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Ukraine Crisis: What It Means for the West Paperback – November 4, 2014

3.6 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'As Andrew Wilson points out in his vivid study of the Ukraine crisis, nobody could have predicted what happened next. . .This is a lively account of a crisis that poses fundamental challenges for the west and may not be over yet.'—Luke Harding, The Guardian
‘. . .this excellent account of what led up to the February uprising and the annexing of Crimea, as well as the background to the shooting down of the Malaysian Airlines plane, is timely and scholarly, full of hard-to-contest facts.’—Lesley McDowell, The Sunday Herald
(Lesley McDowell The Sunday Herald 2014-10-26)

'As Andrew Wilson points out in his vivid study of the Ukraine crisis, nobody could have predicted what happened next. . .This is a lively account of a crisis that poses fundamental challenges for the west and may not be over yet.'—Luke Harding, The Guardian
(Luke Harding The Guardian 2014-11-08)

About the Author

Andrew Wilson is senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations and reader in Ukrainian Studies at the School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies, University College London. He has published widely on the politics of Eastern Europe, and his book The Ukrainians is now in its third edition. He lives in Oxford, UK.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; 1St Edition edition (November 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300211597
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300211597
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #442,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Several noted historians and political commentators are known to have spent time in Kiev at the time of the 2013-14 Euromaidan demonstrations and since, presumably with a view to a book. On the basis of his 2005 Ukraine's Orange Revolution, in which he revealed in fascinating detail how the Yanukovich camp corrupted the first two rounds of the 2004 presidential election, Andrew Wilson's is the one I most looked forward to. He has produced 'Ukraine Crisis: What it means for the West' remarkably quickly, and although ongoing events mean that it will require revision and updating correspondingly soon, it is a valuable record and explanation of the Euromaidan Revolution and its aftermath.

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.
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Format: Paperback
I may have smirked reading the book's first paragraph, which hinted at the dangers of Wilson's February 2014 trip to Kiev: my nephews were then visiting their grandparents in Kiev, and by all accounts, things were perfectly normal outside of the government district where the events of Maidan were taking place. Later, I may have snored getting through the book's two chapters: talking about EU and Russia, respectively, they were, I suppose, meant to provide context, but it all felt like a bit of a stretch, and raised suspicions of two old essays being recycled for a new book.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book provides precise account of the events, and also gives some thoughts on the reasons for various developments. The coherent and well argumented analysis of historical events is always very engaging and educational. I happy I bought it!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Goes into good detail about diplomacy but this guy is biased against Putin even though he talks about the far right Parties that are killing ethnic Russians and Hungarians in Ukraine. I had to get a book on the Ukraine crisis to do a paper on it. I wanted to write an essay defending Putin's actions in Ukraine but couldn't find one so i settled for this:/
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A quick read that details many of the recent events, up to mid-2014 and the MK17 shoot down--which the Kremlin is now admitting was by a BUK Russian missile--altho blaming Kiev. Has many details of corruption before and after Maiden--and the developing efforts of the youngsters to change their world and hunt down the money and the weak structures--and CHANGE!
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Format: Paperback
This is a short book about the Ukraine crisis, produced in remarkably short order, as it was out at the beginning of November 2014. Although very well-written considering the tight schedule, the haste shows in some parts. Also, short as it is, the core matter related to Ukraine under Yanukovych and after is even shorter. A lot of it is filler, what looks like it might be material lifted from Professor Wilson’s previous works on Ukraine or on other parts of the FSU. While quite entertaining, it isn’t particularly relevant. And why would he write several pages on Azerbaijan without mentioning the pathfinding role of its central bank, the first of all the countries in Europe or the FSU to target an inflation indicator based on a consumer price series with a net acquisitions approach to owner-occupied housing? The European Central Bank will likely follow in its footsteps, possibly as early as 2018.
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.
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