Dr.habil. (History), Professor,
Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv
Abstract. The review of the monograph by renowned Ukrainian scholars «Vidnianskyi, S., Martynov, A. (2023). Solidarity. Support. Assistance. Russia’s War Against Ukraine and the International Community. Kyiv» examines the scientific value and author’s perspective on the study of contemporary international relations. In monograph S. Vidnianskyi and A. Martynov read international relations in light of support for Ukraine by the civilized world in its fight against Russian aggression and for the liberation of occupied Ukrainian territories.
The relevance of this scientific publication dedicated to the current history of the world community’s response to the full-scale Russian-Ukrainian war in 2022–2023 is driven by lively debates both at the national level in European, North American, Southeast Asian, African, and Latin American countries and at the level of international organizations such as the UN, NATO, EU, and OSCE. The polemic revolves around the very nature of the war, which has transitioned from being «hybrid» to «hot,» employing all conventional forms of weapons. Even the positions of key European Union countries regarding the Russian-Ukrainian war are not settled. This is demonstrated in certain sections of the monograph. Of particular relevance is the coverage of debates among key players in international relations (USA, China, EU) regarding the «ailment of Russian statehood» and the methods of post-war transformation of Muscovy. The specific material in the monograph illustrates how current diplomatic events occurring in various regions shape the overall picture of the war, with respective adjustments made by national mentalities.
The monograph «captures» the picture of turbulent times, showing how military, diplomatic, and political events influenced each other and were reflected in domestic and international mass media. The current history of international relations in the context of the Russian-Ukrainian war provides an opportunity to observe the dynamics of events, comprehend their interpretations, and make initial attempts at conceptualizing seemingly disparate facts. For this reason, the priority of the mentioned publication as a picture of the time is not only relevant but also lays the first paradigmatic features of future historiography of the Russian-Ukrainian war.
In a scientific format, the authors demonstrated how the global conflict of national interests and values between democracies and autocracies influenced the formation of diplomatic approaches to interaction with Ukraine and Muscovy. From this perspective, it is an inter-civilizational war — Ukraine acts as the frontier of the Euro-Atlantic space of democracies and Muscovy as the «heartland» of autocratic Eurasia. This concept challenges the established propaganda clichés about the excessive personal ambitions of the Kremlin autocrat and his personal hatred for all things Ukrainian. While the mentioned motives are indeed present, the fundamental sense of the war lies in the ability of democracies to restrict the freedom of democracy’s adversaries and protect themselves, incurring both material and non-material losses. In this sense, it is the World War ІІІ, which has transformed from a «hybrid» into a full-scale conventional war.
Keywords: Russian-Ukrainian war, hybrid war, international aid to Ukraine, annexation, de-occupation, USA, European Union.