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Books at the Institute: “Our Enemies Will Vanish” by Yaroslav Trofimov

May 9, 2024 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Books at the Institute is pleased to present an evening with Yaroslav Trofimov, chief foreign affairs correspondent of The Wall Street Journal and author of

Our Enemies Will Vanish: The Russian Invasion and Ukraine’s War of Independence


Mr. Trofimov will by joined in conversation with Emma Mateo, PhD

Book signing and light reception to follow




Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Yaroslav Trofimov has spent months on end at the heart of the conflict, very often on its front lines. In this authoritative account, he traces the war’s decisive moments—from the battle for Kyiv to more recently the gruelling and bloody arm wrestle involving the Wagner group over Bakhmut—to show how Ukraine and its allies have turned the tide against Russia, one of the world’s great military powers, in a modern-day battle of David and Goliath. Putin had intended to conquer and annex Ukraine with a vicious blitzkrieg, redrawing the map of Europe in a few short weeks with seismic geopolitical consequences. But in the face of this existential threat, the Ukrainian people fought back, turning what looked like certain defeat into a great moral victory, even as the territorial battle continues to seesaw to this day. This is the story of the epic bravery of the Ukrainian people—people Trofimov knows very well.

For Trofimov, this war is deeply personal. He grew up in Kyiv and his family has lived there for generations. With deep empathy and local understanding, Trofimov tells the story of how everyday Ukrainian citizens—doctors, computer programmers, businesspeople, and schoolteachers—risked their lives and lost loved ones. He blends their brave and tragic stories with expert military analysis, providing unique insight into the thinking of Ukrainian leadership and mapping out the decisive stages of what has become a perilous war for Ukraine, the Putin regime, and indeed, the world.

This brutal, catastrophic struggle is unfolding on another continent, but the United States and its NATO allies have become deeply implicated. As the war drags on, it threatens to engulf the world. We cannot look away. At once heart-breaking and inspiring, Our Enemies Will Vanish is a riveting, vivid, and first-hand account of the Ukrainian refusal to surrender. It is the story of ordinary people fighting not just for their homes and their families but for justice and democracy itself.

Praise for Our Enemies Will Vanish:

“A brilliant and stirring account of the months after the invasion…  Yaroslav Trofimov, who has covered the war for the Wall Street Journal, is Ukrainian by birth. By layering detail upon telling detail from his notebooks, he builds up a vivid picture of how the men and women of Ukraine repulsed the Russian blitzkrieg with cleverness and courage.” — The Economist

“Our Enemies Will Vanish is clearly not an outsider’s account, though as an experienced reporter, Trofimov mostly avoids the twin temptations of personalizing and pontificating, instead hewing closely to what he sees . . . It’s a sober, plain-spoken assessment that doesn’t tell us all that much—which is also what makes it honest.” — JENNIFER SZALAI, The New York Times

“Humane, informed, and reliable, this account of the first year of Russia’s war on Ukraine will be read by all who wish to understand this defining event of our time.” — TIMOTHY SNYDER, New York Times bestselling author of On Tyranny

Our Enemies Will Vanish was reviewed, among others, in American Purpose, Christian Science Monitor, Financial Times, Globe and Mail, Irish Times, Kyiv Independent, National Interest, San Francisco Chronicle, The Atlantic, The Economist, The New York Times, The Times (London), Times Literary Supplement, The Washington Post, Washington Monthly, and featured on CNN, C-SPAN, NPR, and PBS NewHour.

Yaroslav Trofimov is the author of three books of narrative non-fiction and one novel (The Seige of Mecca, Faith at War, and No Country for Love). He has worked around the world as a foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal since 1999, and has served as the newspaper’s chief foreign affairs correspondent since 2018. Born in Kyiv, Ukraine, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in international reporting in 2023 for his work on Ukraine, and in 2022 for his work on Afghanistan. His honors include an Overseas Press Club award for coverage of India as well as the Washington Institute gold medal for the best book on the Middle East. He holds an MA from New York University.


Emma Mateo, PhD is the Petro Jacyk Postdoctoral Research Scholar in Ukrainian Studies with the Harriman Institute, Columbia University. Dr. Mateo is a sociologist who studies protest and activism in Ukraine and Eastern Europe. Her research focuses on local mobilization during mass protests and significant political events. Emma also studies how media and technology interact with protest and civil society mobilization, and her work makes innovative use of social media data, such as Telegram Messenger. She is the author of the essay, “Bakhmut’s Continuing Resistance: Beyond the Ruins” published in Harriman Magazine (2024 issue).


To have a copy of the book signed, Our Enemies Will Vanish will be available for purchase ($32.00) at the Ukrainian Institute of America the evening of the event.

By purchasing a book from the UIA, you are supporting its continued cultural and educational programming and the further enjoyment of its unique events by our friends and community along New York’s Museum Mile.

For further information: Please contact the Ukrainian Institute of America at (212) 288-8660 or mail@ukrainianinstitute.org.

Author photo by Sebastian Böttcher.


Title: Our Enemies Will Vanish: The Russian Invasion and Ukraine’s War of Independence
Author: Yaroslav Trofimov
Publisher: Penguin Press (January 9, 2024)
Hardcover: 400 pages
ISBN-10: 0593655184
ISBN-13:  978-0593655184
Item Weight: 1.45 pounds
Dimensions: 6.37 x 1.32 x 9.52 inches

Books at the Institute: “Our Enemies Will Vanish” by Yaroslav Trofimov


May 9, 2024
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category: