The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine

The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine

Serhii Plokhy

Ukraine is at present embroiled in a stressful struggle with Russia to maintain its territorial integrity and political independence. yet today’s clash is just the most recent in an extended heritage of battles over Ukraine’s territory and its lifestyles as a sovereign kingdom. because the award-winning historian Serhii Plokhy argues in The Gates of Europe, we needs to research Ukraine’s prior which will comprehend its current and future.

Situated among important Europe, Russia, and the center East, Ukraine used to be formed by means of the empires that used it as a strategic gateway among East and West—from the Roman and Ottoman empires to the 3rd Reich and the Soviet Union. for hundreds of years, Ukraine has been a gathering position of varied cultures. the blending of sedentary and nomadic peoples and Christianity and Islam at the steppe borderland produced the category of ferocious warriors often called the Cossacks, for instance, whereas the come across among the Catholic and Orthodox church buildings created a spiritual culture that bridges Western and japanese Christianity. Ukraine has additionally been a house to thousands of Jews, serving because the birthplace of Hassidism—and as one of many killing fields of the Holocaust.

Plokhy examines the historical past of Ukraine’s look for its identification during the lives of the main figures in Ukrainian historical past: Prince Yaroslav the clever of Kyiv, whose daughter Anna grew to become queen of France; the Cossack ruler Ivan Mazepa, who used to be immortalized within the poems of Byron and Pushkin; Nikita Khrushchev and his protégé-turned-nemesis Leonid Brezhnev, who known as Ukraine their domestic; and the heroes of the Maidan protests of 2013 and 2014, who include the present fight over Ukraine’s future.

As Plokhy explains, today’s situation is a sad case of heritage repeating itself, as Ukraine once more reveals itself within the heart of the conflict of worldwide proportions. An authoritative heritage of this important state, The Gates of Europe offers a distinct perception into the origins of the main harmful overseas difficulty because the finish of the chilly battle.

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