The Death of a Soldier Told by His Sister



PUBLISHED BY MONORAY 2022 | hardback | paperback | e-book | audiobook    ORDER

Wars happen to us; they turn our lives upside down and change us for good. They make us re-evaluate life and death. They make us experience crushing hatred and overwhelming love. With this book, I invite the reader to witness my experience of war, to journey with me from London to Lviv, from peace to a warzone, and to discover why Russia’s war in Ukraine is closer to home than we might think.


'A remarkable, intimate memoir. . . Not history, but now. Not distant, but proximate. Not imaginary, but real.'  Philippe Sands, bestselling author of East West Street and The Ratline

'Olesya’s history reflects the history of modern Ukraine with its problems, hopes, victories and losses... It does not focus on numbers and dates, but on human experience in a country that has found itself in a state of war.' Andrey Kurkov, bestselling Ukrainian writer, author of numerous novels and Ukraine Diaries

'Heartbreaking, agonizing, poetical and unforgettable. An immediate history of a cruel war and a personal chronicle of unbearable loss, beautifully and vividly told by a superb historian and elegant writer in a work that brings every death in Ukraine alive with transcendent grief and love.' Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of The World: A Family History

'A deeply moving and beautifully written account of her brother's death fighting the Russian invasion of Ukraine. If you read only one book about the war, this is the one to read.' Henry Marsh, bestselling author of 'Do No Harm'

'With disarming candour and an arresting mix of the mystical and the everyday, this book is essential reading for anyone interested in the impact of Putin's war on Ukrainians.' Lucy Ash, journalist

'If you want to understand Ukraine's determination to resist, Olesya Khromeychuk's book is essential.'  Paul Mason, author of How to Stop Fascism

'Elegantly written... packed with the sharpness of moments when a death suddenly becomes real.' TLS

'[A] tender and courageous book... Khromeychuk's clear-sighted prose expresses the pain that thousands, even millions, have felt, not just in Ukraine now but in every conflict, past and present.' The Literary Review Magazine

‘If you read only one book about the war, this is the one to read.’ Henry Marsh, author of Do No Harm

'This memoir is layered and complex, informed by deep emotional and historical intelligence, clarity and honesty.' Lia Mills, author of Another Alice

'Modern-day Cassandras', she calls herself and others who raised the alarm abroad about the war in vain. And it's hard to prove her wrong. If only we had all read this book much earlier.' Eva Peek

‘A touching and brilliantly written account about grief, and also about strength. I read it in one night.’ Olia Hercules, author of Summer Kitchens

'Moving, intelligent, and brilliantly written, this is a sister’s reckoning with a lost brother, an émigré’s with the country of her childhood, and a scholar’s with her own suddenly acutely personal subject matter. A wonderful combination of emotional and intellectual honesty.'  Anna Reid, author of Borderland: A Journey Through the History of Ukraine

'In vivid, intimate prose and with unflinching honesty, Olesya Khromeychuk introduces us to the brother she lost in the war and found in her grief. Poignant, wise and unforgettable.' Dr Rory Finnin, University of Cambridge

Including new material placing the book in the context of the ongoing war, and a new foreword by Philippe Sands.


The Death of a Soldier Told by His Sister. Unabridged.

Narrated by Olesya Khromeychuk


'Unforgettable. An immediate history of a cruel war and a personal chronicle of unbearable loss.' Simon Sebag Montefiore 

Narrated by Olesya Khromeychuk


Eva Peek, 'De Oekraïense historicus Olesya Khromeychuk verzet zich tegen valse heroïek', NRC, 31 August 2023.

Lia Mills, 'Sibling's Story of Loss and the Healing Power of Art', Sunday Independent, 13 August 2023

Julie Durbin, 'Who'll Rock that Cradle?', Current, 30 November 2022. 

Helen Parr, 'Journey's End', The Literary Review Magazine, September 2022.  

Isobel Koshiw, 'The Tragedy of Ukraine: On Olesya Khromeychuk’s “A Loss: The Story of a Dead Soldier Told by His Sister”' LA Review of Books, 16 April 2022.

Julian Evans 'Shards of language. Dispatches from the Donbas', The Times Literary Supplement, 18 February 2022.

Rostyslav Averchuk, 'Introducing Olesya Khromeychuk’s book A Loss. The Story of A Dead Soldier Told by His Sister', VoxUkraine, 10 Dec 2021. 

Ростислав Аверчук, Подолати стіну болю: відгук на книжку Олесі Хромейчук «Втрата. Історія мертвого солдата, розказана його сестрою», VoxUkraine, 10 грудня 2021. 


Image: © Lezli Rose

Signing books at Daunt Books Marylebone and the British Library bookshop.

BBC News (Ukrainian), 1 September 2022. WATCH


Hay Festival 2023 (images: by Adam Tatton-Reid)

'Bombs, Words and Medicine: Life and Death in Ukraine', panel discussion with Henry Marsh, Rachel Clarke, and Emma Graham-Harrison.

Bibliotopia Festival 2023 (images: Jan Michalski © Wiktoria Bosc)

'The Tragedy of Ukraine from the Personal to the Collective'. Moderated by Philippe Sands. 

Richmond Walking and Book Festival 2023

Cheltenham Literary Festival 2022

Cliveden Literary Festival 2022

Martin Ivens (c), Serhii Plokhy, Olesya Khromeychuk, Yana Sofovich and Radek Sikorski on Russia's war agaist Ukraine, and Ukraine’s place in European history.

London Literary Festival 2022

Tring Book Festival 2022

The Death of a Soldier Told by His Sister was chosen by the Temerty Contemporary Ukraine Program at Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University for their book club in 2022

Book talk: AUGB London: Thu 10 Feb | 6:30 pm (in person), organised by British-Ukrainian Aid. 

Book talk: The Calder Bookshop: Thu 16 Dec | 7pm (in person), organised by the Ukrainian Institute London. Photos by Tetiana Kharchenko. 

Book talk: University College London, School of Slavonic and East European Studies: Thu 25 Nov | 5pm (in person).

Moderated by Agnieszka Kubal (UCL SSEES).

Book talk: King's College London: Tue 30 Nov | 6pm (online & in person) 

Hosted by Women in War and International Politics, War Studies, King's College London (co-organised by the Ukrainian Institute London). Moderated by Annabronia Ospeck and Aurora Pinelli.