Learn more about the historic, political, and cultural issues surrounding Ukraine and Russia with these non-fiction titles.
Red famine : Stalin’s war on Ukraine
by Anne Applebaum
Draws on previously sealed records to prove that Joseph Stalin deliberately created his agricultural collectivization project to commit genocidal acts against the Ukrainians, citing the millions of peasants who died from starvation between 1931 and 1933 to solve a Russian political problem. By the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gulag.
The Border : A Journey Around Russia Through North Korea, China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Norway and the Northeast Passage
by Erika Fatland
An astute and brilliant combination of lyric travel writing and modern history, The Borde r is a book about Russia without its author ever entering Russia itself. Fatland gets to the heart of what it has meant to be the neighbor of that mighty, expanding empire throughout history. As we follow Fatland on her journey, we experience the colorful, exciting, tragic and often unbelievable histories of these bordering nations along with their cultures, their people, their landscapes. Sharply observed and wholly absorbing, The Border is a surprising new way to understand a broad part our world.
Midnight in Chernobyl : the untold story of the world’s greatest nuclear disaster
by Adam Higginbotham
Draws on 20 years of research, recently declassified files and interviews with first-person survivors in an account of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster that also reveals how propaganda and secrets have created additional dangers.
Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible : Adventures in Modern Russia
by Peter Pomerantsev
A journey into the glittering, surreal heart of 21st century Russia: into the lives of Hells Angels convinced they are messiahs, professional killers with the souls of artists, bohemian theatre directors turned Kremlin puppet-masters, supermodel sects, post-modern dictators and oligarch revolutionaries.
The gates of Europe : a history of Ukraine
by Serhii Plokhy
An award-winning historian calls for approaches to assisting Ukraine’s independence through an understanding of the nation’s past, identifying how it was used by surrounding empires as a gateway between eastern and western regions and became both a site of cultural diversity and historical violence.
This book puts the conflict in historical perspective by examining the evolution of the crisis and assessing its implications both for the Crimean peninsula and for Russia’s relations with the West more generally. Experts in the international relations of post-Soviet states, political scientists Rajan Menon and Eugene Rumer clearly show what is at stake in Ukraine, explaining the key economic, political, and security challenges and prospects for overcoming them. They also discuss historical precedents, sketch likely outcomes, and propose policies for safeguarding U.S.-Russia relations in the future. In doing so, they provide a comprehensive and accessible study of a conflict whose consequences will be felt for many years to come.
A Russian former #1 ranked chess player explains why he has opposed Russian president Vladimir Putin all along and issues a call for taking a diplomatic and economic stand against him.
Putin country : a journey into the real Russia
by Anne Garrels
A longtime NPR correspondent and author of Naked in Baghdad traces her visits to the nuclear program center of Chelyabinsk in Russia, describing how its growing democratic freedoms have had a contradictory impact on a population that has become increasingly wealthy, corrupt and intolerant.