Monday, March 27th, 2017 Putin's War Against Ukraine

Monday, March 27, 20173:00PM - 5:00PM108N, North House, 1 Devonshire Place


Dr. Taras Kuzio will give a presentation based on his book that will be published in February 2017. The West has woken up to the uncomfortable fact that Russia has long believed it is at war with them the most egregious example of which is Vladimir Putin’s hacking of the US elections. For Western governments, used to believing in the post-Cold War peace dividend, it came as a shock to find the liberal international order is under threat from an aggressive Russia. The ‘End of History – loudly proclaimed in 1991 – has been replaced by the ‘Return of History.’ Putin’s war against Ukraine came three years earlier when he launched an unprovoked war in the Donbas and annexed the Crimea. Putin’s war against Ukraine has killed 20,000 civilians, Ukrainian and Russian soldiers and combatants, forced a third of the population of the Donbas to flee, illegally nationalised Ukrainian state and private entities in the Crimea, destroyed huge areas of the infrastructure and economy of the Donbas, and created a black hole of crime and soft security threats to Europe. Putin’s war against Ukraine is the first book length study of how Russian nationalism, chauvinism, anti-Semitism and crime are driving Putin’s belief that Russians and Ukrainians are ‘one people’ forever united in the Russian World. Written by Taras Kuzio, a leading authority on contemporary Ukraine, Putin’s War Against Ukraine is a product of his long-term expertise in Ukrainian politics, fieldwork in the Russian-speaking eastern and southern Ukraine and his visits to the front lines of the Donbas combat zone. The book debunks the myths surrounding Europe’s biggest crisis since World War II and provides an incisive analysis for policy makers, journalists and scholars as to why Putin is at war with the West and Ukraine.

Taras Kuzio has analysed crime, corruption, politics, and nationalism in the USSR, Ukraine, Russia and Eurasia for over three decades as a journalist, consultant and academic. Educated in the UK, he received a BA in Economics from the University of Sussex, MA in Soviet and Eastern European Studies from the University of London, and Phd in political science from University of Birmingham, UK. He was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University. Currently a Senior Research Associate at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta, and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University. Previously he has held positions as a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Slavic Research Center, Hokkaido University, Japan, Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation Senior Fellow at the School of Advanced International Studies, John Hopkins University, Visiting Professor at the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University and Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Birmingham, UK. Taras Kuzio has been a consultant to different branches of the US government, including team leader on a USAID spring 2015 assessment of democracy, governance and human rights in Ukraine. He has prepared expert testimony in political asylum cases and consultancy on oligarchs, corporate raiding and due diligence for legal and business clients. As a public intellectual he has been a frequent guest on television, radio and print media, including during the Euromaidan, Russian invasion of the Crimea and the Donbas conflict. Over a 3-decade journalistic career he has authored 1, 400 articles on post-communist, Ukrainian and Russian politics and international affairs for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Al Jazeera, Financial Times, UPI (United Press International), New Eastern Europe, and specialist publications by Jane’s Information Group and Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty. His most recent book Ukraine: Democratization, Corruption and the New Russian Imperialism (June 2015) surveys modern Ukrainian political history from 1953 to the present. In 2013-2016, he undertook 15 visits to eastern Ukraine and the Donbas conflict zone to research the book Putin’s War Against Ukraine: Revolution, Nationalism, and Crime (2017). He is the author and editor of an additional 15 books, including Open Ukraine. Changing Course towards a European Future Democratic Revolution in Ukraine (2011), From Kuchmagate to Orange Revolution (2009), Theoretical and Comparative Perspectives on Nationalism (2007) and Ukraine-Crimea-Russia: Triangle of Conflict (2007). Dr. Kuzio has guest edited 12 special issues of academic journals Problems of Post-Communism, East European Politics and Society, Nationalities Papers, Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics and Communist and Post-Communist Studies and authored over 100 think tank monographs, book chapters, and scholarly articles.


Taras Kuzio
University of Alberta

Lucan Way
Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto; Petro Jacyk Program Co-Director

Main Sponsor

Petro Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine


Center for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies


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