Mr Putin’s charade must surely have run its course. Even state-controlled Russian television seems to be struggling to come up with conspiracy theories to counter what seem to be the indisputable fact of this latest crime: a Russian-made missile was fired from ground held by Russian-backed separatists. Ms Mogherini will find this outrage hard to explain away as a response to supposed western provocation. Less certain is whether the risk of international pariah status will deter Mr Putin. It is quite possible to imagine the Russian president could draw the opposite conclusion – pressing ahead with an invasion of eastern Ukraine under the guise of a peacekeeping operation.