new bookstore

A new bookstore opened in Vinnytsia as a tribute to Ukrainian soldier and journalist Mykola Rachok


You see an error in the text - select the fragment and press Ctrl + Enter

The family of Mykola Rachok, Ukrainian journalist, philologist, and soldier killed on the frontline, has opened a bookstore cafe in Vinnytsia called Heroi (Ukrainian for “heroes”). The announcement comes from a Facebook post by Mykola Rachok’s friend, Iryna Sheremeta.


The bookstore was launched by Mykola Rachok’s parents and his sister, Antonina Liulka. She told Chytomo that Mykola dreamed about opening a bookstore cafe and wrote about it in his diaries. After the funeral, his family decided to make this dream come true.


“Never once did we have any doubts about turning Kolia´s dream into reality. We realized that we would do everything he wanted to honor his memory.  And we will gradually fulfill all the 21 wishes written in his diaries,” said Antonina Liulka.


Money used for the project comes from the state death gratuity payment for military families. Antonina Liulka said they began looking for a space in April of 2023 when their allowance was still being paid in installments.


“Buying a place instead of renting was a matter of principle for us so that Kolia’s dream could come true and live a long and, hopefully, successful life. That’s why we sold our apartment, invested the money we received from the state, and bought this space. This bookstore belongs to him, everything here is for him and about him. I hope he is looking down and smiling gallantly as he hears about our bookstore,” said Mykola’s sister.


The bookstore will host weekly literary events with different authors as well as book clubs. Every Saturday writers from outside Vinnytsia will be invited. They plan to host an event with famous literary critic and professor of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Rostyslav Semkiv, who was Mykola Rachok’s scholarly supervisor. Antonina Liulka also highlighted the importance of inviting war reporters and authors currently serving in the army to speak at their bookstore.


“Kolia had a wonderful friend, Natalia. He introduced many wonderful people into our lives. Natalia is a ballet dancer. She is incredible, she knows a lot of languages. She is from Odesa and speaks Ukrainian exquisitely. She used to lead tours of Odesa for foreigners. Now she is stationed in Sloviansk after having worked in the Kherson region. She’s been working in Sloviansk for three months now: stabilization centers, volunteering, journalists’ visits, articles for Danish and German publications… I realize that she can come to our bookstore and talk about Kolia as a close friend and share what she saw on the frontline. I want to invite more speakers like her. He was surrounded by amazing people. We are just beginning to learn more about them. You can say a lot about a person judging by those around him. Many people knew Kolia. He was loved. We will not let him be forgotten. I will talk about him as much as I can. I want people to know what kind of person he was,” Antonina shared.




Bookstore “Heroes”





Before the official bookstore opening, a memorial dedicated to Mykola Rachok was held with his close friends in attendance.


The selection of books includes contemporary Ukrainian literature, new editions of Ukrainian literary classics, essay collections, literary reportage books, and titles from popular Ukrainian publishing houses. The bookstore also has an underground hall with shelves of children’s literature and Ukrainian comics. The bookstore is located at 17/3 Mykola Ovodova Street in Vinnytsia.


Mykola Rachok was a journalist, philologist, and military serviceman of the 58th Separate Motorized Infantry Brigade named after Ukrainian Hetman Ivan Vyhosvskyi. MA of Literary Studies, a graduate of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, the publishing editor of the Kunsht magazine, and the editor for the InfoCar website.


Rachok enlisted in the war effort after the start of Russis full-scale invasion. In July of 2022, he died in battle fighting against the Wagner PMC near the village of Pokrovske in the Donetsk region.


RELATED: Remembering Maksym “Dali” Kryvtsov, Ukrainian soldier-poet killed at the front, through his work and photos


Translation: Sofiia Slaba

Copy editing: Nicole Yurcaba