Review: Trumped-up charges

The memoir of a former US ambassador to Ukraine reveals the unjust end to the career of an important player in a key geopolitical role, says Marc P Berenson

The World Today
3 minute READ

Marc P Berenson

Associate Professor, Russia Institute, King’s College London, and the author of ‘Taxes and Trust: From Coercion to Compliance in Poland, Russia and Ukraine’

Lessons from the Edge: A Memoir
Marie Yovanovitch, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, £21.99 

As Marie Yovanovitch details in her wonderfully written memoir, 2019 was her annus horribilis. She interweaves numerous stories, all of which converge that year – and which have reverberated to the present-day Russian war in Ukraine.

Back then, three days after Volodymyr Zelenskyy was chosen by the Ukranian people as their president in an unprecedented landslide victory, Yovanovitch was abruptly recalled to Washington while serving as the United States’ ambassador to Ukraine. The move was part of a smear campaign orchestrated by President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and a former Ukrainian general prosecutor who sought to undermine his country’s new anti-corruption activities. 

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