Skip to main content

30% Off New Releases: Explore the List

Harvard University Press - home
The Torture Camp on Paradise Street

The Torture Camp on Paradise Street

Stanislav Aseyev

Translated by Zenia Tompkins and Nina Murray

ISBN 9780674291089

Publication date: 01/03/2023

In The Torture Camp on Paradise Street, Ukrainian journalist and writer Stanislav Aseyev details his experience as a prisoner from 2015 to 2017 in a modern-day concentration camp overseen by the Federal Security Bureau of the Russian Federation (FSB) in the Russian-controlled city of Donetsk. This memoir recounts an endless ordeal of psychological and physical abuse, including torture and rape, inflicted upon the author and his fellow inmates over the course of nearly three years of illegal incarceration spent largely in the prison called Izoliatsiia (Isolation). Aseyev also reflects on how a human can survive such atrocities and reenter the world to share his story.

Since February 2022, numerous cases of illegal detainment and extreme mistreatment have been reported in the Ukrainian towns and villages occupied by Russian forces during the full-scale invasion. These and other war crimes committed by Russian troops speak to the horrors wreaked upon Ukrainians forced to live in Russian-occupied zones. It is important to remember, however, that the torture and killing of Ukrainians by Russian security and military forces began long before 2022. Rendered deftly into English, Aseyev’s compelling account offers a critical insight into the operations of Russian forces in the occupied territories of Ukraine.

Praise

  • A chilling and worthwhile read.

    —Lilian Posner, Foreign Policy

Awards

  • 2023, Winner of the Peterson Literary Fund Translated Book Award

Authors

  • Stanislav Aseyev is a Donetsk-born Ukrainian writer and journalist. In addition to two books recounting his experience under Russian occupation in eastern Ukraine, he is the author of a collection of poetry, a play, and a novel. Under the pen name Stanislav Vasin, he published short reports in the Ukrainian press on the outbreak of Russian-sponsored military hostilities in Donbas. Arrested and unlawfully imprisoned by separatist militia forces for “extremism” and “spying,” Aseyev was held captive and subjected to intermittent torture. In 2021, he was awarded the prestigious Taras Shevchenko National Prize for In Isolation.
  • Zenia Tompkins is an American literary translator and founder of The Tompkins Agency for Ukrainian Literature in Translation, a nonprofit literary agency and translation house dedicated to promoting contemporary Ukrainian literature in the Anglophone world.
  • Nina Murray is a poet and an award-winning translator of Ukrainian literature, including works by Oksana Zabuzhko, Oksana Lutsyshyna, Serhiy Zhadan, and Lesia Ukrainka. She is the author of several poetry collections and a career member of the U.S. Foreign Service.

Book Details

  • 304 pages
  • 5 x 8 inches
  • Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute

From this author

Recommendations