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Intent to Destroy

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781399809740

Price: £10.99

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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.


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
Eugene Finkel tells a story of violence, identity, and the final stages of empire in Europe - the story of Ukraine . . . This is a book that can help explain the most important war and geopolitical crisis in Europe today and which does so with clarity, learning and sensitivity. Anyone interested in understanding what is happening in Ukraine today should read it
Phillips Payson O’Brien, author of THE STRATEGISTS
Finkel has written a superb and above all readable guide for the perplexed . . . Masterful
Eugene Finkel, who correctly called Russia's war against Ukraine "genocidal," makes the case here with erudition and verve. Those who want Russian perspectives on the war will find the relevant ones here
Timothy Snyder, New York Times-bestselling author of ON TYRANNY
Vladimir Putin claims that Russians and Ukrainians are one and the same people, but as Eugene Finkel convincingly argues in his new book, the relationship between the two nations has been anything but brotherly, with Russians doing their best to dominate and recently destroy Ukraine. A powerful antidote to those who claim that NATO is the main culprit responsible for the current war
Serhii Plokhy, author of THE RUSSO-UKRAINIAN WAR
Russia's attack on Ukraine in 2022 surprised many of us. But it shouldn't have. Eugene Finkel's masterful account of centuries of Russian designs on Ukraine spells out why Moscow won't leave Kyiv alone and what defenders of Ukraine should do about it. A must read account of the most important foreign policy question of our age
Ben Ansell, author of WHY POLITICS FAILS
The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine is a culmination of centuries of painful interactions that involved a punctuated but progressive rise of Ukrainian national consciousness and a concomitant rise of fear in Russia threatened by an independent Ukrainian nation. Finkel provides an accessible, nuanced and dynamically presented historical backdrop to the conflict, highlighting Russia's imperial drive and juxtaposing the historical places two nations find themselves in today
Gulnaz Sharafutdinova, Director of King's Russia Institute
A book that can help explain the most important war and geopolitical crisis in Europe today with clarity, learning and sensitivity
Professor Phillips O'Brien
This is the must read masterpiece to understand Russia's mission to destroy Ukraine over hundreds of years - and the heroic resistance against it. Utterly essential if you want to know what's at stake in the greatest war in Europe since WWII
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