Ukraine : A Nation on the Borderland


by Schlogel, Karl

SKU: 9781780239781 Category:


by Schlogel, Karl | Ukraine
Published 16/07/2018 by Reaktion Books in the United Kingdom
Hardback | 320 pages, 35 illustrations; 35 illustrations


The Euromaidan uprising in Kiev, followed by radical regime change, the annexation of the Crimea and the war in Eastern Ukraine, have shattered European security. The Western response to Russian aggression has been uncertain and hesitant in handling the unfamiliar yet large nation of Ukraine, a country with a complicated past, and one whose history is little known in the rest of Europe. In Ukraine: A Nation on the Borderland, Karl Schloegel 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, Schloegel 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. Schloegel feels the pulse of life in these cities, analysing their more recent pasts and their challenges for the future.


“In response to these events, this book is an effort to make amends: to educate the broader public about Ukraine, Europe’s terra incognita. It presents not only a fascinating, oftentimes poetic investigation of Ukraine’s highly diverse urban landscapes, but also records the inner struggles of a German historian trying to make sense of Putin’s undeclared war against Ukraine. . . . This book is a path-breaking study of the urban archaeology of post-Soviet Ukraine, haunted by the demographic catastrophes of the twentieth century.” –“Europe-Asia Studies”

“Suggesting that, despite its prominence as a target of Russian aggression, Ukraine remains unfamiliar to most Westerners, Schlögel profiles the country’s major cities. He explores the dilemmas presented by the country’s geographical relationships with Russia and Europe.” –“Survival: Global Politics and Strategy”

“This book is an invitation to the broader public, well-familiar by now with the cities in Western and Eastern Europe, to discover Ukraine, to explore its multifaceted identities. Since an end to the war in Ukraine is not yet in sight, books like this are much needed. When most of the publications available reiterate the same narratives of unbridgeable differences between Ukraine’s east and west, it takes Schlögel’s insightfulness and erudition to show the commonalities between Lviv in the West, Odessa in the South and Donetsk in the East; to take Ukraine out of the shadow of Russia and put it back on Europe’s mental maps.” –“European History Quarterly”

About the Author

Karl Schloegel is a historian and essayist and Professor Emeritus of the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany. His many books include histories of Moscow, Berlin and St Petersburg, and he won the European Charles Veillon essay prize in 1990 and the prize of the Historisches Kolleg Munich in 2016.