So the president went to Kyiv and St Petersburg on a forlorn peace mission. Both Volodymyr Zelensky and Vladimir Putin declined to implement a ceasefire, and no-one was particularly surprised.

The mission was an absolute farce, and not because President Cyril Ramaphosa’s excessively large and exceptionally well-armed security detail and a bunch of journalists ended up getting stuck on a Polish runway. That was actually a surprise. ..

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