I Love Russia

I Love Russia

Reporting from a Lost Country


To be a journalist is to tell the truth.

I Love Russia is Elena Kostyuchenko's fearless attempt to document Russia as experienced by those whom it systematically and brutally erases: village girls recruited into sex work, queer people in the outer provinces, patients and doc­tors at a Ukrainian maternity ward, and reporters like herself. It takes us to places that non-Russians have never seen and brings us voices we have never heard.

At once uncompromising and deeply humane, it stitches reportage and personal essays into a kaleidoscopic, often other-worldly journey. Here is Russia as it is, not as we imagine it.

I Love Russia may be the last work from her homeland Kostyuchenko will publish for a long time - perhaps ever. She writes driven by the conviction that the greatest form of love and patriotism is criticism. And because the threat of Putin's Russia extends beyond herself, beyond Crimea, and beyond Ukraine.

This is a singular portrait of a nation, and of a woman who refuses to be silenced.


  • Brilliant and immersive ... reportage at its brave and luminous best
    Luke Harding, Observer

About the author

Elena Kostyuchenko

ELENA KOSTYUCHENKO was born in Yaroslavl, Russia, in 1987. She began working as a jour­nalist when she was fourteen and spent seventeen years reporting for Novaya Gazeta, Russia's last major indepen­dent newspaper.

In March 2022 she crossed into Ukraine to cover the horrors committed in Russia's name; Novaya Gazeta was shut down in the spring of 2022 in response to her reporting. Returning home now would likely mean prosecution and up to fifteen years in prison.

She is also the author of two books published in Russian, Unwanted on Probation and We Have to Live Here, and is the recipient of the European Press Prize, the Free Media Award, and the Paul Klebnikov Prize.
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