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    Kiev's Russian Books Ban: Crackdown on Propaganda or on Freedom of Speech?

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    Ukraine’s state fiscal authority has issued a ban on 38 books by Russian authors, prohibiting their import in to Ukrainian territory.

    Reporters Without Borders, a France-based non-profit organization which defends the freedom information, criticized the ban which it described as “a move aimed at curtailing the freedom of information and expression.”

    The list of banned books includes works by conservative Russian publicist Alexander Dugin, radical political dissident Eduard Limonov, popular radio journalist Sergei Dorenko and several others.

    Goskomteleradio, the State Committee of Television and Radio of Ukraine, earlier warned that the list of banned Russian books is likely to be expanded, saying that it would cite Article 28 of Ukraine's Publishing Act, which prohibits the distribution of published works which can be used to threaten Ukraine's independence, change the constitutional order by force, or violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state.

    The agency launched its initiative early last month, referring to the country's State Fiscal Service with a request to include Russian books in the list of goods prohibited from import onto Ukrainian territory from Russia.

    The latest ban on Russian media is part of a growing trend. Over the past year, Ukraine has created and diligently expanded its list of banned Russian media, prohibiting nearly 400 Russian films and television series, issuing a blacklist for Russian artists said to be 'threatening Ukraine's national security', and banning the broadcast of over a dozen Russian television channels on Ukrainian territory for their alleged contravention of Ukrainian legislation.

    With the prevalence of internet and satellite television technology, experts doubt the practical effectiveness of Kiev's initiatives.

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    Tags:
    ban, books, Reporters Without Borders, State Committee of Television and Radio of Ukraine, State Fiscal Service, Eduard Limonov, Alexander Dugin, Ukraine, Russia
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