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If we don’t confront Putin now there will be a heavier price to pay, writes DOMINIC SANDBROOK 

So now, at last, the crisis is upon us. The months of mounting tension are over, and we know where we stand.

By recognising the independence of his separatist puppets in eastern Ukraine and sending in his troops as so-called ‘peacekeepers’, Vladimir Putin has chosen the path of confrontation.

Even to the most naïve observer, it must now be blindingly obvious that the Russian President never had any interest in a diplomatic solution.

He has been bent on war for months, determined to stamp out the embers of democracy in Kiev and bring Ukraine back into Moscow’s imperial orbit.

As Boris Johnson told the Commons yesterday, Putin’s brutal land-grab represents the greatest threat to European peace since the 1930s. It’s a well-worn analogy, but for once it feels right.

Vladimir Putin is…

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