Commemorating the Life and Remarkable Professional Journey of Victoria Amelina

July 5, 2023
On July 5 in Lviv, Ukrainians bid farewell to Viktoria Amelina, a brilliant Ukrainian author and human rights activist.
Photo credit: Facebook / Victoria Amelina

Victoria died on July 1 from injuries sustained in a Russian missile strike on a restaurant in Kramatorsk on June 27.

She was a writer who had been documenting Russia's war crimes - and was herself killed by one of these crimes. Now Victoria is forever 37.

We want to commemorate her life and remarkable professional journey by sharing 7 key facts about her.

  • Victoria published her first novel, The November Syndrome, or Homo Compatiens, in 2014. The book was named one of the top 10 prose books of the year by the Ukrainian literature website LitAktsent, and was shortlisted for the Valeriy Shevchuk Prize.
  • Her second novel, Dom's Dream Kingdom (Dim dlya Doma), was published in 2017 with Old Lion Publishers in Lviv and shortlisted for national and international awards. In the novel, Amelina narrates from the perspective of a poodle named Dom to tell the story of a Soviet family living in Lviv.
  • Victoria also wrote children's books. In 2016, she published Somebody, or Waterheart, and in 2021, she published Storie-e-es of Eka the Excavator. In 2022, she started writing war poetry.
  • In 2021 Victoria founded the New York Literature Festival in the small town of New York in the Bakhmut District of Donetsk Oblast. Due to the full-scale Russian invasion, the festival was held just once.
  • She documented Russian war crimes during the full-scale invasion in liberated territories of eastern, southern and northern Ukraine, telling the world the truth about the horrors Russia wrought.
  • Just a few days before the attack on Kramatorsk, Victoria presented a book version of the diary of Volodymyr Vakulenko in Kyiv. Vakulenko was a Ukrainian writer killed by Russians in Kharkiv Oblast. Victoria discovered the diary he kept during the occupation buried in his parents' yard.
  • In the last months of her life, Victoria worked on her 1st non-fiction book in English, War and Justice Diary: Looking at Women Looking at War, telling stories of Ukrainian women documenting Russian war crimes and their lives during the war. The book will soon be published abroad.