A prominent foreign policy analyst details the power centers that shape modern Ukraine.

From Independence to the War with Russia
by Adrian Karatnycky
Yale University Press, June 2024
(via Liza Dawson Associates)

The first major English-language history of Ukraine from its emergence after the demise of the Soviet Union through the current Russian invasion.

In 1991, after seventy years of imperial Soviet rule, Ukraine became an independent country. Since 2022, it has been fighting for its survival by resisting an unprovoked, brutal, and ongoing invasion by Russia. At the center of its resistance is the resilience of a united people.

Adrian Karatnycky tells the history of how the Ukrainian state and nation gradually emerged through the tenures of the six presidents who have led Ukraine since the collapse of the USSR, including Volodymyr Zelensky, elected in 2019.

Karatnycky shows that despite the influence of corrupt oligarchs, pressures from Russia, and the legacies of Soviet rule, a disparate but inclusive Ukrainian nation has emerged that inspires the world as it defends the principle that states have the right to their national sovereignty.

Ukraine’s battle is our battle, so understanding its post-independence history is vital if the battle is to be won. Adrian Karatnycky has done an outstanding job of telling that story, warts and all.” –Bill Emmott, former editor in chief, The Economist, and Chairman, International Institute for Strategic Studies

An indispensable history of contemporary Ukraine by a writer who is himself one of the builders of contemporary Ukraine. The point of view is intimate. The insights are astute. The sympathy extends to all who labored, fought, and sacrificed for a liberal, democratic, and European Ukraine.” –David Frum, the Atlantic

Adrian Karatnycky has a knowledge of Ukraine that comes not only with reading history but also with making it. A participant in many key events in Ukraine’s recent past, in this important book, he provides unique insights into the rise of independent Ukraine and explains why the country and its people keep fighting when others gave up.” –Serhii Plokhy, Hrushevsky Professor of Ukrainian History, Harvard University

Truly invaluable. Adrian Karatnycky’s knowledge of and personal feel for Ukraine— its leaders and its people—come through on every page. Want to make yourself an expert on the problem that will define Europe’s future for decades to come? Read this book!” –Stephen Sestanovich, Davis Professor of International Affairs, Columbia University, Former US Ambassador-at-Large to the Newly Independent States of the Former USSR

Adrian Karatnycky is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. Through the council’s Ukraine program, as a labor union official, and as CEO of Freedom House, he has been deeply engaged in Ukraine for over three decades. He has written about Ukraine for leading newspapers and journals.

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