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What Past is Prologue?: The Ukraine Crisis in Historical Perspective

March 24 • 3:00-4:30 PM
The Pleasants Room, Wilson Library

Dr. Serhii Plokhii’s talk will be based on his 2015 book, The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine, which details the complex history of Ukraine in light of the current crisis in the country. It specifically examines the history of Ukraine’s search for its identity through the lives of Prince Yaroslav the Wise of Kyiv, whose daughter Anna became queen of France; the Cossack ruler Ivan Mazepa, who was immortalized in the poems of Byron and Pushkin; Nikita Khrushchev and his protégé-turned-nemesis Leonid Brezhnev, who called Ukraine their home; and the heroes of the Maidan protests of 2013 and 2014, who embody the current struggle over Ukraine’s future.

This talk is made possible by the Democratization Processes in Eastern Europe and Beyond Fund

Serhii Plokhii is the Mykhailo Hrushevsky Professor of Ukrainian History and the director of the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University. His interests include intellectual, cultural and international history of Eastern Europe. A leading authority on the region, he has published extensively in English, Ukrainian and Russian. Plokhii is the author of several influential monographs, including Yalta: The Price of Peace (2010), The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union (2014), and The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine (2015).