Our Enemies will Vanish

Yaroslav Trofimov


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Penguin Books Ltd
18 January 2024
ISBN: 9780241655443
400 pages

From the publisher

A revelatory eyewitness account of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and heroism of the Ukrainian resistance by Pulitzer Prize finalist Yaroslav Trofimov, the chief foreign-affairs correspondent for The Wall Street Journal.

'Reads like a great novel' SEBASTIAN JUNGER
‘An instant classic’ STEVE COLL
'An essential first draft’ ANNE APPLEBAUM
‘Essential reading’ CLARISSA WARD

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 in a modern-day battle of David and Goliath.


Putin had intended to conquer Ukraine with a vicious blitzkrieg, in a few short weeks. 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 their epic bravery in the face of almost unthinkable aggression.

For Trofimov, this war is deeply personal. He grew up in Kyiv and his family has lived there for generations. He tells the story of how everyday Ukrainian citizens—doctors, computer programmers, businesspeople, and schoolteachers—risked their lives and lost loved ones.


At once heart-breaking and inspiring, and combining vivid reportage with expert military analysis and rare insight into the thinking of Ukrainian leadership, Our Enemies Will Vanish tells the riveting story Ukraine’s fight for survival and refusal to surrender as it has never been told before.




‘Achieves the highest level of war reporting: a tough, detailed account that nevertheless reads like a great novel. I did not really understand Ukraine until I read Trofimov's account’ SEBASTIAN JUNGER, bestselling author of The Perfect Storm

‘A stunning work of eyewitness reportage and literary nuance that brings alive both the brutalities of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the war’s small absurdities and comic interludes. An instant classic’ STEVE COLL, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Ghost Wars

‘Extraordinarily brave reporting, exceptionally clear writing. An essential first draft of the history of the war’ ANNE APPLEBAUM, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Twilight of Democracy

‘A gripping read that meticulously lays out what’s at stake in Ukraine. Essential reading’ CLARISSA WARD, author of On All Fronts

‘An essential document for our times’ DEXTER FILKINS, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Forever War

‘An outstanding, breath-taking and authoritative account’ PETER FRANKOPAN, bestselling author of The Silk Roads

‘Takes the reader from the corridors of power to frontline trenches. Trofimov’s gripping account is full of crisp details’ QUENTIN SOMERVILLE, BBC Middle East Correspondent