Towards the Abyss: Ukraine from Maidan to War (Paperback)

Towards the Abyss: Ukraine from Maidan to War By Volodymyr Ishchenko Cover Image

Towards the Abyss: Ukraine from Maidan to War (Paperback)


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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.
Volodymyr Ishchenko was born in Hoshcha in western Ukraine in 1982. He grew up in Kiev, taught sociology at Kiev universities and was active in the Ukrainian new left. He is now a researcher at the Freie Universität in Berlin. His writing has appeared in the Guardian, Al Jazeera, Jacobin and New Left Review.
Product Details ISBN: 9781804295540
ISBN-10: 180429554X
Publisher: Verso
Publication Date: February 27th, 2024
Pages: 192
Language: English
"A nuanced, melancholy, sophisticated and gratifyingly intimate glimpse into war-torn Ukraine"
—Yanis Varoufakis, author of Technofeudalism

"The huge choruses of these times will probably go down in history as mere noise. Might the lone voice of Ishchenko then sound prophetic?"
—Georgi Derluguian, author of Bourdieu’s Secret Admirer in the Caucasus

"A brilliant cri de cœur from a Soviet Ukrainian searching the historical horizon for a political model beyond neoliberalism and regressive nationalism"
—Dylan Riley, author of Microverses

"[A] pugnacious debut ... those wanting a better understanding of the Russia-Ukraine conflict would do well to check out this left-wing analysis."
Publishers Weekly

"A singular contribution to the rejuvenation of critical Eastern European scholarship ... the questions that Ishchenko raise[s] are itineraries for theoretical reflections and a hope ... for a modern and universalist politics worthy of its name"
—Bogdan Ovcharuk, LeftEast

"The collection is valuable for its retrospective analysis, with Ishchenko's clear-eyed insights coming at a time when few dare to examine the still-fresh wound that is recent Ukrainian history, or to think about anything but the next few months of fighting."
—Signe Swanson, Cleveland Review of Books

"A rare, but necessary, corrective to the currently dominant explanation of the roots of these events in the West."
—Vladimir Unkovski-Korica, Counterfire