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Ukraine Crisis: What It Means for the West Paperback – November 4, 2014
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Top Customer Reviews
Before taking up the book, I had three so-far unanswered questions in mind. Who was controlling and manipulating one or more of the mobile telephone networks such that anyone with a switched-on mobile `phone who approached the Maidan received a message informing them that their location had been noted and that if they did not quickly leave they would be registered as a criminal? Who were the rooftop snipers (who mostly, but not exclusively, targeted people demonstrating against the Yanukovich regime)? And why did Yanukovich flee Kiev (and ultimately Ukraine) when he did?
My first question remains unanswered; Wilson has apparently not so far learned much about the electronic surveillance that was going on. But his answer to my second is comprehensive, and not quite what I expected. He states as fact that the 20th February snipers were Ukrainian, under Yanukovich's personal control.Read more ›
Discussion turned to Ukraine, and things picked up, in Chapter 3, on page 38. The subsequent six chapters, through page 160, form the book's core and survey (a) Ukrainian politics in 2004-2013, (b) events surrounding Yanukovych's overthrow, (c) Russia's occupation of the Crimea, (d) Russia's campaign of violent sabotage and finally invasion in Eastern Ukraine, and (e) Ukraine's status quo and prospects. The Ukrainian story line ends in Chapter 8, and "recycling" suspicions come back in Chapter 9 - tentatively discussing the events' impact on the states of the former Soviet Union - but Chapter 10, which re-visits Russia, makes for a strong finish.
Viewing the book as sum of two parts - a six-chapter chronicle of Ukrainian events, bookended by four "context" chapters written in a more academic style - I have misgivings about the latter, but praise the former. A dim-witted dismissive remark from a negative review on Amazon.co.uk - "Why bother reading the book when you can find pretty much everything within its covers on the Web?" - belies the author's research effort, his editorial judgment, and his light touch as writer. I find it easy to overlook the book's blemishes (don't fall asleep on Chapter 1, and you will be fine) and recommend this substantial, insightful and reasonably priced book to interested readers.
Professor Wilson reveals his hand on the very first page: “Russia’s Crimea adventure brought about the first formal annexation of territory in Europe since 1945”. While maybe technically correct, this ignores the Turkish takeover of Northern Cyprus in 1974 and the NATO aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999, that created a Greater Albania in all but name, and gave America a military base in Kosovo it never would have had except through military aggression. Professor Wilson might quibble that Cyprus isn’t even part of Europe in a geographic sense, and Northern Cyprus is still formally separate from Turkey as Kosovo is from Albania. However, Northern Cyprus uses the Turkish currency, so it is particularly finicky to argue that this takeover was not a simple annexation.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great dive into the history of the conflict, will cover any questions you could have. A little too much detail for me but still a great read.Published 1 day ago by Phillip E Mason
Wilson strikes no middle course and minces no words. Right from the introduction: "men in masks carried out a coup d'état at gunpoint. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Abaldess
How can the world let the scope of Yanukovych's corruption go unpunished. Can't the Ukraine get some of those funds back?Published 15 days ago by iRead
Given the general slant of the Western media, the last thing we need is yet another one-sided explanation of why Russia is always wrong about everything, and Russia's enemies... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Ryan B. Ward
Love the book, and it was shipped new as promised. Came in 2 days!Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Written in a concise "foreign correspondent" style, it deals with the players and places mentioned in the news about the Russian separatist war in the Ukraine and the... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Mary J
A thorough, comprehensive review of the situation in Ukraine. Andrew Wilson cites many sources in a revealing view of the corruption of Yanokovich, the support of political... Read morePublished 9 months ago by D_reason
So far the best account of the events in Ukraine in the last two years, with inside knowledge of the people, the politics and political figures, the organisation of the protesters... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Zbigniew Stachurski