Ukraine votes to restrict Russian books, music

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Ukraine is closing the book on scores of Russian authors and turning a deaf ear to its foe’s music, too.

The Ukrainian parliament Sunday approved a law that stops the printing of books by Russian citizens unless they give up their Russian passport and become Ukraine citizens. The ban only applies to those authors who held Russian citizenship after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.

Books printed in Russia, its ally Belarus and occupied Ukrainian territory also can no longer be imported, and special permission is required for the importation of books in Russian from any other countries.

Another law passed Sunday puts the brakes on music by post-1991 Russian citizens played by media outlets and on public transportation. It also forces television and radio broadcasts to play more Ukrainian-language speech and music content.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to sign laws that would place limits on Russian books and music in Ukraine.
Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS

“The laws are designed to help Ukrainian authors share quality content with the widest possible audience, which after the Russian invasion do not accept any Russian creative product on a physical level,” Ukraine Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko said.

The laws will go into effect once Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signs them as expected.

The new mandates are the latest push by Ukraine to rid itself of Russia’s influence over the country in a process dubbed “derussification.”

One of the laws would ban books from Russia, Belarus or occupied Ukrainian territory from being imported.
One of the laws would ban books from Russia, Belarus or occupied Ukrainian territory from being imported.
REUTERS/Stringer

Ukraine argues that the moves are necessary to undo centuries of Russian policies meant to erase Ukraine culture, while Russia has said such measures only oppress the large number of Russian speakers in Ukraine.

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