Magazine article Foreign Affairs

?Everyone Loses: The Ukraine Crisis and the Ruinous Contest for Post-Soviet Eurasia/The Crimean Nexus: Putin’s War and the Clash of Civilizations

Magazine article Foreign Affairs

?Everyone Loses: The Ukraine Crisis and the Ruinous Contest for Post-Soviet Eurasia/The Crimean Nexus: Putin’s War and the Clash of Civilizations

Article excerpt

Recent Books: Eastern Europe and Former Soviet Republics: Everyone Loses: The Ukraine Crisis and the Ruinous Contest for Post-Soviet Eurasia BY SAMUEL CHARAP AND TIMOTHY J. COLTON. Routledge, 2017, 212 pp.

The Crimean Nexus: Putin’s War and the Clash of Civilizations BY CONSTANTINE PLESHAKOV. Yale University Press, 2017, 216 pp.

Charap and Colton see the Ukrainian crisis as part of a broader and more basic contest over Russia’s and the West’s roles in what was once the Soviet Union’s extended empire. The two sides and the hapless states caught in between have treated this conflict as a zero-sum game; the result has been a negative-sum game, with all parties suffering net losses. The authors trace the many discouraging strands of this story with great care. In their telling, nato enlargement, the 1998-99 Kosovo war, the so-called color revolutions in former Soviet states, the failure of the Obama administration’s “reset” with Russia, and the Ukrainian crisis compose a pattern of mutually destructive behavior that transcends the significance of any one event. Hence, their recommendations do not offer a specific solution to the conflict in Ukraine; rather, they focus on how Russia and the Western powers might get back to constructing the kind of inclusive, jointly fashioned European-Eurasian order they once championed, at least in words. …

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