Ukrainian writer Victoria Amelina killed by Russian missiles


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Ukrainian writer and volunteer Victoria Amelina tragically passed away on July 1 due to serious injuries sustained during the Russian missile strike on Kramatorsk, according to PEN Ukraine.

Victoria Amelina was an author of prose and poetry, including the novels “The November Syndrom”, or Homo Compatiens” (Discursus, 2014), “Dom’s Dream Kingdom” (“Dim dlya Doma”, The Old Lion Publishing House, 2017). She also wrote children’s books such as “Somebody, or Waterheart” (The Old Lion Publishing House, 2015), “Storie-e-es of Eka the Excavator” (The Old Lion Publishing House, 2021). Her texts have been translated into Polish, Czech, German, Dutch, English and recently, Spanish for “Dom’s Dream Kingdom.”


In 2022, Victoria Amelina became a member of the human rights organization Truth Hounds, dedicating herself to documenting Russian war crimes in the de-occupied territories of Eastern, Southern, and Northern regions of Ukraine. She also began writing her first non-fiction book in English — “War and Justice Diary: Looking at Women Looking at War.” This work aims to shed light on the experiences of Ukrainian women who have courageously documented Russian war crimes and offers insights into their lives during the war.

The last pinned photo from Victoria Amelina’s Facebook page taken by Oksana Astrakhantseva. Victoria is standing in front of a “Donetsk region” sign, which is covered with bullet holes. 


She was born on January 1, 1986, in Lviv. She relocated to Canada with her father during her school years but ultimately made the decision to return to Ukraine. There, studied and worked in I in international IT companies for a decade. After 2015, she dedicated herself to the literary world.


Her literary works have garnered Ukrainian literary awards, including the Joseph Conrad Literary Award in 2021. The award recognizes Ukrainian authors who demonstrate consistency in their creative endeavors, innovative storytelling techniques, and a universal message. She was a member of PEN Ukraine and PEN International.


In 2018, she participated in the 84th PEN World Congress in India as a delegate from Ukraine and delivered a report on Ukrainian political prisoner Oleg Sentsov, a film director and civic activist detained by Russian forces in Crimea in 2014 on trumped up charges of terrorism and sentenced to 20 years by a Russian court.


In 2021, Amelina co-founded the New York Literary Festival, a cultural and artistic event designed to popularize Ukrainian literature. The event took place in a small frontline town in the Donetsk region, renamed New York in 2021.(it was previously known as Novhorodske). The first festival also included a book drive to collect books for the city library.


She was an active volunteer and a public figure. She made several volunteer trips to de-occupied territories in Ukraine since the start of the Russian-Ukrainian war. In September 2022, during a visit to the village of Kapytolivka in the Izium district of Kharkiv region, Victoria Amelina, along with the father of the late children’s writer Volodymyr Vakulenko, discovered hidden poems and diary entries by Vakulenko, who had been killed by Russian forces. These writings were subsequently digitized by the Kharkiv Literary Museum and published as a book by Vivat, a Kharkiv publishing house. In May 2023, Victoria Amelina attended the International Publishers Association’s IPA Prix Voltaire 2023 award ceremony, where she accepted a special posthumous award on behalf of Volodymyr Vakulenko.


“The Russian Empire erased the Ukrainian identity. The Ukrainian literary community is grateful for the award. This award is unique, meaningful and touching for us, in particular because none of the hundreds of other Ukrainian writers who, like Vakulenko, were killed in Ukrainian history, have ever received such an international award posthumously. I am sure that Volodymyr Vakulenko would have wanted to dedicate this award to them as well,” Amelina said at the time.


She was working on creating “a documentary detective story about the search for justice by Ukrainian civil society, a diary about documenting war crimes in Russia, about advocating for international justice, about working with survivors and witnesses.”


The Chytomo team is profoundly saddened and extends its heartfelt condolences to Victoria’s family, friends, and colleagues.
Our editorial will pay tribute to Victoria Amelina by dedicating special publications on our website to her memory. We are actively committed to promoting Victoria’s works and encouraging the literary community to make them accessible to readers worldwide.


Our last interview with Victoria Amelina: No words are needed after a tragedy, all words slide into a whirlpool 


Photo by Daniel Mordzinski