PEN Ukraine appeals to international PEN centers and fellow writers, journalists and intellectuals.
On this page, we tell about current situation in Ukraine and share official sources, media and accounts on Twitter, whose information can be trusted. You can follow the updates on sources that we recommend. Now, it’s important to tell the truth about the Russia’s war against Ukraine and appeal for support of parliaments and governments in the world.

What's going on?


Russia attacked Ukraine on the morning of February 24.
A rocket fire began on several military facilities and airfields. Dozens of civilians were also killed in residential and civilian buildings. At the same time, military equipment entered Ukrainian territory from Russia, Belarus and the previously occupied territories of Ukraine - Crimea, parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

  • Over the past nine months, Russia has launched more than 16,000 missile attacks on Ukraine. 97% of Russian targets are civilian. Russian shelling of civil infrastructure result in lasting blackouts. Sometimes it takes several days to restore electricity to Ukrainian cities, many of which stay without electricity, water, heating, and telecommunications for many hours.

  • Russian propaganda openly declares its desire to exterminate Ukrainians as a nation. 83% of the Russian population supports its desire. Putin's popularity has skyrocketed after the invasion of Ukraine.

  • After an unsuccessful attack on Ukraine, the Russian army started brutally shelling civil infrastructure: residential areas, schools, hospitals. Among the facilities shelled by the Russian army are the infamous Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant and Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe.

  • The Russian army fire on the civilian population using prohibited cluster and phosphorous bombs. Since the beginning of war Russia has launched nearly 4750 missiles. The number of victims is so great that citizens bury civilian victims in mass graves. People have been living without food, water, light, and heat for several days now, while Russia violates all kinds of world conventions and drops bombs and missiles on people's heads.

  • Russia's war criminals use the same methods as did Nazi Germany. In temporary occupied areas Russians forcefully deported several thousand residents to Russian filtration camps. Russian occupants force people to undress, looking for any tattoos.

  • In occupied regions Russians withdraw Ukrainian historical and fiction books from libraries. As a result of Russian shellings at least 120 Ukrainian libraries have lost books, 21 of them have lost every single document in their collection. The Russians have also burnt a large library of Mariupol’s Petro Mohyla Church with several unique Ukrainian books which are now lost forever.

  • Thousands of people in Ukraine, including children, pregnant women and the elderly, are currently on the brink of extinction without access to medicine, food, or drinking water. In occupied cities Russian invading forces broadcasting Russian propaganda.

  • Dozens of cultural sites have been destroyed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Among them is a museum of a Ukrainian naive artist, a plane listed in the Guinness Book of World Records, cathedrals, theaters, schools, and many other architectural monuments. UNESCO calls Russia to immediately end aggression against Ukraine.

All materials

What can you do for Ukraine now?

Firstly, to call the war of Russia against Ukraine a WAR. Not a "crisis", a "conflict" or a "military operation".

Secondly, to demand world leaders:

  1. Сut off Russia from SWIFT
  2. Protect Ukrainian airspace
  3. Send NATO troops to Ukraine

Why is this important

Why is this important
  1. By cutting off Russia from SWIFT, we significantly weaken the enemy.
  2. By "closing" the airspace over Ukraine, i.e. ensuring its security, the West is drastically changing the balance of power in Ukraine. At the moment, Ukrainian soldiers are winning on land but losing in the air.
  3. By sending a NATO military contingent to Ukraine, there is a chance to end the war. The only language Putin understands is POWER!

#Boycott Russia

We call to boycott the Russian state now, until it completely with draws from Ukraine and is held responsible for its war crimes. We consider this a necessary step to push back the aggressor that launched a violent and unjustified invasion against Ukraine, a sovereign and peaceful European country, and has long instrumentalised culture and soft power for political propaganda and manipulation of public opinion. Help Ukraine by stopping any cooperation with Russia and communicate your decision publicly to encourage your peers to follow your example. Use the hashtags #BoycottRussia, #StandWithUkraine, #StopRussia.


