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About the Event
In this series of talks, IERES’s Petrach Program on Ukraine offers the DC-area community in-person opportunities to engage leading scholarly Ukraine experts on their important new books.


This event will begin with opening remarks from Dr. Henry Hale, Director of GW's Petrach Program on Ukraine, followed by a lecture by the authors, and a moderated Q&A with the audience. This event is hosted by the  Petrach Program on Ukraine and the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (IERES). The talk will be in-person and recorded.


About the Book

Russia’s attack on Ukraine in February 2022 and the start of the largest European conflict since the end of World War II came as a shock to the world at large. Putin’s de facto declaration of war on Ukraine, delivered in conjunction with his official recognition of the independence of the puppet states created by Russia in eastern Ukraine, was dubbed a history lecture, and few observers outside Russia could make sense of it. How important have been the misuse and abuse of history in the perpetration and justification of this war, and what are the actual historical causes of the conflict?  Why did Putin start the war―and why has it unfolded in previously unimaginable ways? Ukrainians have resisted a superior military; the West has united, while Russia found it difficult to find allies on the international arena. The lecture will provide answers to these and other related questions by tracing the origins of the newest European war and explaining the reasons for the return of the Cold War to the very same part of the world where it ended thirty years earlier. The presentation will be based on Plokhii’s book, The Russo-Ukrainian War: A Return of History, released in the US in May 2023.


About the Author

Serhii Plokhii (Plokhy) is the Mykhailo Hrushevsky Professor of Ukrainian History and the director of the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University. A leading authority on Ukraine, Russia, and Eastern Europe, he has published extensively on the international history of World War II and the Cold War. His books won numerous awards, including the Lionel Gelber Prize for the best English-language book on international relations and the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction (UK).


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