The best books about the recent history of Russia and Ukraine that help us understand what is going on right now

A new entrant in the book-recommendations market, Shepherd asks authors to recommend five books about a subject connected with their own work.

Here’s my list. These are personal recommendations, not an ‘official’ reading list by any means:

Jane Rogoyska, discover the best books

Who am I?

I’ve spent the past few years writing about the 1940 Katyń Massacre of 22,000 Polish prisoners of war by Stalin’s NKVD and the decades-long cover-up of their crime.

My research has taken me far and wide across the recent history of eastern Europe but until the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 I was convinced the events I was studying belonged firmly in the past.

Now, more than ever, we need to make an effort to understand the ways in which history informs the present. I most admire writers who combine a forensic attention to detail with a deep compassion for the individuals at the heart of every story.