Yaroslav Trofimov | The Official Website
Yaroslav Trofimov | The Official Website
Yaroslav Trofimov | The Official Website
Yaroslav Trofimov | The Official Website
Yaroslav Trofimov | The Official Website
Yaroslav Trofimov | The Official Website
Yaroslav Trofimov | The Official Website
Yaroslav Trofimov | The Official Website

Yaroslav
Trofimov

Yaroslav Trofimov | The Official Website

Photo by Sebastian Böttcher

Yaroslav Trofimov is the author of three books of narrative non-fiction and one novel. He has worked around the world as a foreign correspondent of The Wall Street Journal since 1999, and has served as the newspaper’s chief foreign-affairs correspondent since 2018. Born in Kyiv, Ukraine, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in international reporting in 2023, for his work on Ukraine, and in 2022, for his work on Afghanistan. His honors include an Overseas Press Club award for coverage of India as well as the Washington Institute gold medal for the best book on the Middle East.

Yaroslav holds an MA from New York University. His work for The Wall Street Journal can be found here. He is represented by Elias Altman at Massie & McQuilkin literary agency in New York.

Yaroslav Trofimov | The Official Website

Photo by Sebastian Böttcher

Yaroslav Trofimov | The Official Website

Photo by Sebastian Böttcher

Our Enemies Will Vanish

A revelatory eyewitness account of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and heroism of the Ukrainian people in their resistance.

Yaroslav Trofimov | The Official Website | Our Enemies Will Vanish

“Our Enemies Will Vanish achieves the highest level of war reporting: a tough, detailed account that nevertheless reads like a great novel. One is reminded of Michael Herr’s Dispatches… Frankly, it’s what we have all aspired to. I did not really understand Ukraine until I read Trofimov’s account.”
— Sebastian Junger

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 gruelling 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.

Read an excerpt from the book in The Wall Street Journal.

Read an excerpt from the book in Sunday Times.

Read an excerpt from the book in The Washington Post.

Watch Yaroslav's interview on PBS News Hour.

Watch the trailer of the book.

 

 

  • "A brilliant and stirring account of the months after the invasion...  Yaroslav Trofimov, who has covered the war for the Wall Street Journal, is Ukrainian by birth. By layering detail upon telling detail from his notebooks, he builds up a vivid picture of how the men and women of Ukraine repulsed the Russian blitzkrieg with cleverness and courage."

    — The Economist

  • "Captures some of the most difficult, gruesome stories of the war... Trofimov's panorama of a rapidly mobilized country is part war correspondence, part road trip. Those details are so intense that they sharpen everything around them. You can practically taste the gas station hot dogs and Lavazza espressos, or the negronis Trofimov can sometimes find at a hotel bar."

    — Washington Post

  • "A deft, skilled account of the first year of the conflict that mixes the panache of first-hand witness with retrospective analysis and interviews with politicians and generals. At home in the bleak, shell-broken 'grey zone' of the Ukrainian frontlines as well as the halls of power, few correspondents are as well placed as Trofimov to cover this conflict... He was born and brought up in Kyiv, which gives his writing a depth of insight and an edge of righteous heat."

    — The Times

  • "A kind of cinema verité on the page, an account of the war that's as close as one can get to that first draft of history as it's spoken by those who experienced the events. The reader gets a crystal-clear vision of the war's first year"

    — The Atlantic

  • "Trofimov's prose style throughout the book is impressive, conveying the brutality of war without forsaking journalistic integrity for sensationalism to maintain the reader's attention. He also allows himself moments of personal reflection without overstepping the line into a full-blown memoir... An outstanding example of how on the ground reporting should be done."

    — Kyiv Independent

  • “'Our Enemies Will Vanish' is clearly not an outsider's account, though as an experienced reporter, Trofimov mostly avoids the twin temptations of personalizing and pontificating, instead hewing closely to what he sees... It's a sober, plain-spoken assessment."

