To Defenders of Freedom

12-year-old Yeva shared her experience of the first days war in a book

Yeva Skaletska, a 12-year-old girl from Kharkiv, wrote a diary about her experience of the first days of Russia’s full-scale invasion. Her notes have been published as a book, and later voiced by the British actress Keira Knightley.

Yeva used to live in the northern part of Kharkiv with her grandmother. The girl spent the first week of Russian full-scale invasion in the city, and documented all of the events and emotions in her diary.

“I wanted to write down all my feelings, it was tough for me to speak. It was easier for me to write, and I also wanted to reread and relive it in 10-20 years,” she says.

Photo: Suspilne

On the 6th day of the full-scale war, a shell destroyed Yeva’s apartment. The tragedy forced the girl and her grandmother to evacuate to a safer region, which is how they ended up on the other side of the country, in Uzhhorod. There they met British journalists who were covering the Russia’s war against Ukraine. Yeva’s grandmother told them about the journals, and they were interested. Eventually, they flew to Dublin together.

In Ireland, a literary agent contacted Yeva Skaletska, and that’s how her diary was turned into the book “You Don’t Know What War Is”. On October 25, Yeva’s book was released in the United States and Great Britain, and the audio version of the diary was voiced by the Academy Award-nominated actress Keira Knightley. For now, the rights to publish the diary have already been sold in 12 countries.

Yeva and her grandma still live in Dublin, and the girl says she wants to write more in the future!

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