War Diary

War Diary

191 pages

Hardcover with photos 

Genre: Literature, Literary Novel
A monumental, deeply penetrating document of life in Kyiv during the first forty-one days of the Russian invasion of Ukraine

The young artist and writer Yevgenia Belorusets was in her hometown of Kyiv when Putin’s “special military operation” against Ukraine began on the morning of February 24, 2022. With the shelling of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odessa, and Kherson, the war with Russia had clearly, irreversibly begun: “I thought, this has been allowed to happen, it is a crime against everything human, against a great common space where we live and hope for a future.” With power and clarity, the War Diary of Yevgenia Belorusets documents the long beginning of the devastation and its effects on the ordinary residents of Ukraine: what it feels like to interact with the strangers who suddenly become your “countrymen”; the struggle to make sense of a good mood on a spring day; the new danger of a routine coffee run. First published in the German newspaper Der Spiegel, the War Diary had an immediate impact worldwide: it was translated by an anonymous collective of writers on Weibo; read live by Margaret Atwood on International Women’s Day; adapted for an episode of This American Life on NPR; and brought to the 2022 Venice Biennale as part of the pavilion “This is Ukraine: Defending Freedom.”


Women of Europe Award 2023
German title: Anfang des Krieges - Tagebücher aus Kyjiw
ISBN: 978-3-7518-0806-4
Publisher: Matthes & Seitz Berlin
Publication date: 2022
Sold to: United Kingdom, United States, Italy, France

Sample translation

Written in German

Complete English translation available

Yevgenia Belorusets is a Ukrainian photographer, artist and writer who lives between Kyiv and Berlin. She is concerned with the intersections of art, media and society, and involved in a number of cultural and political initiatives. Her first book Lucky Breaks has been critically acclaimed and translated in 10 langauges. 

By the same author(s)

“War Diary” is among the first books to come out of this conflict, and it has plenty to say to a world audience." – The New York Times