New Books in Russian and Eurasian Studies
New Books in Russian and Eurasian Studies
New Books Network
Alina Nychyk, "Ukraine Vis-à-Vis Russia and the EU: Misperceptions of Foreign Challenges in Times of War, 2014-2015" (Ibidem Press, 2023)
51 minutes Posted Mar 16, 2024 at 1:00 am.
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Ukraine Vis-à-Vis Russia and the EU: Misperceptions of Foreign Challenges in Times of War, 2014-2015 (Ibidem Press, 2023) investigates the making of Ukraine’s foreign policy towards the European Union and Russia between February 2014 and February 2015. To contextualize the events of the first year of the Russian-Ukrainian War, Nychyk lays out the history of the EU-Ukraine-Russia triangle since 1991 and draws lessons relevant for the 2022 Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The book is based on her doctoral research and rests on a game-theory-inspired approach to foreign policy analysis. It relies on 38 elite interviews, official documents, and media reports.

Nychyk uncovers various mutual misperceptions in EU-Ukraine-Russia relations. Looking at Ukraine’s ‘side of the story’, her analysis shows how Russian assertiveness and the EU’s passivity, but also Ukrainian leaders’ limited crisis management experience and erroneous policy decisions contributed to worse outcomes for Ukraine. The latter included poor analysis of foreign interlocutors, trust in their good intentions, and corruption. After 2015, a persistence—although with certain changes—of some of these pathologies left Ukraine in a weaker position in the face of Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022.

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