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War in Ukraine, Vol 1

...Europe @ War 21, from Helion & Co

Title: War in Ukraine, Vol 1
Author: Edward Crowther
Publisher: Helion & Co
ISBN: 978-1-915070-66-1

Number 21 in the Europe at War series from Helion & Co starts their look at the War in Ukraine, which has brought war back to Europe, a conflict nobody wanted to see. I feel I could make another comment at this point but I won't, as the book does a good job of staying neutral and looks at the history rather than obviously taking sides. It is a 78-page soft-cover book in the style common to this series, and in this case, Volume 1, examines the Armed Formations of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), 2014-2022.
The book splits across 10 chapters, plus an 11th for the Conclusion. It looks back at the history that led to the unrest in the Eastern region of Ukraine, much of it based on unrest as the traditional heavy industries of the area have suffered from failing trade. It introduces us to the various leaders who got involved and what they tried to do. A this stage direct Russian involvement was limited. Donetsk is the larger of the two regions at the heart of the issues (the other is Luhansk) and apparently while some wanted to join with Russia, others wanted to stay part of a Federal Ukraine. Lots of complexities involved, perhaps what makes it such a difficult problem to solve. It moves on to look at the Ideology and Motivation for the various parties, as well as the Propaganda and Symbology they have used. There are the key battles of these early years of the conflict, and the formation of the assorted armed units which have been grouped together under the banner of the DPR 1st Army Corps. It has details of the different sub-units, along with their equipment. Some came from Ukrainian Army stock in the region, but some has clearly been supplied from Russia. There is some excellent detail on the specific weapons, their types, markings etc, even the variation in camouflage uniforms they have been using. There is a significant use of medals and memorials to support the DPR units, as well as other police and internal security units outside of the basic military organisation.. Sadly the use of threat and the gun rule much of what goes on and civilians are caught in the middle. As usual with this book series, there are several pages of colour artwork in the middle, with maps, uniforms, aircraft and ground vehicles all included.
Put simply, I learnt a lot from this book which I hadn't known before. As ever, there are so many different factors at play here, in the years prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. What happened in the previous years, from 2014 through to 2022 made for interesting reading. As I read it there is a well balanced account of the historical story without appearing to take one side or the other. Sadly events have moved on in Ukraine which has changed pretty much everything but this background I found fascinating. Looking at it through a modeller's eyes, there are plenty of useful references, not just in the photos and artwork, but some explained and given context in the text as well.
Thanks to Helion & Co for the review copy.

Robin

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