    — The New York Times 

  • "A fast-paced, witness narrative of the war's first year, perceptive in its accounts of Russian overconfidence and the inventive, makeshift ways in which Ukrainians -- professional soldiers, volunteers and civilians alike -- fought back against a larger force invading on three fronts."

    — Financial Times

  • "Trofimov's effort is comprehensive, a first-hand account of the war as he covered it from the ground, worked sources and interviewed everyone from soldiers and civilians to Zelensky himself... There is no secret about which side Trofimov favours, nor should there be. Our Enemies Will Vanish isn't a dispassionate story of war at a distance. It's an account of the effects, human and geopolitical, from the local to the international, of an invasion that seeks to erase a country. It is grounded in the belief that Russia's war is, to say the least, brutal and unnecessary."

    — Globe and Mail

  • Our Enemies Will Vanish is a stunning work of eyewitness reportage and literary nuance that brings alive both the brutalities of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the war’s small absurdities and comic interludes. Only a Ukrainian native with Trofimov’s wide experience of covering war could have delivered such a clear-eyed and memorable book — an instant classic.”

    — Steve Coll, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Ghost Wars and Directorate S.

  • "Vivid reporting... An excellent first draft of the war, much of the detail of which is already beginning to get lost in the mists of time." 

    — Irish Times

  • “Humane, informed, and reliable, this account of the first year of Russia’s war on Ukraine will be read by all who wish to understand this defining event of our time.”

    — Timothy Snyder, New York Times bestselling author of On Tyranny

  • “His extraordinarily brave reporting, exceptionally clear writing and unusually trenchant analysis have made Yaroslav Trofimov one of the most important journalists covering the war in Ukraine — and now his book will become an essential first draft of the history of the war.”

    — Anne Applebaum, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Twilight of Democracy

  • “Yaroslav Trofimov has been reporting courageously and tirelessly on the Russian invasion of Ukraine since its beginning. With Our Enemies Will Vanish, Trofimov marshals his unrivaled experience and knowledge to offer the most comprehensive, authoritative book on the war to date. From the frontlines of the Donbas to the presidential headquarters in Kyiv, Trofimov chronicles an epic story of national tragedy, heroism, and resistance that is as edifying as it is moving. Required reading for anyone trying to understand this historic conflict.”

    — Luke Mogelson, author of The Storm is Here

  • “Whatever happens, the world will always recall the resourcefulness and bravery of the Ukrainian people in defending their nation against overwhelming odds. In this gripping and lucid account, Trofimov bears witness to the war ravaging his homeland. Our Enemies Will Vanish is an unputdownable book about an unforgettable piece of modern history.”

    — Jon Lee Anderson, bestselling author of Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life

  • “Few have matched the depth and breadth of Trofimov’s reporting on the war. Our Enemies Will Vanish is a gripping read that meticulously lays out what’s at stake in Ukraine. But it’s the vivid detail and keen observations, combined with Trofimov’s deep knowledge of Ukraine’s history and language, that make the book essential reading.”

    — Clarissa Ward, author of On All Fronts

  • “The war in Ukraine is the biggest story of our time, and no one has covered it better than Yaroslav Trofimov. This is the story of the invasion itself, brought to life by his relentless reporting and vivid prose. It’s an essential document for our times.”

    — Dexter Filkins, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Forever War

  • “An outstanding, breath-taking and authoritative account of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Trofimov is renowned as one of the great journalists of our time; and this account shows why.”

    — Peter Frankopan, New York Times bestselling author of The Silk Roads and The Earth Transformed

  • “We don’t know how this war will end, but if you want to know how Ukraine survived its early chaotic days — and endured — then read this book. Our Enemies Will Vanish takes the reader from the corridors of power to frontline trenches while documenting the brutality and terror endured by Ukrainians forces to flee, and those who remained. It charts too, in hair-raising detail, the danger and determination of a dynamic trio, correspondent Trofimov, his photographer Manu Brabo and security adviser Stevo Stephen as they race from frontline to frontline in a rapidly changing war. Yaroslav Trofimov’s gripping account is full of crisp details and contains a deep visceral understanding of Ukraine and a nation’s — his nation’s — struggle for survival.”

