From a preeminent scholar of Eastern Europe and the prizewinning author of Chernobyl, the essential history of Russian imperialism. In 2014, Russia annexed the Crimea and attempted to seize a portion of Ukraine -- only the latest iteration of a centuries-long effort to expand Russian boundaries and create a pan-Russian nation. In Lost Kingdom, award-winning historian Serhii Plokhy argues that we can only understand the confluence of Russian imperialism and nationalism today by delving into the nation's history. Spanning over 500 years, from the end of the Mongol rule to the present day, Plokhy shows how leaders from Ivan the Terrible to Joseph Stalin to Vladimir Putin exploited existing forms of identity, warfare, and territorial expansion to achieve imperial supremacy. An authoritative and masterful account of Russian nationalism, Lost Kingdom chronicles the story behind Russia's belligerent empire-building quest.
How could Gorbachev and his advisers have misjudged the condition of the Soviet Unionat the end of the 1980s? How unrealistic was their sense of what the Soviet bloc represented at that time? How did the leaders of the Soviet state perceive the problem of the nationalities in the USSR and their relations with their East European allies? Russia, Ukraine, and the Breakup of the Soviet Union offers an insightful new perspective on these and other questions surrounding the decline and fall of the Soviet system. This book chronicles the final two decades in the history of the Soviet Union and presents a story that is often lost in the standard interpretations of the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and the USSR. Although there were numerous reasons for the collapse of communism, it did not happen--as it may have seemed to some--overnight. Indeed, says Roman Szporluk, the root causes go back even earlier than 1917. To understand why the USSR broke up the way it did, it is necessary to understand the relationship between the two most important nations of the USSR--Russia and Ukraine--during the Soviet period and before, as well as the parallel but interrelated processes of nation formation in both states. Szporluk details a number of often-overlooked factors leading to the USSR's fall: how the processes of Russian identity formation were not completed by the time of the communist takeover in 1917, the unification of Ukraine in 1939-1945, and the Soviet period failing to find a resolution of the question of Russian-Ukrainian relations. The present-day conflict in the Caucasus, he asserts, is a sign that the problems of Russian identity remain. Without claiming that the collapse of communism or the breakup of the Soviet Union was "caused" by any one factor, Russia, Ukraine, and the Breakup of the Soviet Union makes an insightful and original contribution to the discussion surrounding one of the most significant political events of the twentieth century.
Marvin Kalb, former CBS Moscow bureau chief, traces how the Crimea of Catherine the Great became a global tinder box. The world was stunned when Vladimir Putin invaded and seized the seaport region of Crimea in March 2014. In the weeks that followed, separatist rebels aided by Russia took over territory in the area surrounding Crimea in eastern Ukraine. The United States and its Western allies immediately imposed strict sanctions on Russia and have continued to tighten those sanctions. This sharp deterioration in East-West relations has raised basic questions about the policies of Vladimir Putin and the future of Russia. Marvin Kalb, who reported from Russia in the 1950s for Edward R. Murrow and served as the CBS Moscow bureau chief in the early 1960s, argues that, contrary to conventional wisdom, Putin did not "suddenly" decide to invade Crimea and then instigate a pro-Russian rebellion in eastern Ukraine. He had been waiting for the right moment in the months after Ukrainians rose up in bloody protests against the pro-Russian president in Kiev's Maidan Square. Those demonstrations had led Putin to the conclusion that Ukraine's opposition constituted an existential threat to Russia. Imperial Gamble examines how Putin reached that conclusion by taking a critical look at the recent political history of post-Soviet Russia. It also journeys deeper into the Russian past to more fully explain the roots of Russian nationalism that drives both Putin and the Russian people who support his actions in Ukraine. Kalb argues that the post-cold war world today hangs on the resolution of the Ukraine crisis. So long as it is treated as a problem to be resolved by Russia, on the one side, and the United States and Europe, on the other, it will remain a danger zone with global consequences. The only sensible solution lies in both Russia and Ukraine recognizing that their futures are irrevocably linked by the geography, power, politics, and history that Kalb brings to life in Imperial Gamble.
Mykhailo Hrushevsky's History of Ukraine-Rus'. Volume 1: From Prehistory to the Eleventh Century discusses the Ukrainian land and the people who inhabited it from the earliest times up to the formation of the Rus' state and its Christianization. Hrushevsky examines the emergence of Rus' civilization through the prisms of archaeology, anthropology, ethnography, and historical linguistics. He gives penetrating analyses of historical sources and pays special attention to the Primary Chronicle and the Normanist Controversy. The newly compiled bibliography of more than 1,700 items includes all manuscripts, published sources, and secondary works used by Hrushevsky.
