The universal revulsion at Russia’s unprovoked, unjustified and illegal invasion of Ukraine is rightly leading to a sense of outrage across the international community. The British Government was right to issue early warnings of the Russian military build-up on Ukraine’s borders, and acted swiftly and ahead of other countries in providing the Ukrainians with the weapons they have been using to such great effect to defend their country.

However, as regards more direct help, we must keep a cool head and refrain from direct military intervention while giving Ukraine every other assistance. There must not be a scenario in which NATO and Russian forces are involved in a shooting war, as this will very quickly escalate into a broader and more dangerous conflict. Spreading the violence into other countries will not help anyone in Ukraine.

In the worldwide battle for democracy it will be increasingly important to reach out directly to oppressed people – soft power having played a key role in our victory in the Cold War. Accordingly, throughout this frightening time, it is essential that the Russian people understand that we have no quarrel with them, and that such economic, travel and other difficulties that they are experiencing are as a direct consequence of the unacceptable actions of Mr Putin and his cronies.

In early February I wrote an article for Politeia on Ukraine, and in March I wrote an article for Conservative Home.