The Frontline: Essays on Ukraine’s Past and Present

Serhii Plokhy

First published in 2021

The Frontline presents a selection of essays drawn together for the first time to form a companion volume to Serhii Plokhy’s The Gates of Europe and Chernobyl. Here he expands upon his analysis in earlier works of key events in Ukrainian history, including Ukraine’s complex relations with Russia and the West, the burden of tragedies such as the Holodomor and World War II, the impact of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, and Ukraine’s contribution to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Juxtaposing Ukraine’s history to the contemporary politics of memory, this volume provides a multidimensional image of a country that continues to make headlines around the world. Eloquent in style and comprehensive in approach, the essays collected here reveal the roots of the ongoing political, cultural, and military conflict in Ukraine, the largest country in Europe.

Plokhy, Serhii. “The Russian Question,” in The Frontline: Essays on Ukraine’s Past and Present (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, 2021). (Open access online)


Serhii Plokhy is Mykhailo Hrushevs’kyi Professor of History in the Department of History, Harvard University, and Director, Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University. His research interests include the intellectual, cultural, and international history of Eastern Europe, with an emphasis on Ukraine. He teaches courses and seminars on early modern and modern East European history that engage major problems in the history of Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Poland, and Lithuania.