From the eighteenth century until its collapse in 1917, Imperial Russia - as distinct from Muscovite Russia before it and Soviet Russia after it - officially held that the Russian nation consisted of three branches: Great Russian, Little Russian (Ukrainian), and White Russian (Belarusian). After the 1917 revolution, this view was discredited by many leading scholars, politicians, and cultural figures, but none were more intimately involved in the dismantling of the old imperial identity and its historical narrative than the eminent Ukrainian historian Mykhailo Hrushevsky (1866-1934). Hrushevsky took an active part in the work of Ukrainian scholarly, cultural, and political organizations and became the first head of the independent Ukrainian state in 1918. Serhii Plokhy's Unmaking Imperial Russia examines Hrushevsky's construction of a new historical paradigm that brought about the nationalization of the Ukrainian past and established Ukrainian history as a separate field of study. By showing how the 'all-Russian' historical paradigm was challenged by the Ukrainian national project, Plokhy provides the indispensable background for understanding the current state of relations between Ukraine and Russia.
Ukraine is currently embroiled in a tense fight with Russia to preserve its territorial integrity and political independence. But today's conflict is only the latest in a long history of battles over Ukraine's territory and its existence as a sovereign nation. As the award-winning historian Serhii Plokhy argues in The Gates of Europe, we must examine Ukraine's past in order to understand its present and future. Situated between Central Europe, Russia, and the Middle East, Ukraine was shaped by the empires that used it as a strategic gateway between East and West -- from the Roman and Ottoman empires to the Third Reich and the Soviet Union. For centuries, Ukraine has been a meeting place of various cultures. The mixing of sedentary and nomadic peoples and Christianity and Islam on the steppe borderland produced the class of ferocious warriors known as the Cossacks, for example, while the encounter between the Catholic and Orthodox churches created a religious tradition that bridges Western and Eastern Christianity. Ukraine has also been a home to millions of Jews, serving as the birthplace of Hassidism -- and as one of the killing fields of the Holocaust. Plokhy examines the history of Ukraine's search for its identity through the lives of the major figures in Ukrainian history: Prince Yaroslav the Wise of Kyiv, whose daughter Anna became queen of France; the Cossack ruler Ivan Mazepa, who was immortalized in the poems of Byron and Pushkin; Nikita Khrushchev and his protege-turned-nemesis Leonid Brezhnev, who called Ukraine their home; and the heroes of the Maidan protests of 2013 and 2014, who embody the current struggle over Ukraine's future. As Plokhy explains, today's crisis is a tragic case of history repeating itself, as Ukraine once again finds itself in the center of the battle of global proportions. An authoritative history of this vital country, The Gates of Europe provides a unique insight into the origins of the most dangerous international crisis since the end of the Cold War.
In 1990, months before crowds in Moscow and other major cities dismantled their monuments to Lenin, residents of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv toppled theirs. William Jay Risch argues that Soviet politics of empire inadvertently shaped this anti-Soviet city, and that opposition from the periphery as much as from the imperial center was instrumental in unraveling the Soviet Union. Lviv's borderlands identity was defined by complicated relationships with its Polish neighbor, its imperial Soviet occupier, and the real and imagined West. The city's intellectuals?working through compromise rather than overt opposition?strained the limits of censorship in order to achieve greater public use of Ukrainian language and literary expression, and challenged state-sanctioned histories with their collective memory of the recent past. Lviv's post?Stalin-generation youth, to which Risch pays particular attention, forged alternative social spaces where their enthusiasm for high culture, politics, soccer, music, and film could be shared. The Ukrainian West enriches our understanding not only of the Soviet Union's postwar evolution but also of the role urban spaces, cosmopolitan identities, and border regions play in the development of nations and empires. And it calls into question many of our assumptions about the regional divisions that have characterized politics in Ukraine. Risch shines a bright light on the political, social, and cultural history that turned this once-peripheral city into a Soviet window on the West.
When guns began firing again in Europe, why was it Ukraine that became the battlefield? Conventional wisdom dictates that Ukraine's current crisis can be traced to the linguistic differences and divided political loyalties that have long fractured the country. However this theory only obscuresthe true significance of Ukraine's recent civic revolution and the conflict's crucial international dimension. The 2013-14 Ukrainian revolution presented authoritarian powers in Russia with both a democratic and a geopolitical challenge. President Vladimir Putin reacted aggressively by annexing theCrimea and sponsoring the war in eastern Ukraine; and Russia's actions subsequently prompted Western sanctions and growing international tensions reminiscent of the Cold War. Though the media portrays the situation as an ethnic conflict, an internal Ukrainian affair, it is in reality reflective of aglobal discord, stemming from differing views on state power, civil society, and democracy.The Crisis in Ukraine: What Everyone Needs to Know explores Ukraine's contemporary conflict and complicated history of ethnic identity, and it does do so by weaving questions of the country's fraught relations with its former imperial master, Russia, throughout the narrative. In denying Ukraine'sexistence as a separate nation, Putin has adopted a stance similar to that of the last Russian tsars, who banned the Ukrainian language in print and on stage. Ukraine emerged as a nation-state as a result of the imperial collapse in 1917, but it was subsequently absorbed into the USSR. When theformer Soviet republics became independent states in 1991, the Ukrainian authorities sought to assert their country's national distinctiveness, but they failed to reform the economy or eradicate corruption. As Serhy Yekelchyk explains, for the last 150 years recognition of Ukraine as a separatenation has been a litmus test of Russian democracy, and the Russian threat to Ukraine will remain in place for as long as the Putinist regime is in power. In this concise and penetrating book, Yekelchyk describes the current crisis in Ukraine, the country's ethnic composition, and the Ukrainiannational identity. He takes readers through the history of Ukraine's emergence as a sovereign nation, the after-effects of communism, the Orange Revolution, the EuroMaidan, the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, the war in the Donbas, and the West's attempts at peace making. The Crisis in Ukraineis essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the forces that have shaped contemporary politics in this increasingly important part of Europe.What Everyone Needs to KnowRG is a registered trademark of Oxford University Press.
