This book details how Russia's February 2022 open invasion of Ukraine has led to the biggest military conflagration and refugee crisis in Europe since World War II-a development with global ramifications. Co-written by a leading Western political expert, with three decades of research on contemporary Ukraine, and a prolific British journalist, the book explains why Russian President Vladimir Putin has been long obsessed with Ukraine and how his reliance on dated nationalist myths as well as anti-Western xenophobia led him to miscalculate Ukrainian and Western reactions to his brazen aggression against a sovereign country and founding member of the United Nations since 1945. Taras Kuzio and Stefan Jajecznyk-Kelman analyze how Putin's blunders have led to the collapse of Russia's Eurasian sphere of influence, to the growth of China's presence in Russia's backyard in Central Asia, and to conditions for the toppling of Putin's regime. The book focuses on: the roots of Putin's obsession with Ukraine and the genocidal policies his army is pursuing through war crimes, deportations of millions of Ukrainians as well as destruction of property and infrastructure, why the supposed 'second biggest army in the world' is being defeated by Ukraine, a country Russian nationalists argue is fictitious, and by a Ukrainian people they claim does not exist, how Ukraine is fighting a people's war with a nationwide volunteer movement, civil society, and international supporters who are backing the Ukrainian army through fund raising, purchasing of supplies and military equipment, such as drones, and through an 'IT Army' fighting Russia's invasion in cyber space and the hacking of Russian media, how the invasion is having profound negative implications for RussianUkrainian relations and why in breaking from Moscow, Ukraine is again the key actoras it was in 1991in the disintegration of the Soviet and Russian empires, and how Russia's invasion of Ukraine has led to global crises in economic growth, trade, and finances, as well as to changing geopolitical alliances, with the decline of Russia creating a vacuum that allows for the rise of China.
Taras Kuzio is Professor of Political Science at the National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy. He is the author and editor of 22 books, including Russian Nationalism and the Russian-Ukrainian War (Routledge 2022), The Sources of Russia's Great Power Politics (E-IR 2018, with Paul D'Anieri), Putin's War Against Ukraine (University of Toronto 2019), Ukraine: Democratization, Corruption and the New Russian Imperialism (Praeger 2015), Democratic Revolution in Ukraine (Routledge 2009), Ukraine - Crimea - Russia (ibidem 2007), and Theoretical and Comparative Perspectives on Nationalism (ibidem 2007). Stefan Jajecznyk-Kelman is a freelance journalist. He studied Politics with East European studies at University College London and Journalism at the University of Salford. Most recently Stefan has been a regular news producer with BBC Breakfast.