Ukraine tries to restrict Russian culture by banning certain books and music

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Ukraine’s parliament decided on Sunday to further rid its country of Russian culture and influence, in a process some dubbed “derussification”, by voting to pass a law that restricts certain Russian books and music in the country.

The law prohibits the printing of books by Russian citizens. There is an exception, however, if the Russian citizen is willing to give up their Russian passport and become a Ukrainian citizen, their books can still be printed. The ban also only applies to authors who held Russian citizenship after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

A firefighter struggles to put out a blaze after a Russian airstrike hit the House of Culture, which was used to distribute aid, in Derhachi, Ukraine on May 13.
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A firefighter struggles to put out a blaze after a Russian airstrike hit the House of Culture, which was used to distribute aid, in Derhachi, Ukraine on May 13.
(Reuters/Ricardo Moraes)

The law also prohibits the import of books into Ukraine. From now on, books printed in Russia and Belarus can no longer be imported, and special permission is required for importing books in Russian from any other country.

Ukraine’s parliament didn’t stop at books alone – the parliament also passed a law that bars any music of post-1991 Russian citizens from being played by the media and on public transport. The law also requires television and radio stations to broadcast more voice and music content in Ukrainian.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin.
(Alexander Demyanchuk, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

“The laws are designed to help Ukrainian authors share quality content with the widest possible audience, which after the Russian invasion does not accept any physical Russian creative products,” said Ukraine’s Minister of Culture, Oleksandr Tkachenko.

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In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office on Saturday, June 18, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends a meeting with military officials as he visits the war-stricken Mykolaiv region.

In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office on Saturday, June 18, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends a meeting with military officials as he visits the war-stricken Mykolaiv region.
(AP)

Ukraine says the laws are needed to combat Russian efforts to erase Ukrainian culture, while Russia says such measures oppress Russian speakers in Ukraine.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to sign the laws.

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