits of, a tradition of Muslim non-violence and political moderation that the world needs to support and understand today.
Steven Seagal has shown his support for pro-Russia separatists by playing a concert with his band at a show in Crimea. The
The Malaysian government has stepped in to save Malaysia Airlines, which after the MH17 and MH370 disasters has been losing
With EU and Western leaders piling pressure on Vladimir Putin with financial sanctions, Russia has retaliated by launching