Winner of the Pushkin House Book Prize 2023
*A Telegraph Book of the Year*
A Times Best Book of Summer 2023
*Shortlisted for the Parliamentary Book Awards*
An astonishing investigation into the start of the Russo-Ukrainian war – from the corridors of the Kremlin to the trenches of Mariupol.
The Russo-Ukrainian War is the most serious geopolitical crisis since the Second World War – and yet at the heart of the conflict is a mystery. Vladimir Putin apparently lurched from a calculating, subtle master of opportunity to a reckless gambler, putting his regime – and Russia itself – at risk of destruction. Why?
Drawing on over 25 years’ experience as a correspondent in Moscow, as well as his own family ties to Russia and Ukraine, journalist Owen Matthews takes us through the poisoned historical roots of the conflict, into the Covid bubble where Putin conceived his invasion plans in a fog of paranoia about Western threats, and finally into the inner circle around Ukrainian president and unexpected war hero Volodimir Zelensky.
Using the accounts of current and former insiders from the Kremlin and its propaganda machine, the testimony of captured Russian soldiers and on-the-ground reporting from Russia and Ukraine, Overreach tells the story not only of the war’s causes but how the first six months unfolded.
With its panoramic view, Overreach is an authoritative, unmissable record of a conflict that shocked Europe to its core.
Praise for Overreach 'Not merely the first full account of the war in Ukraine, but may set the standard for some time to come ... a remarkable achievement, with Matthews's expert eye like an all-seeing drone, buzzing from one side of the conflict to the other' 5* Telegraph 'Superb ... a true page-turner' Andrew Roberts, BBC History Praise for Owen Matthews 'Matthews himself seems to contain an essence of a Russia that preceded the turmoils and savage inflictions that he so richly describes in his book.' The Guardian 'This is Robert Harris storytelling territory and is told with equal panache and authenticity. There could be no higher praise.' Daily Mail 'Not only does Owen Matthews write with extraordinary vividness... but his technique is more that of a novelist than a journalist - and a master craftsman at that.' Spectator 'Owen Matthews tells the story with tremendous verve and expertise and a real talent for mise en scene ... Vividly alive ... richly authentic.' William Boyd, New Statesman 'Ben Macintyre and John le Carre fans alike will find themselves very much at home.' The Observer 'There are some authors who have gone out into the world to observe the good, the bad and the ugly. Owen Matthews is such ... fascinating and has fearsome authenticity.' Frederick Forsyth
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