Haus Publishing 2022
‘Will someone pay for the spilled blood?’ No. Nobody.’ So wrote Mikhail Bulgakov in Kiev during the turmoil of the Russian Civil War. Since then the borders of Ukraine have shifted constantly and its people have suffered numerous foreign interventions. The Ukrainian state we know today has existed only since 1991 and what went before remains contested and controversial, both among its people and its neighbours.
In simple and vivid prose, Jens Mühling narrates his encounters with nationalists and old communists, Crimean Tatars and Cossacks, smugglers, archeologists, and soldiers all of whose views on nationhood and the past could hardly be more different. Black Earth connects all these stories to provide an unconventional and unfiltered view of Ukraine – a country at the crossroads of Europe and Asia and at the centre of the world’s attention.
JENS MÜHLING was the editor of a German newspaper in Moscow for two years, and worked for the Berlin daily newspaper Der Tagesspiegel from 2005 to 2017. His features and essays on Eastern Europe have won him several awards, and his travelogue A Journey into Russia was shortlisted for the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year award in 2015.