The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has recorded at least 24,425 civilian casualties in Ukraine since February 24, 2022. It is impossible to establish the actual number of dead, wounded, and forcibly displaced people due to the fact that the occupation forces are continuing their assault on Ukraine. Russia’s war against Ukraine has already produced over 8 million refugees.

Linked here is a list of Ukrainian cultural figures killed since the Russian Federation began their full-scale war.

Victor Petrov

On May 29, 2023, Lviv-based journalist, activist and soldier, Victor Petrov, was killed in action in the east of Ukraine. Victor Petrov was the first editor of Sykhiv Media and had headed the publication from 2016 to 2019.

Yevheniy Osievsky

On May 22, 2023, soldier, journalist, columnist for the popular science magazine "Kunsht" and the social criticism magazing "Commons", Yevheniy Osievsky was killed in a battle near Bakhmut. Yevheniy Osievsky is the 60th media person to die as a result of Russia's aggression against Ukraine.

Ihor Mysiak

On May 22, 2023, news emerged of the death of poet and prose writer Ihor Mysiak. In early March 2022, he joined a unit of the Territorial Defense Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Ivan Kuzminskyi

On May 17, 2023, Ivan Kuzminskyi, musicologist and television director, was killed by the occupiers near Dibrova (Luhansk region). Before Russia’s full-scale invasion, Kuzminskyi carried on research activity in the sphere of ancient Ukrainian music and worked as a director at Maliatko TV Channel.

Denys Kryvyi

On May 15, 2023, it became known that photographer and soldier Denys Kryvyi was killed near Bakhmut. Kryvyi did landscape and reportage photography, animalist and aerial shooting. He was awarded with the FIAP prize from the European photographers’ contest. His footage was published in the National Geographic.

The case of Volodymyr Vakulenko

The case of Volodymyr Vakulenko

Ukrainian poet and writer Volodymyr Vakulenko was murdered after being kidnapped by Russian invaders. This became public on November 28, after DNA verification. His body was found in a grave in the Izium woods. According to the police, Russian occupiers shot the writer using a 9-mm Makarov pistol.

Volodymyr Vakulenko is Ukrainian writer, volunteer and civil society activist. He was born on July 1, 1972 in Kharkiv region. He is an author of 13 books, among which there are "Monoliteracy" (2008) "You Are… Not" (2011), "The Sun’s Family" (2011), "We, the Province!" (2013). His pen name is Volodymyr Vakulenko-K. His own genre, which contains elements of postmodernism, modernism, neo-classicism, and logical absurdism, Volodymyr defines as "contrliterature". Vakulenko is a winner of several Ukrainian and international literary prizes. His works have been translated into English, German, Belarusian, Crimean Tatar, and Esperanto languages.

Volodymyr Vakulenko is also known for his civic activity. During the Revolution of Dignity Volodymyr was wounded in the Marrinskyi Park in Kyiv while fighting against a titushky gang (mercenary agents who supported the Ukrainian police force during the administration of Viktor Yanukovych). Vakulenko has been volunteering for the Ukrainian army since 2015.

Volodymyr Vakulenko was kidnapped by Russian occupiers on March 24. The occupiers shoved him into the bus marked with a Z-sign and took off in the direction of Izium. None of Vakulenko’s relatives had seen him or heard from him since. Before the detention Volodymyr Vakulenko decided to bury his war diary under a cherry tree in the garden, fully aware that the occupiers will come after him. After the deoccupation of Izium, the writer's diary was transferred to the Kharkiv Literary Museum. Vakulenko survived by his parents and a son diagnosed with autism.

Russian crimes against media

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Russia committed 514 crimes against journalists and media in Ukraine. The Russian crimes committed on Ukrainian territory include murder, kidnapping, firing at and wounding journalists, attacks on TV towers, threats, attacks on media offices, cybercrimes, shutting down Ukrainian broadcasting, as well as brand theft and creating fake clones of local publications and channels to spread Russian aggressive propaganda. Furthermore, due to the full-scale war, at least 233 media outlets have had to cease their work. This happened not only in the areas affected by the hostilities or occupation, but also in the relatively quieter parts of the country, due to the financial crisis caused by the war.