    — Quentin Sommerville, Middle East Correspondent for the BBC

  • “Terrific on-the-ground reportage during the initial fraught months of the ongoing war.”

    — Kirkus (starred review)

  • Our Enemies Will Vanish achieves the highest level of war reporting: a tough, detailed account that nevertheless reads like a great novel. One is reminded of Michael Herr’s Dispatches or the best work that came out of Bosnia in the 1990s; frankly, it’s what we have all aspired to. I did not really understand Ukraine until I read Trofimov’s account, and now I am even more convinced that the world must stand behind Ukraine and every other democracy fighting for survival.”

    — Sebastian Junger, New York Times bestselling author of The Perfect Storm and War

  • “A comprehensive and harrowing eyewitness report on the war in Ukraine that focuses on the heroism of the country’s civilians and soldiers.”

    — Publishers Weekly

  • “Trofimov is not the kind of foreign correspondent who drops into a country and only interacts with a few English-speaking elites. Since Russia’s initial February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, he has immersed himself in the experiences of everyday people… Trofimov’s writing in Our Enemies Will Vanish is lucid, vivid and memorable. His book puts a human face on news that can, in its raw brutality, often feel dehumanizing.”

    American Purpose

  • “This tour de force covers the first year of the war in Ukraine and a solid second draft of history, as the author intended. We can hope for a second volume that will be the last, chronicling a truly independent Ukraine.”

    — Booklist

  • “Trofimov’s book is a comprehensive account of the startling and heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people… Catalogues, in a quietly devastating way, the sheer human cost of the war.”

    — The National Review 

  • "Superb."

    — National Interest

  • "A highly readable, authoritative, firsthand account of the first year of the war...  For those of us who have read Ukraine news daily for the last two years, Mr. Trofimov's book offers eureka moments, in which readers exclaim, 'So that was what was really going on.'"

    — New York Sun

  • "Told with empathy and sensitivity, the story is both heartbreaking and inspiring."

    — Christian Science Monitor

  • "A meticulously reported account of Ukraine's resistance to Russia's invasion."

    — Washington Monthly

  • "His reporter's objectivity fortunately stays with him..., even as his knowledge of the country adds to his vivid accounts of the violence and its impact on ordinary people. He is candid about the traitors as well as the heroes."

    — Times Literary Supplement

  • "This attitude of audacity in the face of overwhelming force animates Our Enemies Will Vanish, Yaroslav Trofimov's riveting, lyrical account of the first year of the devastating Russo-Ukrainian war."

    — Washington Examiner

  • "Let us give every member of Congress a copy of Our Enemies Will Vanish. And let us scorn every member who fails to read this powerful, eloquent book."

    — Free Beacon

  • "Blending his personal experiences on the ground with interviews with key foreign leaders all delivered in eyewitness prose, Trofimov delivers what one would expect from such an august reporter."

    — Diplomatic Courier

  • "A ground-level view of Europe's largest land war since 1945."

    — San Francisco Chronicle

No Country for Love

Yaroslav Trofimov | The Official Website | No Country for Love

"A captivating sweep of a novel about love, resilience and impossible choices in a Ukraine caught between Soviets and Nazism and riven by war - I loved it!" 
― Christina Lamb, chief foreign correspondent, Sunday Times


Seventeen-year-old Debora Rosenbaum, ambitious and in love with literature, arrives in the capital of the new Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Kharkiv, to make her own fate as a modern woman. The stale and forbidding ways of the past are out; 1930 is a new dawn, the Soviet era, where skyscrapers go up overnight. Debora finds work and meets a dashing young officer named Samuel who is training to become a fighter pilot. They fall in love, and begin to become part of Ukraine's new cultural elite.

