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Ukraine bans dozens of ‘fascist’ Russian books

Making Notes from Book ca. 2000
Making Notes from Book ca. 2000

Kiev: Kiev’s public relations war with Moscow scaled new heights today with Ukraine releasing a list of Russian reporters and authors whose books will be banned for sale.

Ukraine’s tax and budget service said 38 works by such Russian media celebrities such as Sergei Dorenko and award winning author Eduard Limonov were targeted under the ban.

The original request to seize the works was made in July by the state media committee — the organisation that had earlier forbidden the broadcast of Russian movies and TV series that allegedly misrepresented or disparaged Ukrainian history.

The media watchdog accused the listed Russians of “promoting fascism” and “humiliating and insulating a nation and its people”.

The authors were also accused of “promoting war, racial and religious strife… And threatening the territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

A spokeswoman for the Ukrainian tax and customs service told AFP on Wednesday that the new regulation was immediately affective.

Most of the people listed have appeared on Russian television throughout the course of Ukraine’s separatist crisis to defend Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014.

Some of them have also branded as “neo-Nazis” the pro-Western leaders who emerged in the wake of the February 2014 ouster in Kiev of a Moscow-backed president.

The subsequent pro-Kremlin uprising that broke out in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking east has claimed the lives of more than 6,800 people and sunk Moscow’s relations with the West to a post-Cold War low.

But it has also created furious battles in Ukraine and Russia for the hearts and minds of both local and global audiences.

The propaganda campaigns have been accompanied by state-sponsored censorship and crackdowns on independent artists in both countries.

Ukraine has forbidden several Russian singers from performing in Kiev-controlled towns and cities.

Performances by popular Ukrainian rock groups have also been cancelled in some Russian venues without a formal explanation.