Clarity Press: “New Book: Ukraine In The Crossfire /dePloeg”

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

Subject: New Book: Ukraine In The Crossfire /dePloeg
Date: Wed, 03 May 2017
From: Clarity Press, Inc. <>

By Chris Kaspar de Ploeg

Chris de Ploeg (1994) is freelance journalist and political analyst. His publications have appeared in De Groene Amsterdammer (NL), Follow the Money (NL), Dissident Voice (US), De Wereld Morgen (BE), De Omslag (NL) and Spanning (NL). In the spring of 2016, de Ploeg joined Platform Authentieke Jouirnalistiek to write an investigative journalism series on Ukraine.

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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 beyo

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


“Chris de Ploeg’s book stands out from other acounts on the Ukraine’s crisis, even by highly esteemed academics, in its careful work with the facts… Being critical to a problematic Maidan uprising and the neoliberal-nationalist government it helped to bring to power, the author does not take equally wrong Putin-versteher position and shows how the rivalry of competing imperialisms and nationalisms brought Ukraine into the current political and economic disaster.”
–Volodymyr Ishchenko. Deputy director of the Center for Social and Labor Research in Ukraine and lecturer at the Department of Sociology in Kyiv Polytechnic Institute.

“A meticulously documented interpretation of the Second Maidan that focuses on the darker side of Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity. By weaving together the role of the Far Right and western governments, the emergence of resistance in Donbass, and the reasons why Kiev responded to it with military force, De Ploeg provides the sort of compelling narrative that is typically missing in the media. An impressive achievement.”
–Nicolai N. Petro, professor of political science at the University of Rhode Island (USA), formerly U.S. Fulbright Research Scholar in Ukraine

”A highly informative and forcefully argued analysis of the contradictions of the Ukrainian revolution and Western reactions. The informational war over the Ukraine crisis demonstrates not just the limits to our understanding of these complex events but above all the tensions generated by the failure to establish an inclusive peace after the Cold War. Chris Kaspar de Ploeg brilliantly dissects the resulting dilemmas, and provides a convincing analysis of where we went wrong.”
— Richard Sakwa, Professor of Russian and European politics at the University of Kent. Author of Frontline Ukraine: Crisis in the Borderlands

”a splendid little book”
— Kees van der Peijl, emeritus professor of international relations at the University of Sussex.

Available in the US from Clarity Press,
Available from SCB Distributors in the USA,
Marston Books in the UK/Europe.