But Debora's prospects - and Ukraine's - soon dim. Famine rolls through the over-harvested countryside, and any deviation from Moscow-dictated ideology is punished by disappearance: without warning, Samuel is sentenced to ten years' hard labour. Debora is on her own with a baby. And this is only the beginning. As advancing Nazi armies move through Ukraine during World War II, its yellow fields of wheat run red with blood. Forced to renounce the man she loves, her identity and even her name, Debora also learns to endure, manipulate and resist.

No Country for Love follows the hard choices Debora makes as Ukraine, caught between two totalitarian ideologies, turns into the deadliest place in the world ― and she has to protect those she loves most.

  • “A beautiful, important and timely rendering of Jewish life in Ukraine through the travails of the 20th century. Both historical and page-turning.”

    ― Gary Shteyngart, author of Our Country Friends and Super Sad True Love Story

  • “At a time when many people are scrambling to understand Ukraine, No Country for Love gives us the story of the country's painful twentieth century as a sweeping romantic epic. It links the personal and the political in a way that cuts through wartime propaganda, restoring both human scale and moral complexity.”

    ― Hari Kunzru

  • “Through the saga of a Jewish Ukrainian family unfolding from the 1930's until the post war, Yaroslav Trofimov delivers a literary epic taking place on the "bloodlands" - to borrow the title from Timothy Snyder's book - scarred from the Nazi and Stalinist atrocities. It is an expansive novel reminiscent of the literary breath, the humanity, and the historical density found in Vassili Grossman's Life and Fate..”

    ― Christophe Boltanski, winner of the 2015 Femina Prize for The Safe House

  • "A chilling account of what it means to live under a totalitarian regime. With the sharp pen of an award-winning journalist and the tender heart of a poet, Yaroslav Trofimov has woven an exquisite and enduring tale of survival, courage, and resistance. Epic yet intimate, heart-breaking yet hopeful, terrifying yet inspiring, No Country for Love is a love letter to Ukraine and a gift to anyone who appreciates peace."

    ― Nguyen Phan Que Mai, internationally best-selling author of The Mountains Sing and Dust Child

  • "Tough, lean, and unsentimental, No Country for Love is a powerful moral testament that reads like a thriller, as its impressive heroine learns to do what is necessary, day by day, in order to endure one of the most harrowing passages of the 20th century. It is also an unsparing account of the tribulations of ordinary Ukrainians, from the Holomodor, through the horrors of World War II, to the death of Stalin. By turns terrifying, tender, and inspiring, this gripping and necessary novel illuminates the origins of a story whose latest chapters are being played out before the world even today."

    ― James Hynes, author of Next and Sparrow

  • "A captivating sweep of a novel about love, resilience and impossible choices in a Ukraine caught between Soviets and Nazism and riven by war - I loved it!"

    ― Christina Lamb, chief foreign correspondent, Sunday Times

The Siege of Mecca

In The Siege of Mecca, veteran Middle East correspondent Yaroslav Trofimov pulls back the curtain on a thrilling, pivotal, and overlooked episode of modern history, examining its repercussions on the Middle East and the world.

Yaroslav Trofimov | The Official Website | The Siege of Mecca

On November 20, 1979, worldwide attention was focused on Tehran, where the Iranian hostage crisis was entering its third week. That same morning, gunmen stunned the world by seizing the Grand Mosque in Mecca, creating a siege that trapped 100,000 people and lasted two weeks, inflaming Muslim rage against the United States and causing hundreds of deaths. But in the days before CNN and Al Jazeera, the press barely took notice.

Trofimov interviews for the first time scores of direct participants in the siege, and draws upon hundreds of newly declassified documents. With the pacing, detail, and suspense of a real-life thriller, The Siege of Mecca reveals the long-lasting aftereffects of the uprising and its influence on the world today.

