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Towards the Abyss: Ukraine from Maidan to War

by Volodymr Ishchenko

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"Nuanced, melancholy, sophisticated and gratifyingly intimate."
–Yanis Varoufakis, author of Technofeudalism

Ukrainian politics, the Russian invasion and the escalating crisis of the post-Soviet world

Towards the Abyss presents searching analysis of a decade of war and upheaval in Ukraine. Volodymyr Ishchenko has been among the left’s most significant commentators on Ukraine since 2014, when pro-EU protestors toppled the government in Kiev, Russia annexed Crimea and pro-Russian separatists seized parts of the Donbass. One of his first thoughts when he read the news of the full-scale Russian invasion on 24 February 2022 was that no matter how the war ends, he will no longer have a homeland.

What has happened in Ukraine ever since the Soviet collapse is a drawn-out process of de-modernization, and the downward spiral is getting faster. Ishchenko argues that the conflict being fought in Ukraine with tanks, artillery and rockets is the same conflict suppressed by police batons in Belarus and in Russia itself. The intensification of the post-Soviet crisis – the incapacity of an oligarchic ruling class in the territories of the former USSR to sustain political or moral leadership – is the root cause of the escalating violence.