The killing of Viktoria Amelina, who has died of injuries suffered during last week’s Russian missile attack on a restaurant in Kramatorsk, deprives Lviv, Ukraine and the world of an outstanding writer, an individual who reflected the best of modern Ukraine – humour, tenacity and warmth, coupled with a brilliantly open spirit and a courageous soul. Just a few months ago, at the Book Festival in Lviv, her beloved home city, she captivated us on life, love, family and crimes, her work on the coming War and Justice Diary: Looking at Women Looking at War. ‘They are targeting all of us’, she said in our public conversation, ‘and for me that is a genocide’. Her life was emblematic of remarkable Lviv, her death is emblematic of a merciless and terrible war, prosecuted by men who feel no compunction acting in manifest violation of the most basic precepts of humanity. Victoria Amelina is gone, but she will always be present, her values embodied in the decency she represented and the accountability she sought. Her killing is a most terrible crime – her legacy will include a renewed and unbreakable commitment to accountability for those who perpetrate such horrors, in a land she cared for with passion and brilliance.
Philippe Sands, July 3, 2023, 08h00.