Winner of the Washington Institute Gold Medal for the best book on the Middle East.

Washington Post Best Book of the Year and Winner of a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award. More details here.

Read an excerpt here.

  •  “Action-packed. . . . [Trofimov] combines political analysis and breathless narrative to describe the deadliest terrorist attack prior to 9/11.”

    ― Entertainment Weekly

  • “[The Siege of Mecca] begins with all the menace of a political thriller. . . . Riveting.”

    ― Conde Nast Portfolio

  • “A gripping, highly informed narrative of this momentous event.”

    ― Financial Times

  • “Saudi Arabia’s dirty laundry gets the airing it deserves in The Siege of Mecca.

    ― Vancouver Sun

  • “Trofimov has defied the strictures of one of the world’s most secretive regimes in order to bring us this story, tapping a range of impressively obscure written sources as well as tracking down a remarkable assortment of people involved in the incident.”

    ― The Washington Monthly

  • “A thriller-like account of an event largely hushed up.”

    ― The Times

  • “Fascinating… Remarkable… Anyone can read The Siege of Mecca, and everyone should.”

     The Washington Post.

  • "A gripping and revealing account of this brutal uprising … The Siege of Mecca is a marvel of investigative journalism … Trofimov's viciously gory account unfolds with a sharp eye for detail and accuracy".

    ― Ziauddin Sardar, New Statesman

Faith at War

An eye-opening political travelogue that reveals the Muslim world as never before.

Yaroslav Trofimov | The Official Website | Faith at War

Drawing on reporting from more than a dozen Islamic countries, Faith at War offers an unforgettable portrait of the Muslim world after September 11, 2001. Choosing to invert the question of what "they" have done to "us," Wall Street Journal reporter Yaroslav Trofimov examines the unprecedented American intrusion in the Muslim heartland and the ripples it has caused far beyond the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq. What emerges is a penetrating portrait of people, faith, and countries better known in caricature than reported detail. The ordinary Muslims, influential clerics, warlords, jihadis, intellectuals and heads of state we meet are engaged in conversations that reveal the Muslim world to us from a new, unexpected perspective.

In Saudi Arabia, we explore the bizarre world of exporting dead bodies from a kingdom that bars the burial of non-Muslims. On a US Navy aircraft carrier floating just off the coast of Pakistan in October 2001, we witness the mechanics of war: the onboard assembly of bombs that, hours later, are seen on T.V. exploding in Kabul. And in Iraq, we accompany Trofimov as he negotiates his escape from an insurgent mob, rides in a Humvee with trigger-happy GIs, and gets lectured by a Shiite holy man on why America is the foe of mankind.

Whether exploring the badlands of the Sahara or a snow-covered village of Bosnian mujahedeen, Faith at War helps us understand the hidden relationships and often surprising connections, so crucial to America's future, that link the Islamic world to our own.

  • "Yaroslav Trofimov writes in such an eloquent and vivid way that, while reading this fascinating book, we involuntarily travel with its author through the lands of Islam. It is an immensely instructive expedition inside a world that amazes us with its richness, variety, and astonishing paradoxes."

    ― Ryszard Kapuscinski

  • “Stylishly written, keenly observed dispatches.”

    ― The New York Times

  • “An illuminating arrival in this season of fog.”

    – The Washington Post

  • “Epic tour of the post 9/11 Islamic world.”

    ― San Antonio Express News

  • “Eye-popping peregrinations.”

    ― Kirkus Reviews

  • "Yaroslav Trofimov's Faith at War is not only a breathtaking account of what a sharp-eyed reporter sees, feels and understands under fire and duress while crisscrossing the Muslim world set ablaze by the consequences of 9/11; it is also a great contribution to the intricate relation between faith, war and terror which is at the core of the new century and will be molding the state of world affairs for quite a while. A brilliant narrative, with a vibrant human dimension."

