Ukrainian writer Viktoria Amelina died in a hospital in Dnipro after being seriously injured in the Russian shelling of Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region. She was 37 years old.
Ukrainian writer Viktoria Amelina died in a hospital in Dnipro after being seriously injured in the Russian shelling of Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region. She was 37 years old. The woman documented Russian war crimes in Ukraine almost from the beginning of the invasion.
“It is with great pain that we inform you that on July 1, in the Mechnikov hospital in Dnipro, the heart of the writer Victoria Amelina stopped beating,” PEN Ukraine reported. The woman was 37 years old.
The writer was seriously injured in the shelling of Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region. The Russian attack on June 27 killed 12 people and wounded dozens. One of the shells hit a popular pizzeria in the city center. At the time of the attack, the place was full of journalists, volunteers and soldiers.
Wiktoria Amelina was born on 1 January 1986, in Lviv. In Poland, it is known her book “Dom dla Doma”, for which she was nominated for the European Literary Award. In December 2021, she received the Joseph Conrad Literary Prize awarded by the Polish Institute in Kyiv.
Almost from the beginning of the invasion, the woman documented Russian war crimes and traveled to areas close to the front line, where, among others, she worked with children. Thanks to her efforts, the diary of Volodymyr Vakulenko, a Ukrainian writer killed by the Russians in Izium, was found. This diary was published and is a testimony to Russian war crimes.
Her work always mixed the political and the artistic. In 2021, she founded a literary festival in New York, Donetsk, a small town that since 2014 has been near the frontline. It was a typical example of her playful spirit, eye for capturing attention and commitment to celebrating and supporting Ukrainian defiance and grassroots culture.
“When I founded New York literature festival in a small village called New York in the Donbas, I was, of course, being ironic. After all, irony is what makes literature great. Self-irony made the village of New York a fantastic place. Russians have no self-irony. They are so serious about themselves,” she wrote on Twitter, after Russian forces bombed the festival site.
“But Ukrainians will survive, laugh and make literature festivals, not war”
PEN Ukraine promised to keep those festivals going. “For us, Victoria’s friends and colleagues, it is very important the cultural initiatives set up by her could last. Very soon we will share with you information about the ways you can support her life’s work.”