Journalist Anatol Lieven here explores the complex ethnic and political relationship of Ukraine and Russia. Based on extensive interviews, Lieven provides a fascinating portrait of the diversity that is contemporary Ukraine and of its efforts to forge a national identity after three centuries of Russian rule.
Lieven’s journeys take him into ethnic Russian enclaves in Crimea and eastern Ukraine and to the western bastions of Ukrainian nationalism. But they also reveal an intermingling (and intermarriage) of both ethnic groups throughout much of the country.
With trenchant observations and an eye for the telling detail, Lieven examines the policy implications of Eastern Europe’s new political geography. Will ethnic coexistence endure in the face of economic hardship and the divisive issues left over from the Soviet era? Is it wise for the West to force the issue of Ukraine’s membership in Western institutions—NATO first and foremost among them?