    ― Gilles Kepel, Professor and Chair of Middle East Studies, Institute of Political Studies, Paris; author of The War for Muslim Minds and Jihad

Events and Appearances

Ukrainian Institute, New York City

May 9, 2024

German Council on Foreign Relations. Berlin, Germany. (Click the link to watch the talk's recording.)

Apr. 9, 2024

Harvard University Davis Center. (Click the link to watch the talk's recording.)

Feb. 22, 2024

University of Oxford. (Click the link to watch the talk's recording.)

Feb. 21, 2024

Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations. Brussels, Belgium.

Feb. 1, 2024

Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral and On Front Line. London, UK. (Click the link to watch the talk's recording.)

Jan. 31, 2024

Columbia University with the Overseas Press Club. New York City. (Click the link to watch the talk's recording.)

Jan. 24, 2024

Pacific Council on International Policy. Los Angeles, California.

Jan. 22, 2024

World Affairs Council. Houston, Texas. (Click the link to watch the talk's recording.)

Jan. 18, 2024

Council on Foreign Relations. New York, New York. (Click the link to watch the talk's recording.)

Jan. 16, 2024

The Carnegie Endowment. Washington, DC. (Click the link to watch the talk's recording.)

Jan. 11, 2024

News and Reviews

The War in Ukraine and "Our Enemies Will Vanish." A Talk with Newt Gingrich

April 7, 2024

Gingrich360

A Comprehensive First-Hand Account of the War: A Review of "Our Enemies Will Vanish."

March 28, 2024

Globe and Mail

Correspondent to Carnage: A Review of 'Our Enemies Will Vanish'

March 3, 2024

Free Beacon

A First Draft of the History of the War in Ukraine: "A Riveting, Lyrical Account."

March 2, 2024

Washington Examiner

'You Can't Negotiate Your Own Extinction.' A Ukrainian Author Discusses the War and His Book

Feb. 24, 2024

CBS Saturday Morning

WSJ Journalist Discusses War in Ukraine at Harvard Event

Feb. 23, 2024

The Harvard Crimson

Candid About the Traitors as Well as the Heroes: A Times Literary Supplement Review

Feb. 23, 2024

Times Literary Supplement

Correspondent's War Coverage Spans Decades and Continents, But in Ukraine It's Personal

Feb. 23, 2024

San Francisco Chronicle

A Brilliant and Stirring Account of the Invasion: A Review of 'Our Enemies Will Vanish'

Feb. 23, 2024

The Economist

A Ukraine-Born Journalist on His Country's Battle for Survival. 'Discussing Our Enemies Will Vanish.'

Feb. 20, 2024

WBUR "On Point"

Yaroslav Trofimov: Ukraine Is Still Fighting Ferociously

Feb. 19, 2024

ABC News

A Journalist in Ukraine Reflects on Daily Life Two Years After the Russian Invasion

Feb. 17, 2024

NPR

What's Next for the War in Ukraine: Discussing "Our Enemies Will Vanish" on GPS with Fareed Zakaria

Feb. 11, 2024

CNN

Wartime Book Examines Ukraine's Resistance Against Russia: ABC Australia Interview

Feb. 8, 2024

ABC (Australia)

An Excellent Overview of the First Year of the War: Irish Times Review

Feb. 5, 2024

Irish Times

How War Has Transformed Ukraine, and Zelensky: A Washington Post Review

Feb. 2, 2024

The Washington Post 

A Deft, Skilled Account of the First Year of the Conflict. A Times Review.

Jan. 27, 2024

The Times 

Ukrainian Journalist Talks About His New Book, Which Chronicles Conflict in His Home Country

Jan. 26, 2024

CNN

A Lauded Ukraine-Russia Book

Jan. 25, 2024

Semafor

Corresponding from Ukraine: A Profile of Yaroslav Trofimov

Jan. 25, 2024

National Review

Contact

Thanks for signing up to our newsletter