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.

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 Western leaders - German Chancellor Scholz, French President Macron, US President Biden and British Prime Minister Johnson:

  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.


By 19 September, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has recorded 14,532 civilian casualties in Ukraine since 24 February, when Russia started its full-scale war. It is impossible to establish the actual number of dead, wounded and forcibly displaced due to the fact that the occupation forces are continuing their assault on Ukraine. Russia’s war against Ukraine has already produced over 7.4 million refugees.

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

Oleksandr Shapoval

On 12 September, 47-year-old Oleksandr Shapoval, Merited Artist of Ukraine and a ballet soloist of the National Opera, was killed in battle near Maiorsk in Donetsk region. He performed in Carmen Suite, Julius Caesar and other plays. On February 25, he joined the territorial defense, then became a grenade launcher in the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Oleksiy Yurchenko

On 8 September, Russians killed cameraman of the Priamyi channel Oleksiy Yurchenko, who served in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He was killed in battle liberating Balaklia city (Kharkiv region).

Roman Barvinok-Skrypal

On 20 August, musician and soldier Roman Barvinok-Skrypal was killed at the frontline. He joined the ranks of the Armed Forces in 2016, hiding health problems that prevented him from being mobilised. "From time to time, in the trenches, he would pick up a machine gun, and then a violin. When he played, there were times when the firing would stop, because our soldiers were listening and so were the enemies," wrote the officer of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Olena Bilozerska, about Roman.

Artem Dovhopolyi

On 9 August, news emerged of the death of the poet Artem Dovhopolyi, who volunteered in the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Donetsk region.

Hlib Babich

On 28 July, the news emerged of the death of the poet, blogger, and songwriter Hlib Babich. He was killed in action while defending Ukraine from Russian occupiers.

The case of Volodymyr Vakulenko

The case of Volodymyr Vakulenko

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.

On April 10, 2022 Vakulenko’s ex-wife, Iryna Novitska, informed that Volodymyr Vakulenko and his son Vitalii were detained and taken to an unknown destination by Russian occupiers in Kharkiv region. They have been out of touch since March 7.

According to Novitska, Volodymyr Vakulenko was detained by Russian occupiers twice: first time on March 7 and second time after March 25. In the opinion of Iryna Novitska, the occupiers took interest in her ex-husband because of his patriotic attitude and volunteering for the Ukrainian army since 2015.

Vakulenko lived in the village of Kapytolivka near Izium. The local police are investigating his abduction. After Ukrainian Armed Forces have liberated Kapytolivka in September 2022, Volodymyr Vakulenko is still missing.

Russian crimes against media

Since 24 February 2022, Russia has committed over 435 crimes against journalists and media personnel in Ukraine. At least 38 Ukrainian and foreign journalists have been killed in Ukraine since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion. 8 of them were killed while performing their professional duties. 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:

Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff

On 30 May, 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 20 May, 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 2 April, Lithuanian documentary maker Mantas Kvedaravicius was killed in Mariupol.

Maks Levin

On 1 April, missing Ukrainian photojournalist Maks Levin was found dead near Kyiv after being shot dead by Russian soldiers.

Oksana Baulina

On 23 March, Russian journalist Oksana Baulina was killed amid Russian attack on Kyiv.

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

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!