With the annexation of Crimea and the conflict in the Donbas, the EU needs more than ever to understand what Ukrainians themselves think about their future. In What does Ukraine think?, edited by Andrew Wilson, the authors argue that too much of the debate and the diplomacy in the current crisis has been conducted without Ukraine.

This volume allows leading Ukrainian experts – among whom Sergii Leshchenko, Anton Shekhovtsov, and Andrey Kurkov - to put forward their own point of view, giving a flavour of local debates in the terms and frames of reference that Ukrainians use. ECFR is delighted to give a platform for what Ukrainians call the “direct voice” of participants themselves.

The essay collection contains four sets of papers:

  • on Ukraine in a time of war and revolution
  • on the political situation and the war in the east
  • on Ukraine’s changing national identity and regional dynamics
  • and on the difficulties of implementing much-needed reforms under conditions of war

Andrew Wilson says: “Ukrainian writers, thinkers and politicians discuss the challenges of the war with Russia and of attempting simultaneously to rescue and reform a moribund economy. Many take heart from the claim that the new Ukraine is paradoxically consolidating under so much Russian pressure.  Without, for the time being at least, Crimea and half of the Donbas region, the other eastern and southern regions of Ukraine are supposedly uniting behind Kyiv - making Putin a paradoxical Ukrainian nation-builder. The authors discuss the nature of the Russian challenge and the Western response, and report from key Ukrainian regions like Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk to test just how united the new Ukraine really is.”

Picture source front page: Ivan Bandura/Flickr

The European Council on Foreign Relations does not take collective positions. This paper, like all publications of the European Council on Foreign Relations, represents only the views of its authors.

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