Two bills were passed banning – conditionally – the publication of books by Russian authors, as well as the music of Russian composers in the media and public transport.
Ukraine’s parliament has passed two bills imposing restrictions on Russian books and music as Kyiv seeks to sever remaining cultural ties with Moscow.
A law prohibits the publication of books by Russian authors unless they obtain Ukrainian citizenship. The ban applies only to those who had Russian citizenship after the collapse of the USSR in 1991. The importation, for commercial purposes, of books printed in Russia, Belarus and the occupied Ukrainian territories will also be banned. Special permission will be required for Russian books published in other countries.
Another law bans the music of Russian composers (those who had citizenship after 1991) in the media and on public transport. The percentage of works in Ukrainian language and Ukrainian music that will be shown on television and radio, respectively, is increasing.
The two laws will have to be ratified by President Volodymyr Zelensky and there is no indication that he will refuse to approve them. Both passed by a large majority, as they were even voted in by MPs who were previously considered “pro-Russian” by most Ukrainian media.
Culture Minister Alexander Tkachenko welcomed the new restrictions.
The new laws are the latest chapter in Ukraine’s long journey to shake off Moscow’s legacy of centuries of rule. Kyiv says this process – formerly called “de-communistization” but now often referred to as “de-Russification” – is necessary to overthrow policies aimed at undermining Ukrainian identity. Russia has denied the allegations in a statement issued Friday stating “Similar, baseless allegations concerning Russia’s foreign policy have been made more than once.