Ukraine passes laws to ban Russian books and music

Ukraine passes laws to ban Russian books and music

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One of the laws prohibits the printing of books signed by Russian citizens, unless they renounce their Russian passport and adopt Ukrainian citizenship.

The great classics of Tolstoy or Dostoevsky, for example, escape censorship, because it only applies to authors who have kept Russian citizenship after the breakup of the USSR in 1991.

This law also bans the import of books printed in Russia, Belarus – a close ally of Moscow – and the occupied Ukrainian territories. It also places significant restrictions on the import of Russian-language books, regardless of where they come from.

Another law targets Russian music, and prohibits the distribution in the media and in public places – schools, public transport, hotels, restaurants or cinemas – of musical works signed by Russian citizens after 1991. also an increase in quotas for Ukrainian-language music and programming on television and radio.

These laws will need to be signed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky before coming into force. The latter did not indicate that he would oppose it.

The derussification

These new rules are part of a long process of derussification in a country ruled by St. Petersburg or Moscow for hundreds of years.

The Ukrainian government maintains that this process is necessary to reverse centuries of attempts to eradicate Ukrainian identity.

Moscow argues for its part that these measures oppress the many speakers of the Russian language in their daily lives, and affirms that it wants to protect their rights by carrying out its special military operation in Ukraine.

The derussification has grown in intensity since Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014, but has seen unprecedented vigor since the all-out Russian attack that began last February.

In kyiv, hundreds of places have been or are to be renamed to erase any link with Russia, and a Soviet monument celebrating the brotherhood between the Russian and Ukrainian peoples has been demolished.

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