by Jen Muhling
3 Aug 2022
'Will someone pay for the spilled blood? No. Nobody.' Mikhail Bulgakov wrote these words in Kiev during the turmoil of the Russian Civil War. Since then Ukrainian borders have shifted constantly and its people have suffered numerous military foreign interventions that have left them with nothing.
As a state, Ukraine exists only since 1991 and what it was before is controversial among its people as well as its European neighbours. Writing in a simple and vivid way, Jens Muhling narrates his encounters with nationalists and old Communists, Crimean Tatars and Cossacks, smugglers, archaeologists and soldiers, all of whose views could hardly be more different. Black Earth connects all these stories to convey an unconventional and unfiltered view of Ukraine - a country at the crossroads of Europe and Asia and the centre of countless conflicts of opinion.