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The Philadelphia Committee on Foreign Relations

Serhii Plokhy

  • 02/16/2024
  • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • The Philadelphia Club - 1301 Walnut Street
  • 28


Dr. Serhii Plokhy is the Mykhailo Hrushevsky professor of Ukrainian history at Harvard University, where he also directs the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. He leads a research team working on MAPA: The Digital Atlas of Ukraine.

Plokhy's research focuses on the intellectual, cultural, and international history of Eastern Europe, with special emphasis on Ukraine.

Among Plokhy's best known contributions to the study of early modern history is The Origins of the Slavic Nations, a broad survey of the history of the region which rejects primordialist ideas that postulate the existence of either one or three—Russian, Ukrainian, and Belarusian—East Slavic nationalities before the rise of nationalism. Instead, it proposes an alternative scheme of the development of pre-modern identities of the Eastern Slavs.

Plokhy's research on the history of the Cold War era resulted in the publication of Yalta: The Price of Peace and The Last Empire, where Plokhy challenged the interpretation of the collapse of the Soviet Union as an American victory in the Cold War, instead arguing Ukraine and Russia were the two republics responsible for the end of the Soviet Union.

His latest book was published in 2023; The Russo-Ukrainian War: The Return of History.

​His book, The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Unionreceived the Lionel Gelber Prize and Pushkin House Russian Book Prize for best non-fiction book on global issues in 2015. A Baillie Gifford Prize was awarded to Chernobyl in 2018. Plokhy received the Early Slavic Studies Association Distinguished Scholarship Award in 2009, and in 2013, the Walter Channing Cabot Fellow at Harvard University for scholarly excellence. Plokhy received the Antonovych Prize in 2015, and the Shevchenko National Prize in 2018 (Ukraine).

Serhii Plokhy was born in Nizhnii Novgorod, Russia, to Ukrainian parents. He spent his childhood and school years in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, where his family returned soon after his birth.

The topic of his presentation will be: "Russia, Ukraine and the Future of Western Democracy."

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