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Ukrainian poet and novelist dies from injuries after missile attack

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The award-winning Ukrainian novelist and poet Victoria Amelina has died from injuries received in a  Russian missile attack on a restaurant in Ukraine last week.

PEN Ukraine announced she had died in a hospital in Dnipro, surrounded by friends and family. The attack that killed Amelina happened at a popular restaurant crowded with civilians. Thirteen people died and more than 60 were injured. Just two days before the attack Amelina was reading poetry at a book fair in Kyiv.

“Now there is a real threat that Russians will successfully execute another generation of Ukrainian culture – this time by missiles and bombs,” she wrote in an article.

Born in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv in 1986, Amelina spent time in Canada with her father as a child. She studied computer science at university and spent a decade working in the tech industry before publishing her first novel in 2015 and building a career in literature. In 2021, she founded a literary festival in New York, Donetsk, a small town that since 2014 has been near the front line.

“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 – in all possible New Yorks. I promise.”



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Graham Sherwood

Wed 5th Jul 2023 08:10

Civil and War are definitely two words that should never be used together. There is nothing civil about war!

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Stephen Gospage

Wed 5th Jul 2023 08:01

Just for the record, Victoria Amelina is dead because of Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine, not a civil war.

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M.C. Newberry

Tue 4th Jul 2023 14:49

Ukraine and Russia are like the Bible's Cain and Abel
Their ancient animosities the stuff of legend and fable.
Unable to be civil, they resort to civil war
And the innocent always suffer - now just as before.

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Uilleam Ó Ceallaigh

Tue 4th Jul 2023 10:03

Yes Victoria,
"...make literature festivals, not war".

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Greg Freeman

Tue 4th Jul 2023 08:30

Thanks, Steve, for mentioning it yesterday, which prompted us to post this loss on our news pages today.

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Stephen Gospage

Tue 4th Jul 2023 08:04

Terribly sad that another writer and poet has fallen victim to Russia's barbarism. I penned a few lines yesterday in my poem 'Writers':

'They’re coming for the writers now;
They’ll take out poets one by one.
These tellers of the awkward truths,
Who show them up for what they are,
Appear to constitute fair game
For slingshots scrounged from death’s bazaar.'

Culture must survive. Without culture, there is nothing.

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