The Ukrainian parliament moved Sunday to further rid its country of Russian culture and influence, in a process referred to by some as “derussification,” by voting to pass a law that restricts certain Russian books and music in the country.
The law stops 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 Ukraine citizen, then their books can still be printed. The ban also only applies to authors who held Russian citizenship after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.
The law also restricts books from being imported into Ukraine. Now, books printed in Russia and Belarus can no longer be imported, and special permission is required for the importation of books in Russian from any other countries.
The Ukrainian parliament did not stop at just books – the parliament also passed a law that stops all music by post-1991 Russian citizens from being played by media outlets and on public transportation. The law also requires TV and radio stations to play more Ukrainian-language speech and music content.
“The laws are designed to help Ukrainian authors share quality content with the widest possible audience, which after the Russian invasion do not accept any Russian creative product on a physical level,” Ukraine Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko said.
Ukraine says the laws are necessary to combat Russia’s efforts to erase Ukraine culture, while Russia says such measures oppress Russian speakers in Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to sign the laws.