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The unfolding crisis in Ukraine has brought the world to the brink of a new Cold War. As Russia and Ukraine tussle for Crimea and the eastern regions, relations between Putin and the West have reached an all-time low. How did we get here? Richard Sakwa here unpicks the story of Russo-Ukrainian relations and traces the path to the recent disturbances through five 'revolutions', which have forced Ukraine, a country internally divided between East and West, to choose between closer union with Europe or its historic ties with Russia. The first full account of the ongoing crisis, Frontline Ukraine explains the origins, developments and global significance of the battle for Crimea.
Ukraine is embroiled in a bloody civil war. Both sides stand accused of collaborating with fascists, of committing war crimes, of serving foreign interests. This proxy-war between Russia and the West was accompanied by a fierce information war. This book separates fact from fiction with extensive and reliable documentation. While remaining critical of Russia and the Donbass rebellion, De Ploeg demonstrates that many of the recent disasters can be traced to Ukrainian ultranationalists, pro-western political elites and their European and North-American backers. Ukraine in the Crossfire tackles the importance of ultranationalist violence during and after the EuroMaidan movement, and documents how many of these groups are heirs to former nazi-collaborators. It shows how the Ukrainian state has seized on the ultranationalist war-rhetoric to serve its own agenda, clamping down on civil liberties on a scale unprecedented since Ukrainian independence. De Ploeg argues that Kiev itself has been the biggest obstacle to peace in Donbass, with multiple leaks suggesting that US officials are pushing for a pro-war line in Ukraine. With the nation ́s eyes turned towards Russia, the EU and IMF have successfully pressured Ukraine into adopting far-reaching austerity programs, while oligarchic looting of state assets and massive tax-avoidance facilitated by western states continue unabated. De Ploeg documents the local roots of the Donbass rebellion, the overwhelming popularity of Crimea's secession, and shows that support for Ukraine's pro-western turn remains far from unanimous, with large swathes of Ukraine's Russophone population opting out of the political process. Nevertheless, De Ploeg argues, the pro-Western and pro-Russian camps are often similar: neoliberal, authoritarian, nationalist and heavily dependent on foreign support. In a wider exploration of Russo-Western relations, he examines similarities between the contemporary Russian state and its NATO counterparts, showing how the two power blocs have collaborated in some of their worst violent excesses. A far cry from civilizational or ideological clashes, De Ploeg argues that the current tensions flow from NATO ́s military dominance and aggressive posture, both globally and within eastern Europe, where Russia seeks to preserve the status-quo. Packed with shocking facts, deftly moving from the local to the international, from the historical to the recent; De Ploeg connects the dots.
"It was not only Ukraine that went over the edge in 2014, but the whole European security system disintegrated, while a 'new cold war' chills relations between the great powers. In this masterful study, Gordon Hahn examines how Ukraine's internal divisions combined with external lines of fragmentation to create an explosive mix, which in turn intensified domestic conflicts. The result is an internationalized civil conflict, with catastrophic consequences for Ukraine and the world. Hahn is one of the few scholars with the knowledge and discernment to make sense of it all. His impressively well-researched and well-written book is essential reading."--Richard Sakwa, University of Kent "This impressively researched and strongly argued book is an essential corrective to the myths that have been generated concerning the crisis in Ukraine, and an essential warning against a continuation of the frivolous and dangerous policies of regime change adopted by the West after the end of the Cold War."--Anatol Lieven, Professor, Georgetown University in Qatar and author of Ukraine and Russia, A Fraternal Rivalry "Ukraine Over the Edge is a rigorous analysis of the cultural, historical, and intellectual origins of the Ukrainian crisis. While stressing that blame for the latest phase of this crisis is shared all around, Hahn traces its domestic origins to the militancy of the opposition to president Yanukovych, and its international origins to NATO expansion, which he regards as militarized democracy-promotion. The result is both a sophisticated, multilevel analysis of how and why Ukraine emerged as the key hotspot in East-West relations, and an indispensable guide for those wishing to understand the origins of the New Cold War."--Nicolai N. Petro, Silvia-Chandley Professor of Peace Studies and Nonviolence, University of Rhode Island "Ukraine Over the Edge is a very useful contribution to understanding origins and key developments of the crisis in this important European and post-Soviet country. Gordon M. Hahn challenges simplistic and often misleading narratives by the media and politicians and provides a corroboration that the Maidan massacre was a false flag mass killing."--Ivan Katchanovski, University of Ottawa. The Ukrainian crisis that dominated headlines in fall 2013 was decades in the making. Two great schisms shaped events: one lay within Ukraine itself, with its western and southeastern parts divided along cultural and political lines; the other, at the international level, was driven by geopolitical factors real and perceived. Competition for Ukraine between Russia and the West--epitomized by NATO and EU expansion to Russia's borders--exacerbated Ukraine's internal divisions. This study focuses on the historical background and complex causality of the crisis, from the rise of the mass demonstrations on Kiev's Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) to the making of the post-revolt regime. In the context of a "new cold war," the author sheds new light on the role of radical Ukrainian nationalists and neofascists in the February 2014 snipers' massacre, the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych and Russia's seizure of Crimea and involvement in the civil war in the eastern region of Donbass.
Originally published: Winnipeg, Man., Canada: J.J. Fedorowicz Pub., c1996.
The German invasion of the Soviet Union during the Second World War was central to Nazi plans for territorial expansion and genocidal demographic revolution. To create 'living space', Nazi Germany pursued two policies. The first was the systematic murder of millions of Jews, Slavs, Roma, and other groups that the Nazis found undesirable on racial, religious, ethnic, ideological, hereditary, or behavioral grounds. It also pursued a parallel, albeit smaller, program to mobilize supposedly Germanic residents of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union - so-called Volksdeutsche or ethnic Germans - as the vanguard of German expansion. This study recovers the intersection of these two projects in Transnistria, a portion of southern Ukraine that, because of its numerous Volksdeutsche communities, became an epicenter of both Nazi Volksdeutsche policy and the Holocaust in conquered Soviet territory, ultimately asking why local residents, whom German authorities identified as Volksdeutsche, participated in the Holocaust with apparent enthusiasm.
In this book Richard Sakwa provides a new analysis of the end of the Cold War and the subsequent failure to create a comprehensive and inclusive peace order in Europe. The end of the Cold War did not create a sustainable peace system. Instead, for a quarter of a century a 'cold peace' reflected the tension between cooperative and competitive behaviour. None of the fundamental problems of European security were resolved, and tensions accumulated. In 2014 the crisis exploded in the form of conflict in Ukraine, provoking what some call a 'new Cold War'. Russia against the Rest challenges the view that this is a replay of the old conflict, explaining how the tensions between Russia and the Atlantic community reflect a global realignment of the international system. Sakwa provides a balanced and carefully researched analysis of the trajectory of European and global politics since the late 1980s.

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