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Ukraine bans books promoting Russia


Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko   / AFP PHOTO / JONATHAN NACKSTRAND

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko / AFP PHOTO / JONATHAN NACKSTRAND

Ukraine Friday banned Russian books glorifying the Kremlin and its leaders or espousing what it views as “totalitarian views” in a move certain to further sour relations between the two foes.

The law adopted by President Petro Poroshenko “prohibits the promotion of aggressor states … or (books) that create a positive image of this aggressor state”, referring to Russia.

It also forbids literature that calls for state coups or promotes wars and racial hatred.

The legislation says a group of experts will decide which Russian books are acceptable or not.

Kiev accuses Russia of launching a 31-month war in its separatist east that has claimed nearly 10,000 lives in retaliation for Kiev’s February 2014 ouster of a Moscow-backed leader.

Russia denies this but Ukraine refuses to believe it and has since signed a landmark agreement with the European Union and hopes to one day join the NATO military bloc.

Poroshenko’s decision comes slightly more than a year after Ukraine’s tax and customs service banned 38 works by Russian media celebrities accused of holding anti-Ukrainian views.

Kiev accused the authors of “promoting fascism” and “humiliating and insulating a nation and its people”.

Friday’s measure appears to go further by covering all Russian literature deemed to be anti-Ukrainian in content.

There was no immediate response to the decision from Moscow.

Ukraine ranked 107th out of 180 countries on the Reports Without Borders censorship watchdog’s 2016 World Press Freedom index.

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  • AmounRah

    F@scism galore in Ukraine
    I love how they are banning books which are not trash-talking Russia, but do not ban books on satanism or something.

  • Ojiyovwi

    Typical action of a totalitarian regime. You have ethnic Russians in you country. Does the Ukrainian regime believe that those with Russian heritage cannot be allowed to remain Russians? Remember that for a crying child to stop its mother from going to sleep, the child will have to stay awake. This sort of behaviour will not endear Ukraine to European membership. This will be a desperate begging bowl for EU favours where everyone remain uncertain about the political climate. Anyhow, banning of books of any sort is totally against very well known European values. So, Ukraine must think again about how it can best promote an integrated society, which we all want to see ultimately.

  • Taras Petrenko

    Well, January 1 you will see marches of Ukrainian Neo-Nazi and “Nationalists”