The situation in eastern Ukraine remains murky; the optimism that developed a week and a half ago after conciliatory remarks from Russian President Vladimir Putin now seems to have dissipated. According to the BBC, Ivan Simonovic, the United Nations assistant secretary general for human rights, said that things were approaching a "point of no return" and that there were "worrying echoes of the 1990s war in his native Croatia".

On Friday it was reported that steelworkers had joined with pro-government forces in Mariupol (on the coast of Luhansk province) to retake control from separatists. It's an odd echo of the old left-wing demand of "arms to the workers", with its implicit threat of full-scale civil war.