Ukraine government bans books and films

The New Cold War | 12 Aug 2015

On August 5, the Ukrainian government published a list of 38 Russian language books it has banned from importation or sale in Ukraine.

Directive of books banned in Ukraine

The list was issued by the State Committee of Television and Radio Broadcasting. The books are deemed to be “anti-Ukrainian”.

The list of banned books includes those with words such as ‘Stepan Bandera’ and ‘Ukrainian Insurgent Army’ (UPA) appearing in their titles as well as books critically examing such topics as

the war in Donbas, the human rights situation in Ukraine and the Euromaidan movement of 2013-14.

The list was withdrawn from public viewing on the internet shortly after it was issued. A Google cached version can be viewed here.

The list of banned cultural items by the Ukrainian government is growing. Last week Ukraine blacklisted visits and the screening of films of 13 Russian singers and actors as well as French-born Gerard Depardieu, saying they supported Russia’s annexation of Crimea and pro-Russian separatists. Ukraine’s culture ministry denounced them as a “threat to national security”.

Earlier this year, the Ukrainian government banned all Russian films produced since the January 2014 coup in Kyiv as well as older films deemed to positively portray the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia. The measure was signed into law on April 2, 2015  by President Petro Poroshenko and bans the broadcast of movies and television programs deemed to “glorify” the government, military, law enforcement and “other punitive agencies of the aggressor state … that were made since August 1, 1991″.

Novorossiya Today reports on August 12:

Ukraine has banned a total of 376 Russian films and TV series over the past year, director of Ukraine’s State Cinema Agency Filipp Ilyenko said on Tuesday [Aug. 11].

“Since August 2014, the Agency has denied or cancelled distribution certificates for 376 Russian films and TV series,” he said, adding that the agency’s expert commission had analyzed a total of 553 Russian films and TV series over the past year.

“We scrutinize films and TV series to see whether they violate the law banning popularization of the aggressor state and Soviet-era security agencies or not,” he said.

Along with the ban on films, Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture has drawn a list of people of culture banned to enter the country for their actions that “pose a threat to national security.” IN addition, the Ukraine State Television and Radio Broadcasting Committee has issued a list of 38 books written by Russian authors to be banned in the country.

The ‘decommunization’ law approved by the Rada and signed by Poroshenko on May 16, 2015 bans the display of communist symbols dating from the former Soviet Ukraine and Soviet Union. The law will change the names of thousands of streets, public squares, monuments, statues and artwork commemorating the country’s Soviet history. It will also continue the process of dismantling historic monuments. Even prior to the adoption of the law, vigilante gangs have been destroying public monuments of VI Lenin and other leader of the Soviet era.

Those who sell or promote communist souvenirs or symbols face jail time, and political parties promoting communist ideas or using the name have been banned.

Read also:
Ukraine includes report on human rights violations on its list of banned Russian publications, by the International Information Group on Crimes Against the Person, Aug. 12, 2015

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