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Intent to Destroy

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781399809719

Price: £25

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A history of Russian violence waged against Ukraine across the centuries.

Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 shocked the world. And yet this attack was in fact the latest episode in a centuries-long Russian campaign. In Intent to Destroy, leading scholar of genocide and Eastern Europe Eugene Finkel uncovers the deep roots of the Russo-Ukrainian War. Ever since the rise of Russian nationalism in the nineteenth century, the domination of this key borderland has become a cornerstone of Russian and Soviet policy. Using genocidal tactics – killings, deportations, starvation and cultural destruction – against ethnic Ukrainians and minorities including Tatars, Jews and Poles, Russia’s long-standing policy has aimed to obliterate Ukrainian identity. This eradication has consistently been a part of the Kremlin playbook and leads inexorably to the violence we see today.

Told with the astonishing power of Finkel’s connection to this living history, and the authority of two decades of research, Intent to Destroy casts today’s war it its broadest historical context, illuminating as never before Europe’s bloodiest conflict since World War II.


A powerful indictment of Russia's centuries-long obsession with eliminating the Ukrainian identity, language, and people
Yaroslav Trofimov, author of OUR ENEMIES WILL VANISH
The parallels between present and past in Russia's war on Ukraine are breathtaking. A work of deep expertise and sober sensitivity, Intent to Destroy connects these threads and details the repeated waves of devastation that have resulted from Russia's long-term obsession with eradicating Ukraine's separate identity
Charles King, New York Times–bestselling author of GODS OF THE UPPER AIR