Book Talk: Towards the Abyss in Ukraine

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine (and indeed before), Western reporting and analysis of the country has been dominated by a Ukrainian narrative emanating from middle-class civil society. The Russian officially-backed narrative has been even cruder and more monolithic. The result has been to obscure key features of Ukraine and the background to the war, with damaging consequences for Western policymaking. To illuminate these features, Anatol Lieven is joined by Volodymyr Ishchenko, a leading Ukrainian sociologist and political analyst. They will discuss Dr. Ishchenko’s book, “Towards the Abyss: Ukraine from Maidan to War”, to be published by Verso on February 27th.


Volodymyr Ishchenko

Dr. Volodymyr Ishchenko is a research associate in the Institute for East European Studies at the Freie Universitaet in Berlin. His research has focused on protests and social movements, revolutions, radicalization, right and left politics, nationalism, civil society. He has authored many peer-reviewed articles and interviews on contemporary Ukrainian politics, the Euromaidan revolution, and the current Russia-Ukraine war. He has been published in Post-Soviet Affairs, Globalizations, New Left Review, Al Jazeera, and Jacobin.

Anatol Lieven

Dr. Anatol Lieven directs the Eurasia Program at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. He was formerly a professor at Georgetown University in Qatar and in the War Studies Department of King’s College London. From 1985 to 1998, Lieven worked as a journalist in South Asia, the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and covered the wars in Afghanistan, Chechnya and the southern Caucasus. Lieven is the author of several books, including "Chechnya: Tombstone of Russian Power?" and "Ukraine and Russia: A Fraternal Rivalry."