Herbert J. Ellison Memorial Lecture

2024 – Yaroslav Trofimov

Our Enemies will Vanish: The Russian Invasion and Ukraine’s War of Independence with Yaroslav Trofimov

May 13, 2024

6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Student Union Building (HUB) 145

University of Washington

CLICK HERE TO RSVP!

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Yaroslav Trofimov has spent months on end at the heart of the conflict, veryoften on its front lines. In this authoritative account, he traces the war’s decisive moments—from the battle for Kyiv to more recently the gruelling and bloody arm wrestle involving the Wagner group over Bakhmut—to show how Ukraine and its allies have turned the tide against Russia, one of the world’s great military powers, in a modern-day battle of David and Goliath. Putin had intended to conquer and annex Ukraine with a vicious blitzkrieg, redrawing the map of Europe in a few short weeks with seismic geopolitical consequences. But in the face of this existential threat, the Ukrainian people fought back, turning what looked like certain defeat into a great moral victory, even as the territorial battle continues to seesaw to this day. This is the story of the epic bravery of the Ukrainian people—people Trofimov knows very well.

Book cover

Copyright: Penguin Random House Publishing

For Trofimov, this war is deeply personal. He grew up in Kyiv and his family has lived there for generations. With deep empathy and local understanding, Trofimov tells the story of how everyday Ukrainian citizens—doctors, computer programmers, businesspeople, and schoolteachers—risked their lives and lost loved ones. He blends their brave and tragic stories with expert military analysis, providing unique insight into the thinking of Ukrainian leadership and mapping out the decisive stages of what has become a perilous war for Ukraine, the Putin regime, and indeed, the world.

This brutal, catastrophic struggle is unfolding on another continent, but the United States and its NATO allies have become deeply implicated. As the war drags on, it threatens to engulf the world. We cannot look away. At once heart-breaking and inspiring, Our Enemies Will Vanish is a riveting, vivid, and first-hand account of the Ukrainian refusal to surrender. It is the story of ordinary people fighting not just for their homes and their families but for justice and democracy itself.

About the Speaker:

Photo: © by Sebastian Böttcher

Yaroslav Trofimov is the chief foreign-affairs correspondent of The Wall Street Journal and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in international reporting for two consecutive years, in 2022 and 2023. Before covering the Russian war on Ukraine, he reported on most major conflicts of the past two decades, serving as the Journal’s bureau chief in Afghanistan and Pakistan and as a correspondent in Iraq. He holds an MA from New York University and is the author of two critically acclaimed books, Faith at War and The Siege of Mecca.

Sponsors

The annual Herbert J. Ellison Memorial Lecture is sponsored by the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies and the Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies at the University of Washington in partnership with the Henry M. Jackson Foundation.