Since February 24, 2022, Russians killed 61 media members on Ukrainian territory. 10 of them were killed in the line of duty, and 51 died as combatants or fell victim to Russian shelling, not in the course of their journalistic work.

In this report PEN Ukraine conducting a weekly monitoring of crimes the invader perpetrates against representatives of independent Ukrainian and international media.

Journalists killed while carrying out their duties since the beginning of full-scale Russia's war against Ukraine:

Arman Soldin

On May 9, 2023, French video journalist Arman Soldin was deadly injured in missile shelling near Chasiv Yar (Donetsk region). His colleagues from the AFP News Agency witnessed his death.

Bohdan Bitik

On April 26, 2023, Ukrainian producer of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Bohdan Bitik, was killed by a Russian attack in Kherson. Corrado Zunino, a correspondent for La Repubblica, was wounded by a Russian strike. According to the newspaper, the journalists were ambushed by Russian snipers near a bridge. Both had press badges.

Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff

On May 30, 2022, French journalist Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff was killed by Russian shell shrapnel. Journalist was covering the evacuation of civilians from Severodonetsk (Luhansk region), when the vehicle he was in came under Russian shelling.

Ihor Hudenko

On May 20, 2022, journalist Ihor Hudenko, who had gone missing on February 26, was found dead in Kharkiv. Hudenko was covering fights with the Russian occupiers on the ring road in Kharkiv.

Mantas Kvedaravicius

On April 2, 2022, Lithuanian documentary maker Mantas Kvedaravicius was killed in Mariupol.

Dialogues on War

In order to comprehend the events of the last days, we launched a series of conversations #DialoguesOnWar. Ukrainian and foreign intellectuals will talk about the experience of the war and share their own observations

30 books to understand Ukraine

30 books to understand Ukraine

What do you know about Ukrainians? For the last ten years, Ukraine has been published on the covers of world newspapers with the headlines “Revolution of Dignity” and “War”. These events proved that freedom is the key value of the Ukrainian people. Why do Ukrainians continue to fight for their values, despite the aggression of one of the largest countries in the world? We have compiled a list of fiction and non-fiction books that will help you better understand Ukrainian history and mentality. All books are available in English.​​

10 literary reportage books

10 literary reportage books

Before the Russian invasion of 2022, many people could barely find Ukraine on the world map. Now, the names of Ukrainian cities resonate on daily international news casts in the most tragic of circumstances. Yet their intimate pre-war histories – containing multitudes of lives, wishes and daily struggles – remain mostly unknown to the outside world. We are showcasing a collection of literary reportage that may appeal to readers abroad. Sometimes the best way to discover the real Ukraine is by giving the floor to everyday people.

40 iconic figures of Ukrainian culture

40 iconic figures of Ukrainian culture

PEN Ukraine created a list of 40 Iconic Figures of Ukrainian Culture, which includes innovative artists, global stars and key figures of Ukrainian culture. Among them are world-renowned artists, outstanding painters and graphic artists, architects and sculptors, poets, prose writers, playwrights, actors, filmmakers, choreographers, composers, singers. The material is available at the link.

Join petitions

Russia is effectively a totalitarian state, and too often it uses culture tool picked from its state propaganda toolbox. For the sake of Ukraine, and to uphold and preserve the principles of peace and order, we are calling for the international cultural community to sign these statements and petitions:

Share materials

Russia’s war crimes reports

Ukrainian culture under attack

PEN America and PEN Ukraine’s report about intentional and indiscriminate attacks on Ukraine’s cultural infrastructure, in cities and rural areas.

PDF, 5.2 Мb

Translate a book

Considering the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the world wants and needs to understand what this war is really about. Over the last decade, numerous important nonfiction works, novels, memoirs, plays and even children’s books were published in Ukrainian to explain the reality of the situation. Here you can find a selection of these books which we would recommend to be translated into other languages in order for the world to gain the better understanding.

Way of financial support

Verified sources about Ukraine

You can check the information and learn about common fakes and manipulations that Russia throws into the information space of Ukraine on the websites of fact-checking organizations:

World stands with Ukraine!