Our Enemies Will Vanish: The Russian Invasion and Ukraine’s War of Independence

A Gripping Chronicle of Resilience in the Face of Brutality: A Review of “Our Enemies Will Vanish” by Yaroslav Trofimov

Yaroslav Trofimov’s “Our Enemies Will Vanish” delves into the depths of the ongoing war in Ukraine, offering a harrowing and intimate account of the conflict’s initial stages. From the battlefield to the streets, Trofimov, a Ukrainian-born foreign affairs correspondent, draws upon his deep understanding of the region and his firsthand experiences to present a vivid portrayal of the human cost and fierce resilience of the Ukrainian people.


  • Unflinching Honesty: Trofimov doesn’t shy away from the brutal realities of war. He depicts the devastation, loss, and suffering endured by civilians and soldiers alike, offering a stark but necessary counterpoint to the often sanitized narratives surrounding conflict.
  • Multifaceted Perspective: The book goes beyond the battlefield, capturing the stories of ordinary Ukrainians – doctors, businesspeople, computer programmers – who have transformed into everyday heroes, fighting for their homes and families. This multi-layered approach humanizes the conflict and showcases the unwavering spirit of the Ukrainian people.
  • Expert Analysis: Drawing on his extensive knowledge of the region and its history, Trofimov provides valuable context and analysis, enabling readers to grasp the complexities of the conflict and its historical roots.


  • Graphic Content: The book contains descriptions of violence and war atrocities that can be disturbing and emotionally challenging for some readers.
  • Limited Scope: Due to the ongoing nature of the war, the book focuses primarily on the initial stages of the conflict. Readers seeking a more comprehensive analysis and discussion of the war’s broader implications and global ramifications might need to look elsewhere.
  • Personal Bias: While strive for journalistic objectivity, Trofimov’s Ukrainian heritage and personal connection to the conflict can influence his perspective and narrative choices. Readers should be mindful of this potential bias when engaging with the book.

Overall: “Our Enemies Will Vanish” is a powerful and poignant testament to the human spirit in the face of immense adversity. It serves as a crucial document of history in the making, offering a valuable glimpse into the war’s human cost and the unwavering resilience of the Ukrainian people. While not an easy read due to its graphic content and ongoing nature of the conflict, it provides a critical and compelling account of a defining moment in history and the human stories that lie at its heart.

Recommendation: Highly recommended for readers interested in the complexities of the Ukraine war, those seeking a deeper understanding of the human impact of conflict, and individuals willing to engage with unfiltered narratives about war and its harsh realities. Be prepared for emotionally challenging content and acknowledge the limitations imposed by the ongoing nature of the conflict and potential for authorial bias.