Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, starting a war that continues today. Defined as “borderlands,” Ukraine has struggled to claim its national identity for centuries. Typically, this struggle is framed as a “tug-of-war” between East and West, between Europe and Russia. To better understand the conflict, this lecture explores key historical moments in Ukrainian history . We will touch upon Ukraine’s experiences in World War I and the Russian Revolution, the Holocaust and WWII, the Cold War and its end, and the achievement of Ukrainian statehood. This knowledge may illuminate the policy choices facing the U.S. and its allies. Before the lecture, it is recommended that you watch the film ‘Winter on Fire’ (Netflix) or ‘Bad Roads’ (Amazon Prime), if possible.