A Decade of Life and War in Ukraine
When Christopher Miller first came to Ukraine as a Peace Corps volunteer in 2010, he was looking for a forested mountain environment to remind him of his home state of Oregon. He has been connected to the country ever since, witnessing and reporting on many of the most significant events in Ukrainian history.
Up close, Miller saw the controversial presidency of Viktor Yanukovych, the Euromaidan revolution, the Russian annexation of Crimea, the Donbas war, the election of comedian Volodymyr Zelenskyy as president, and Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022. Now a correspondent for Financial Times, he has authored hundreds of articles on Ukrainian security, society, and politics, helping explain a complex country of 44 million people to the broader world.
Miller described his observations and experiences to an audience gathered by Fletcher’s Russia & European Program on November 9th, 2023. Ukraine today, he said, is a country transformed from the place he first knew in 2010, then struggling with a “post-Soviet hangover.” Civil society has since “multiplied times twenty,” and the political system is now particularly driven by the youngest generation, a globalized cohort with aspirations of European integration.
This social transformation has come, largely, in a time of war. Miller’s first home in Ukraine was Artemivsk in the eastern Donetsk Oblast. Now called Bakhmut, the city has been a focal point of battle in both phases of Russian aggression. Tens of thousands have died fighting in a city that had only 100,000 residents before the war.
Stories of people living through war and peace animate Miller’s new book The War Came To Us, published by Bloomsbury. At the Fletcher event, Miller spoke about the book in conversation with Professor Chris Miller (“namelgängers,” as journalist Miller joked). A full video of the conversation can be found at this link.
For more information on the Fletcher Russia & Eurasia Program, visit the program website.