Unpredictability — both oppressively real and imagined — dominates the pages of War Diary ... By including a photograph of ordinary city scenes with each entry, Belorusets achieves a profound kind of juxtaposition, one that overlays the ordinary with the extraordinary realities of war ... Her entries, written in the cloaked darkness of her apartment, convey not only the mood of a besieged city but also the spirit of its undeterred inhabitants.
Humanizing details pile up ... This book’s self-consciousness, as an art project, saps some of its immediacy. Belorusets’s prose, in this translation by Greg Nissan, lacks depth and grain ... It’s interesting to witness the way Belorusets thinks about the enemy. She despises what’s happening to her country, and she deplores some Russian soldiers who are drunks and louts. But she’s aware that so many of them have been lied to about what they’re doing in Ukraine. She considers compassion and its limits.