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Ukraine in the Crossfire

SYNOPSIS
Ukraine is embroiled in a bloody civil war. Both sides stand accused of collaborating with 
fascists, of committing war crimes, of serving foreign interests. This proxy-war between 
Russia and the West was accompanied by a fierce information war. This book separates fact 
from fiction with extensive and reliable documentation. While remaining critical of Russia and 
the Donbass rebellion, De Ploeg demonstrates that many of the recent disasters can be 
traced to Ukrainian ultranationalists, pro-western political elites and their European and 
North-American backers.
Ukraine in the Crossfire tackles the importance of ultranationalist violence during and after 
the EuroMaidan movement, and documents how many of these groups are heirs to former 
nazi-collaborators. It shows how the Ukrainian state has seized on the ultranationalist 
war-rhetoric to serve its own agenda, clamping down on civil liberties on a scale 
unprecedented since Ukrainian independence. De Ploeg argues that Kiev itself has been the 
biggest obstacle to peace in Donbass, with multiple leaks suggesting that Washington is 
using its financial leverage to push a pro-war line in Ukraine. With the nation´s eyes turned 
towards Russia, the EU and IMF have successfully pressured Ukraine into adopting 
far-reaching austerity programs, while oligarchic looting of state assets and massive 
tax-avoidance facilitated by western states continue unabated.

De Ploeg documents the local roots of the Donbass rebellion, the overwhelming popularity of 
Crimea's secession, and shows that support for Ukraine's pro-western turn remains far from 
unanimous, with large swathes of Ukraine's Russophone population opting out of the political 
process.  Nevertheless, De Ploeg argues, the pro-Western and pro-Russian camps are often 
similar: neoliberal, authoritarian, nationalist and heavily dependent on foreign support.

In a wider exploration of Russo-Western relations, he examines similarities between the 
contemporary Russian state and its NATO counterparts, showing how the two power blocs 
have collaborated in some of their worst violent excesses. A far cry from civilizational or 
ideological clashes, De Ploeg argues that the current tensions flow from NATO´s military 
dominance and aggressive posture, both globally and within post-soviet space, where Russia 
seeks to defend the status-quo.

Packed with shocking facts, deftly moving from the local to the international, from the 
historical to the recent; De Ploeg connects the dots, consistently offering the necessary 
context for understanding the multiple faces of imperialism within Ukraine and beyond.

Written in an accessible language, 
Ukraine in the Crossfire offers a truly comprehensive and 
independent narrative on the Ukrainian conflict.



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