Victoria Amelina, a 37-year-old Ukrainian writer and war crimes researcher, died in a Dnipro hospital on Saturday, July 1, due to injuries sustained when the Kramatorsk restaurant where she was having dinner on June 27 was targeted by Russian missiles.

Amelina had been in Kramatorsk with a delegation of Colombian writers and journalists when Russian forces fired two Iskander missiles at the Ria Lounge pizza restaurant downtown.

“With our greatest pain, we inform you that Ukrainian writer Victoria Amelina passed away on July 1 in Mechnikov Hospital in Dnipro,” PEN Ukraine said in a statement on on Sunday.

Victoria was born on Jan. 1, 1986. At the age of 14, she moved to Canada with her father, but decided to return to Ukraine soon afterwards. She earned a master’s degree in computer science and from 2005 to 2015 Amelina worked at various international IT companies.


In 2014, Victoria made her debut as a writer with the novel “The Fall Syndrome, or Homo Compatiens.” In 2015, the novel was reissued and shortlisted for the Valerii Shevchuk Prize.

In 2015 Victoria left her successful IT career to dedicate herself exclusively to writing.

In 2016, her children’s book “Somebody, or Waterheart” was published.

Amelina’s novel “Dom’s Dream Kingdom,” about a family of a Soviet colonel who in the 1990s lived in the apartment of the famous Polish author of Jewish origin Stanisław Lem, was published in 2017 and awarded as the best book of the year according to Zaporizhzhia Book Toloka and shortlisted for LitAccent 2017 Prize, UNESCO City of Literature Prize, and European Union Prize for Literature.

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Victoria’s prose, poems and essays have been translated into many languages, including English, Polish, Italian, German, Croatian, Dutch, Czech, and Hungarian.

Amelina was the founder of the New York Literature Festival, which takes place in a small town called New York in the Donetsk region. Due to the full-scale Russian invasion of 2022, instead of the festival, the team launched the “Fight Them with Poetry” initiative to help supply the Ukrainian Army units defending the region.


Since 2022 Victoria had been collaborating with the Ukrainian teams to document Russian war crimes and advocate for accountability for the international crimes committed by the Russian Federation and its troops on the territory of Ukraine and other countries. She was working on a non-fiction project, War and Justice Diary: Looking at Women Looking at War.

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