Ukraine Over the Edge

Russia, the West and the “New Cold War”

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About the Book

The Ukrainian crisis that dominated headlines in fall 2013 was decades in the making. Two great schisms shaped events: one within Ukraine, its western and southeastern parts divided along cultural and political lines; the other was driven by geopolitical factors. Competition between Russia and the West exacerbated Ukraine’s divisions.

This study focuses on the historical background and complex causality of the crisis, from the rise of mass demonstrations on Kiev’s Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) to the making of the post-revolt regime. In the context of a “new cold war,” the author sheds light on the role of radical Ukrainian nationalists and neofascists in the February 2014 snipers’ massacre, the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych, and Russia’s seizure of Crimea and involvement in the civil war in the eastern region of Donbass.

About the Author(s)

Gordon M. Hahn is an advisory board member at Geostrategic Forecasting Corporation, Chicago, and at the American Institute of Geostrategy (AIGEO), Los Angeles; a contributing expert for Russia Direct, and a senior researcher at the Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies (CETIS), San Jose, California. He lives in Mountain View, California.  He is also the author of The Caucasus Emirate Mujahedin: Global Jihadism in Russia’s North Caucasus and Beyond.

Bibliographic Details

Gordon M. Hahn
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 368
Bibliographic Info: 2 maps, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6901-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2875-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface    1
1. A World Split Apart: Geopolitical and Civilizationalist Sources 3
2. The Historical Roots of Ukraine’s Schism 23
3. Western Expansionism: Operationalizing the Geopolitical and Civilizational Divides 43
4. Democracy Promotion: The ­Dual-Use Technology of Color Revolution 88
5. Ukraine’s “Stateness” Problem: The Tectonics of a Faultline State 115
6. Ukraine’s “Perfect Storm” 154
7. Maidan 177
8. Putin’s Crimea Gambit: From Revolution to Civil War 222
9. Terror in Donbass: Putin’s War or Civil War? 242
10. “Revolution of Dignity” or Revolution in Vain? 286
Chapter Notes    305
Bibliography    341
Index    357

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Ukraine’s 2013-2014 revolution, its civil war, and Russia’s annexation of the Crimea have been succeeded by newer crises, but political analyst Hahn uses detailed reportage and geopolitical theory to argue for their long-term significance, presenting Ukraine as a troubling turning point in Russo-American relations and a case study of how democratization efforts can go awry…. with Russia atop American headlines to an extent not seen since the end of the Cold War, [this book] will be a strong addition to global studies collections”—Booklist
  • “It was not only Ukraine that went over the edge in 2014, but the whole European security system disintegrated, while a ‘new cold war’ chills relations between the great powers. In this masterful study, Gordon Hahn examines how Ukraine’s internal divisions combined with external lines of fragmentation to create an explosive mix, which in turn intensified domestic conflicts. The result is an internationalized civil conflict, with catastrophic consequences for Ukraine and the world. Hahn is one of the few scholars with the knowledge and discernment to make sense of it all. His impressively well-researched and well-written book is essential reading.”—Richard Sakwa, University of Kent
  • “This impressively researched and strongly argued book is an essential corrective to the myths that have been generated concerning the crisis in Ukraine, and an essential warning against a continuation of the frivolous and dangerous policies of regime change adopted by the West after the end of the Cold War.”—Anatol Lieven, Professor, Georgetown University in Qatar and author of Ukraine and Russia, A Fraternal Rivalry
  • Ukraine Over the Edge is a rigorous analysis of the cultural, historical, and intellectual origins of the Ukrainian crisis. While stressing that blame for the latest phase of this crisis is shared all around, Hahn traces its domestic origins to the militancy of the opposition to president Yanukovych, and its international origins to NATO expansion, which he regards as militarized democracy-promotion. The result is both a sophisticated, multilevel analysis of how and why Ukraine emerged as the key hotspot in East-West relations, and an indispensable guide for those wishing to understand the origins of the New Cold War.”—Nicolai N. Petro, Silvia-Chandley Professor of Peace Studies and Nonviolence, University of Rhode Island
  • Ukraine Over the Edge is a very useful contribution to understanding origins and key developments of the crisis in this important European and post-Soviet country. Gordon M. Hahn challenges simplistic and often misleading narratives by the media and politicians and provides a corroboration that the Maidan massacre was a false flag mass killing.”—Ivan Katchanovski, University of Ottawa.