Maria Popova, Oxana Shevel: Russia and Ukraine (Hardcover, 2023, Polity Press) 5 stars

In February 2022, Russian missiles rained on Ukrainian cities, and tanks rolled towards Kyiv to …


5 stars

I liked this book very much. It shows how Ukraine and Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union chose different paths, and how this led to the current total confrontation. In this book, the Ukrainian society and the Ukrainian political elites are shown as the independent actors making rational decisions, not puppets of the west or the Kremlin. The authors do not ignore the differing historical narratives, neither do they choose to follow one of them. Instead, they show how these narratives are being used politically by the different actors. There is some repetition and the language could have just a little bit of polishing here and there, but on the whole, very close to 5 stars.