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Russia Question

The Russo-Ukrainian WarThe Russia Question Hosts Serhii Plokhy

Published on: September 20, 2023
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The Russia Question is a book talk series devoted to all things Russia, hosted by Russian program director at Fordham University (LC) Prof. Michael Ossorgin, with generous support from the Orthodox Christian Studies Center.

This episode features a book talk with Serhii Plokhy on his recent book The Russo-Ukrainian War: The Return of History.

The Russo-Ukrainian War

Book Description: Despite repeated warnings from the White House, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 shocked the world. Why did Putin start the war—and why has it unfolded in previously unimaginable ways? Ukrainians have resisted a superior military; the West has united, while Russia grows increasingly isolated. Serhii Plokhy, a leading historian of Ukraine and the Cold War, offers a definitive account of this conflict, its origins, course, and the already apparent and possible future consequences. Though the current war began eight years before the all-out assault—on February 27, 2014, when Russian armed forces seized the building of the Crimean parliament—the roots of this conflict can be traced back even earlier, to post-Soviet tensions and imperial collapse in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Providing a broad historical context and an examination of Ukraine and Russia’s ideas and cultures, as well as domestic and international politics, Plokhy reveals that while this new Cold War was not inevitable, it was predictable.

Ukraine, Plokhy argues, has remained central to Russia’s idea of itself even as Ukrainians have followed a radically different path. In a new international environment defined by the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the disintegration of the post–Cold War international order, and a resurgence of populist nationalism, Ukraine is now more than ever the most volatile fault line between authoritarianism and democratic Europe.

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Public Orthodoxy seeks to promote conversation by providing a forum for diverse perspectives on contemporary issues related to Orthodox Christianity. The positions expressed in this essay are solely the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors or the Orthodox Christian Studies Center.

About authors

  • Serhii Plokhy

    Serhii Plokhy

    Mykhailo S. Hrushevs'kyi Professor of Ukrainian History at Harvard University

    Serhii Plokhy is Mykhailo S. Hrushevs'kyi Professor of Ukrainian History and director of the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University. He is a leading authority on the history of the Cold War. He is the author of Atoms and Ashes: A Global History of Nuclear Disasters and Nuclear Folly: A H...

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  • Michael Ossorgin

    Michael Ossorgin

    Director of Russian Program at Fordham University

    Michael Ossorgin joined the Modern Languages and Literatures faculty at Fordham University in 2016. His research focuses on narrative and visual art. He writes about visual polyphony in Dostoevsky's poetics, specifically how paintings and imagery create narrative zones in which Dostoevsky's famous d...

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Disclaimer

Public Orthodoxy seeks to promote conversation by providing a forum for diverse perspectives on contemporary issues related to Orthodox Christianity. The positions expressed in the articles on this website are solely the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors or the Orthodox Christian Studies Center.

Attribution

Public Orthodoxy is a publication of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University