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Serhii Plokhy | Harvard historian on Lost Kingdom: Ukraine & the Search for Russian Borders 3.2.18

March 29, 2018

Serhii Plokhy is the Mykhailo Hrushevsky Professor of Ukrainian History and the director of the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University. His research interests are in the intellectual, cultural and international history of Ukraine and Eastern Europe in general. His numerous books and other scholarly work deal with history of religion, origins of Slavic nations, history of the Cold War era and collapse of the Soviet Union, and were translated into several languages and won numerous awards.

Publisher’s abstract from the book Lost Kingdom: In 2014, Russia annexed the Crimea, attempting to seize a portion of Ukraine. While the world watched in outrage, this blatant violation of national sovereignty was only the latest iteration of a centuries-long effort to expand Russian boundaries and create a pan-Russian nation. In Lost Kingdom, award-winning historian Serhii Plokhy reveals the central role Ukraine plays in Russia’s identity, both as an “other” to distinguish Russia, and as part of a pan-Slavic conceptualization used to legitimize territorial expansion and political control. Spanning over 500 years, from the end of the Mongol rule to the present day, Plokhy shows how leaders from Ivan the Terrible to Joseph Stalin to Vladimir Putin exploited existing forms of identity, warfare, and territorial expansion to achieve imperial supremacy.