Ukraine mourns Victoria Amelina, the writer who documented and died from the Russian invasion

Writer Victoria Amelina, 37, died on July 1 from serious injuries caused by the Russian bombing in Kramatorsk on June 27, in which 12 other people died after a Russian missile hit a restaurant full of civilians .

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Dozens of people gathered this Tuesday in one of the main cathedrals of kyiv to say goodbye, with pain, to the prominent writer Victoria Amelina, 37, who died in Kramatorsk, eastern Donetsk Region, on June 27, after a Russian bombardment of a restaurant in that city.

At least 200 people, including the author’s family and her ten-year-old son, as well as writers and journalists, many of her close friends, said goodbye near her coffin, closed and covered with a yellow and blue national flag that it was the only colorful thing in the kyiv St. Michael’s Monastery.

There were many flowers, crying and hugs. The writer left her children’s stories in February 2022 to document Russian war crimes in her country after the invasion. She had literary recognitions like the Joseph Conrad and was a finalist for the European Union Prize for Literature.

“It is with our greatest sorrow that we inform you that the Ukrainian writer Victoria Amelina passed away on July 1 at the Mechnikov Hospital in Dnipro,” Pen Ukraine announced in a statement on Sunday.

“Amelina has expanded her work far beyond literature. In 2022, she joined the Truth Hounds human rights organization. She has been documenting Russian war crimes in unoccupied territories in the eastern, southern, and northern parts of Ukraine, particularly in Kapytolivka near Izyum, where she found a diary of Volodymyr Vakulenko, a Ukrainian writer assassinated by the Russians.”, the organization added.

Amelina received the penultimate goodbye with a funeral mass in kyiv before being buried in the Lichakivsky cemetery on Wednesday in her native Lviv.

“He did a lot for the Donbass; it contributed to Ukrainian culture not forgetting this region that Russia invaded for the first time in 2014, ”a young woman identified as one of her readers told EFE.

Friends of prominent Ukrainian writer Victoria Amelina , who died in a hospital after being injured by a Russian missile attack in the city of Kramatorsk, react during a funeral ceremony, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kiev, Ukraine , on July 4, 2023.
Friends of prominent Ukrainian writer Victoria Amelina , who died in a hospital after being injured by a Russian missile attack in the city of Kramatorsk, react during a funeral ceremony, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kiev, Ukraine , on July 4, 2023. © Alina Smutko / Reuters

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The writer was also a cultural activist and translated this year into Spanish with her book “A home for Dom”. Amelina became a documentarian of the war crimes of the Russian forces that ended her life.

For this reason, she was on tour in Donetsk, near the war front, accompanied by the former Colombian High Commissioner for Peace, Sergio Jaramillo, the Colombian writer Héctor Abad and the journalist Catalina Gómez, the latter a correspondent for France 24 Español and attack survivor.

The writer and the Colombians had participated two days before in the kyiv Book Fair and continued to document and promote the solidarity campaign “Aguanta Ukraine”. That trip would be Amelina’s last before leaving for France, where she won a one-year scholarship to finish her book on Russian war crimes.

On June 27, Jaramillo, Abad and Gómez were sharing a table at the Ría pizzeria, popular with correspondents, soldiers and volunteers, when a Russian missile hit the establishment. The writer’s three Colombian companions survived, but the missile Iskander ballistic killed twelve people and injured several, including the writer who died on Sunday.

In a story to the Spanish newspaper El País, the Colombian writer and journalist Héctor Abad Faciolince, narrated the last moments he shared with the writer. “Since there was prohibition, Victoria had ordered a non-alcoholic beer. Sergio Jaramillo had filled a glass for me with ice and something similar to apple juice. Victoria looked at my glass: “It looks like whiskey,” she said, and smiled. At that moment, the Iskander, hell, fell from heaven to us. ”, She narrated.

Abad Faciolince, who was as close to death as everyone in that restaurant, promised to continue investigating and denouncing what happened to Amelina and the Ukrainians during the war.

Now Victoria has an address in heaven. Not in the Christian or Muslim sense, no. In that immaterial and mental sky, very human, that we call memory, ”she concluded.

With EFE.

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Written by Editor TLN

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