at war

The Culture Fights Back project to share stories of artists and civil society representatives who have joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Read the stories of Ukrainian writers and poets who continue to talk about the realities of war, still publishing books and poetry while risking their lives every single day.

Yaryna Chornohuz

Yaryna Chornohuz is a Ukrainian activist and poet who joined the Ukrainian Armed Forces in 2019 before the full-scale Russian invasion. She traveled to Donbass during the so-called ‘non-active’ phase of the Russo-Ukrainian war, resulting in her belief that Russia won’t stop unless Ukraine stops it. 

Yaryna studied philology at the  Ukrainian National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”, majoring in Ukrainian language and literature. She began to write poems long before the war, but her time in the service still led to poetic inspiration –  her debut poetry book was published in 2020.

Yaryna started her service in 2019 as a paramedic, and now serves in the marines. She wanted to join the Army immediately after Russia’s aggression in 2014, but had just given birth, so decided to spend time raising her daughter. As the war proceeded, Yaryna was motivated to fight for her daughter’s future in Ukraine.

When Russia invaded in February 2022, Yaryna was already in Donbass. During the full-scale war, she fought in furious battles near Popasna, Mariupol and Bakhmut. She often reflects on Ukrainian history and culture on her Facebook page. 

“We pay not only for our independence, but for our oblivion. Ukrainians often forgive injustice, corruption and irresponsible politicians. We would be a very powerful nation if those features were set right. And I know we will be.’’

Yaryna Chornohuz Facebook-page