As the UK observes a national moment of silence on the 24th of February to mark a year’s anniversary of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, we wanted to collate some of the useful resources about the country that you can access through the Library and beyond. You might be looking for sources for some of your assignments, want to have a fuller understanding about the current events beyond the newspaper headlines, or just feel like expanding your horizons about a culture and a nation that has for centuries been viewed through a colonial lens.
If you’d like to gain more understanding about Ukraine’s history, Serhii Plokhy’s The Gates of Europe is one of the most acclaimed books on the topic (you can access it either as an e-book in browser or on Libby app). Anne Applebaum’s Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine is probably the best-known work on the history of Holodomor. You might be already aware of Timothy Snyder’s Yale course on the history of Ukraine which has been made freely available on YouTube; Snyder’s Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin, which you can access as an e-book, is regarded as an eye-opening work to understand today’s wider Eastern Europe. We’ve included a lot more resources, including on Ukraine’s nuclear disarmament, Crimean Tatars and Chernobyl, on a Ukraine resources reading list.
To gain more insight into the current events, Serhy Yekelchyk’s Ukraine: What Everyone Needs to Know is regarded as a good introduction book which will work as a succinct sourcebook for quick answers, while Paul J. D’Anieri’s Ukraine and Russia: From Civilized Divorce to Uncivil War will provide more background on the relations and internal processes of the two countries. Andrey Kurkov’s Ukraine Diaries (available on Libby app too) gives a powerful eyewitness account of the life in Kyiv during the Maidan Uprising (also known as Revolution of Dignity) in 2013-14. Stanislav Aseyev’s In Isolation: Dispatches from Occupied Donbas focusses on the beginning of the invasion in Ukraine’s Eastern regions which started in 2014, while Reporting the war in Ukraine: A first draft of history is one of the first comprehensive compilations of reporting and analysis on the full-scale war happening at the moment.
If you’d like to expand your knowledge of Ukrainian literature, we have access to a few works by Serhiy Zhadan who is one of the most prominent contemporary Ukrainian authors and was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature last year, including The Orphanage (available as an e-book and in print). Andrey Kurkov’s tragicomedy Death and the Penguin is one of the best-known Ukrainian novels in the English-speaking world, while Volodymyr Rafeyenko’s Mondegreen: Songs about Death and Love, which has been recently translated to English, brings in a Donbas perspective on identity by an internally displaced author (available on Libby app too). You will find more links to novels, as well as films (including The Babushkas of Chernobyl and Mariupol: The People’s Story) on our Ukraine resources’ reading list.
There are a lot more resources and aspects than we could fit in a blog post, so if you need assistance locating them for your assignment or research, feel free to contact your subject librarian.