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.

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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.


By January 15, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has recorded 18,358 civilian casualties in Ukraine since February 24. 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 almost 8 million refugees.

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

Mykola Anatskyi

On January 18, Mykola Anatskyi, photographer and leading inspector of the Communication Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, died in the helicopter crash near a kindergarten in the Kyiv suburb of Brovary.

Valeriy Romanovskyi

On January 16, historian Valeriy Romanovskyi died in a hospital after 4 months of being in a coma as a result of a severe combat wound.

Vitaliy Pyvovarov

On January 3, librarian of Zhytomyr Regional Scientific Universal Library named after Oleh Olzhych Vitaliy Pyvovarov was killed at the front.

Viktor Onysko

On January 1, the news emerged of the death of prominent Ukrainian film editor Viktor Onysko. The filmmaker had been fighting against the Russians from the very beginning of the war. Among others, he had defended the Kherson region and East of Ukraine.

Anton Kolomiets

On December 25, 2022 the news emerged of the death of Anton Kolomiets, a media worker from Kherson. He was killed while defending Ukraine on the frontline of the war with Russia.

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

470 freedom of speech violations were committed by Russia in Ukraine in 2022 in the course of the full-scale invasion. 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 216 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.

In 2022, Russians killed 43 media members on Ukrainian territory. Eight of them were killed in the line of duty, and 35 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:

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!