Ukraine's two laws against Russian music and books

The Verkhovna Rada has agreed Two laws impose severe restrictions on the distribution and reproduction of Russian music and books in the country, in an attempt to break the remaining cultural ties between Ukraine and Russia. The law prohibits the printing of books for authors who retained Russian citizenship after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, unless they gave up their passports and acquired Ukrainian citizenship; The other prohibits the reproduction of music by Russian artists – back in the post-Soviet era – on Ukrainian media and public transport, simultaneously increasing Ukrainian-speaking programs and music on radio and television.

The Books Act also prohibits the import of Russian books printed in Russia, Belarus or the Ukrainian territories occupied by Russia. The two laws must be signed off by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for their entry into force: but it appears to be a formality, given the broad and cross-sectoral support he has received from Parliament.

Ukrainian Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko said he was satisfied with the new restrictions: “These laws are designed to help Ukrainian authors share high-quality content with the widest possible audience, which failed after the Russian invasion of a producer.” Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Oleg Kondratyuk, ha written On Facebook that “From January 1, 2023, books will be published and distributed only in the Ukrainian state language, in the languages ​​of the indigenous peoples of Ukraine and the official languages ​​of the European Union.”

The laws passed by parliament are the latest example of a process that until recently in Ukraine was called “de-communism” and is now often called explicitly “de-characterization”. In 2019, a law was passed obligating civil servants to know the Ukrainian language (Russian is also spoken in Ukraine, and in some regions Russian is the first language); And in the past few weeks, after the invasion began, several Ukrainian localities decided to change their names to remove any reference to their relations with Russia.

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