As I drove into Kyiv from the south a few days into the invasion, a Russian convoy 40 miles long was heading towards the city from the north and north-west, from Belarus, Russia’s ally. Belarus is the sort of neighbour Russia’s President Vladimir Putin wants. Its leader, Alexander Lukashenko, is happy to have Putin’s patronage and to accept a role as Russia’s client state. Even so Lukashenko did not send his troops into Ukraine, which many outsiders had assumed was part of the Kremlin’s battle plan. Perhaps even Putin accepted that loyalty has its limits.