Working as a journalist in Ukraine in the early 2000s, my colleagues and I used to joke that the rest of the world was only interested in our stories if they involved Chernobyl, prostitution or violent death. What a hat-trick, if a Ukraine story scored all three. The only possible hotter topics were war and plane crashes.

Now Ukraine has just scored both. And the joke, which was never very funny, is just sick.

I’m sorry if I sound flippant. I don’t feel flippant.

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