Fireside Chat with Yaroslav Trofimov Author of "Our Enemies Will Vanish"
January 22, 2024
5:00pm to 7:00pm

Santa Monica

The Pacific Council is excited to host Yaroslav Trofimov, chief foreign-affairs correspondent at The Wall Street Journal to discuss his most recent book Our Enemies Will Vanish: The Russian Invasion and Ukraine's War of Independence in conversation with Professor Gabriel Kahn, USC Professor of Professional Practice of Journalism, the Co-Director of the M{2e} program, and Innovations Manager for the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab. Gain unique insights from Mr. Trofimov's first hand experiences on the front lines in Ukraine, connecting the dots between Russia's invasion and its global repercussions.

Be part of the conversation and explore the broader implications of this pivotal event in contemporary history. Don't miss the chance to engage in a Q&A session with the author. Register now, and the first 10 attendees will receive a signed copy of the book onsite.


Guest Speaker

Yaroslav Trofimov is the chief foreign-affairs correspondent of The Wall Street Journal and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in international reporting for two consecutive years, in 2022 and 2023. Before covering the Russian war on Ukraine, he reported on most major conflicts of the past two decades, serving as the Journal’s bureau chief in Afghanistan and Pakistan and as a correspondent in Iraq. He holds an MA from New York University and is the author of two critically acclaimed books, Faith at War and The Siege of Mecca.



Professor Gabriel Kahn has worked as a newspaper correspondent and editor for three decades, including 10 years at The Wall Street Journal, where he served as Los Angeles bureau chief, deputy Hong Kong bureau chief and deputy Southern Europe bureau chief, based in Rome. He has reported from more than a dozen countries on three continents.

His work has appeared in Slate, Mother Jones, Salon, The New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Magazine, Pacific Standard, The National Law Journal, The American Prospect, and other publications. He has been a guest on the BBC World Service, CNN, CNBC, C-Span, as well as on numerous international news programs.

In the Fall of 2010, he joined USC Annenberg where he is a Professor of Professional Practice of Journalism and jointly runs the Media, Economics and Entrepreneurship program. The goal of M{2e} is to bolster students’ understanding of economics and encourage innovation and experimentation with new ideas in communication and journalism. He also serves on the research council of the Annenberg Innovation Lab.


Book Description

 Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Yaroslav Trofimov has spent months on end at the heart of the conflict, very often on its front lines. In this authoritative account, he traces the war’s decisive moments—from the battle for Kyiv to more recently the grueling and bloody arm wrestle involving the Wagner group over Bakhmut—to show how Ukraine and its allies have turned the tide against Russia, one of the world’s great military powers, in a modern-day battle of David and Goliath. Putin had intended to conquer and annex Ukraine with a vicious blitzkrieg, redrawing the map of Europe in a few short weeks with seismic geopolitical consequences. But in the face of this existential threat, the Ukrainian people fought back, turning what looked like certain defeat into a great moral victory, even as the territorial battle continues to seesaw to this day. This is the story of the epic bravery of the Ukrainian people—people Trofimov knows very well.

For Trofimov, this war is deeply personal. He grew up in Kyiv and his family has lived there for generations. With deep empathy and local understanding, Trofimov tells the story of how everyday Ukrainian citizens—doctors, computer programmers, businesspeople, and schoolteachers—risked their lives and lost loved ones. He blends their brave and tragic stories with expert military analysis, providing unique insight into the thinking of Ukrainian leadership and mapping out the decisive stages of what has become a perilous war for Ukraine, the Putin regime, and indeed, the world.

This brutal, catastrophic struggle is unfolding on another continent, but the United States and its NATO allies have become deeply implicated. As the war drags on, it threatens to engulf the world. We cannot look away. At once heart-breaking and inspiring, Our Enemies Will Vanish is a riveting, vivid, and first-hand account of the Ukrainian refusal to surrender. It is the story of ordinary people fighting not just for their homes and their families but for justice and democracy itself.


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