"This firsthand account of contemporary history is key to understanding Russia's latest assault on its neighbor."--USA Today An eyewitness account by a U.S. diplomat of Russia's brazen attempt to undo the democratic revolution in Ukraine Told from the perspective of a U.S. diplomat in Kyiv, this book is the true story of Ukraine's anti-corruption revolution in 2013--14, Russia's intervention and invasion of that nation, and the limited role played by the United States. It puts into a readable narrative the previously unpublished reporting by seasoned U.S. diplomatic and military professionals, a wealth of information on Ukrainian high-level and street-level politics, a broad analysis of the international context, and vivid descriptions of people and places in Ukraine during the EuroMaidan Revolution. The book also counters Russia's disinformation narratives about the revolution and America's role in it. While focusing on a single country during a dramatic three-year period, the book's universal themes--among them, truth versus lies, democracy versus autocracy--possess a broader urgency for our times. That urgency burns particularly hot for the United States and all other countries that are the targets of Russia's cyber warfare and other forms of political skullduggery. From his posting in U.S. Embassy Kyiv (2012-14), the author observed and reported first-hand on the EuroMaidan Revolution that wrested power from corrupt pro-Kremlin Ukrainian autocrat Viktor Yanukovych. The book also details Russia's attempt to abort the Ukrainian revolution through threats, economic pressure, lies, and intimidation. When all of that failed, the Kremlin exacted revenge by annexing Ukraine's territory of Crimea and fomenting and sustaining a hybrid war in eastern Ukraine that has killed more than 13,000 people and continues to this day. Ukraine's Revolt, Russia's Revenge is based on the author's own observations and the multitude of reports of his Embassy colleagues who were eyewitnesses to a crucial event in contemporary history.
This intriguing collection of for-or-against essays explores the complex issues in Ukraine, including how the U.S. should manage the conflict in Ukraine, if Western intervention is warranted, Russia's role in Ukraine, and how Ukraine should craft its future.
In the wake of Russia's annexation of Crimea and attempt to destabilize eastern Ukraine, the United States will have to reexamine the basic premises of its European policy. The requirement that NATO may have to build a more robust deterrence and defense posture in Eastern Europe would require the Army and Air Force to revisit their planning assumptions that have minimized the U.S. military commitments to the region since the end of the Cold War.
Tracing the origins and reemergence of a phenomenon once thought vanquished by the modern, globalized world. "We need a nation," declared a certain Phillippe Grouvelle in 1879, "and the Nation will be born."--from Nationalism: A Short History Nationalism, once the scourge of world politics, is back. And for many today, Grouvelle's simple declaration is all that is needed to will a nation into being. But as historian Liah Greenfeld shows in her new book, a sense of nation, of nationalism, is the slow distillation of ideas and beliefs, and the struggles over them, not the product of a pronouncement. Greenfeld takes the reader on an intellectual journey through the origins of the word "nationalism" and how it has changed over the centuries. From its emergence in sixteenth century England, nationalism has affected nearly every significant development in world affairs over succeeding centuries, including the American and French revolutions of the late eighteenth centuries and the authoritarian communism and fascism of the twentieth century. Now it has arrived as a mass phenomenon in China as well as gaining new life in the United States and much of Europe in the guise of populism. Written by an authority on the subject, Nationalism: A Short History stresses the dichotomy of how nationalism has been institutionalized in various places. On the one hand, nationalism has contributed to the concepts of liberal democracy, human rights, and individual self-determination. But nationalism also has been used by authoritarian and racist regimes to negate the individual as an autonomous agent. That tension is all too apparent today.
Though the extreme right was not particularly successful in the 1999 European elections, it continues to be a major factor in the politics of Western Europe. This book provides a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the extreme right in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. On the basis of original research--using party literature--the author concludes that though individual parties might stress different issues, the extreme right party family does share a core ideology of nationalism, xenophobia, welfare chauvinism, and law and order.