Ukraine is a country caught in a political tug of war: looking East to Russia and West to the European Union, this pivotal nation has long been a pawn in a global ideological game. And since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014 in response to the Ukrainian Euromaidan protests against oligarchical corruption, the game has become one of life and death.
In Ukraine: A Nation on the Borderland, Karl Schlögel presents a picture of a country which lies on Europe’s borderland and in Russia’s shadow. In recent years, Ukraine has been faced, along with Western Europe, with the political conundrum resulting from Russia’s actions and the ongoing Information War. As well as exploring this present-day confrontation, Schlögel provides detailed, fascinating historical portraits of a panoply of Ukraine’s major cities: Lviv, Odessa, Czernowitz, Kiev, Kharkov, Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk, and Yalta—cities whose often troubled and war-torn histories are as varied as the nationalities and cultures which have made them what they are today, survivors with very particular identities and aspirations. Schlögel feels the pulse of life in these cities, analyzing their more recent pasts and their challenges for the future.