Reading about Ukraine

Russia’s aggression against its neighbor Ukraine has dominated world news for the past couple of months. As images and videos of explosions, tanks, ruined buildings, dead bodies, soldiers, and refugees are broadcasted around the world, the eyes of the world are on both countries, which have a complicated history. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine and Russia have had a tenuous relationship that at times have become testy and heated. The growing distrust over the years and the bullying by one country against the other in the recent past ultimately resulted in the war that is happening now between the two nations.

We know a lot more about Russia than we do about Ukraine, partly due to the former’s long history with the United States and its superpower status. Ukraine’s sudden thrust onto the international stage early this year has certainly increased interest in the country. There is a need to know more about its history, geography, culture, and people to better understand the current conflict unfolding there. Here are 15 books about Ukraine and its history with Russia.


From “the Ukraine” to Ukraine: A Contemporary History, 1991-2021
by Matthew Rojansky and Georgiy Kasianov


Borderland: A Journey Through the History of Ukraine
by Anna Reid


The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine
by Serhii Plokhy



Ukraine’s Revolt, Russia’s Revenge
by Christopher Smith



Ukraine-Russia: War Diary Why Chernobyl First?
by Peter Reinherdt



Putin’s World: Russia Against the West and with the Rest
by Angela Stent


Roots of Russia’s War in Ukraine
by Elizabeth Wood et al.



Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine
by Anne Applebaum



Conflict in Ukraine: The Unwinding of the Post-Cold War Order
by Rajan Menon and Eugene Rumer


Ukraine Over the Edge
by Gordon Hahn



Lessons From the Edge: A Memoir
by Maria Yovanovitch



Ukraine Diaries
by Andrey Kurkov



In Wartime: Stories From Ukraine
by Tim Judah



I’ll Never Change My Name: An Immigrant’s American Dream From Ukraine to the U.S.A. to Dancing with the Stars
by Valentin Chmerkovskiy


Blue Skies
by Kat Rose