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In Isolation

In Isolation

Dispatches from Occupied Donbas

Stanislav Aseyev

Translated by Lidia Wolanskyj

ISBN 9780674268784

Publication date: 05/03/2022

In this exceptional collection of dispatches from occupied Donbas, writer and journalist Stanislav Aseyev details the internal and external changes observed in the cities of Makiïvka and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine. Aseyev scrutinizes his immediate environment and questions himself in an attempt to understand the reasons behind the success of Russian propaganda among the working-class residents of the industrial region of Donbas.

Aseyev focuses on the early period of the Russian-sponsored military aggression in Ukraine’s east, the period of 2015–2017. The author’s testimony ends with his arrest for publishing his dispatches and his subsequent imprisonment and torture in a modern-day concentration camp on the outskirts of Donetsk run by lawless mercenaries and local militants with the tacit approval and support of Moscow. For the first time, an inside account is presented here of the toll on real human lives and civic freedoms that the citizens of Europe’s largest country continue to suffer in Russia’s hybrid war on its territory.


  • A rare and unsettling insider’s account of conditions in the ‘Donetsk People’s Republic.’…Aseyev examines unrelentingly, piercingly, and scathingly why Ukrainians in the east of the country supported, and continue to support, the separatists and mercenaries and their Kremlin sponsors—in effect, how Putin’s misinformation campaign successfully revived the Soviet mindset in the Donbas.

    —Julian Evans, Times Literary Supplement


  • Stanislav Aseyev is a Donetsk-born Ukrainian writer and journalist. In addition to two books recounting his experience under Russian occupation in eastern Ukraine, he is the author of a collection of poetry, a play, and a novel. Under the pen name Stanislav Vasin, he published short reports in the Ukrainian press on the outbreak of Russian-sponsored military hostilities in Donbas. Arrested and unlawfully imprisoned by separatist militia forces for “extremism” and “spying,” Aseyev was held captive and subjected to intermittent torture. In 2021, he was awarded the prestigious Taras Shevchenko National Prize for In Isolation.

Book Details

  • 320 pages
  • 5 x 8 inches
  • Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute

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