In 2004 and 2005, striking images from the Ukraine made their way around the world, among them boisterous, orange-clad crowds protesting electoral fraud and the hideously scarred face of a poisoned opposition candidate. Europe's second-largest country but still an immature state only recently independent, Ukraine has become a test case of post-communist democracy, as millions of people in other countries celebrated the protesters' eventual victory. Any attempt to truly understand current events in this vibrant and unsettled land, however, must begin with the Ukraines dramatic history. Ukraine's strategic location between Russia and the West, the country's pronounced cultural regionalism, and the ugly face of post-communist politics are all anchored in Ukraine's complex past. The first Western survey of Ukrainian history to include coverage of the Orange Revolution and its aftermath, this book narrates the deliberate construction of a modern Ukrainian nation, incorporating new Ukrainian scholarship and archival revelations of the post-communist period. Here then is a history of the land where the strategic interests of Russia and the West have long clashed, with reverberations that resonate to this day.