Dr Samir Puri has had a ringside seat to several major events covered in this book. He served as an international observer at five Ukrainian elections, including the Orange Revolution in 2004. Soon after the first Donbas war began in 2014, he spent a year in east Ukraine working along both sides of the front line as part of an international ceasefire monitoring mission. During Russia’s latest invasion of Ukraine, his analysis of the war has been featured by the BBC, Al Jazeera, Bloomberg, CNN, the Wall Street Journal and other media outlets. He is a visiting lecturer in war studies at King’s College London and his previous book was The Great Imperial Hangover: How Empires Have Shaped the World.