Russian book ban in Ukraine

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On December 30, 2016, President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine signed into law a decree that restricts import of books into Ukraine from Russia.[1]

According to the law, a person can bring at most 10 Russian books without a permit. Unauthorized distribution of books from Russia is under a penalty.[1]

This is an element of the ongoing military conflict between Ukraine and Russia.[2]

The law was considered in the Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian parliament) since September 2016 [3] and followed in spirit the 2015 ban of 38 books from Russia with the purpose of "safeguarding Ukrainian citizens against the use of information warfare and disinformation methods, against the spread of hate ideology, fascism, xenophobia and separatism". Among banned were books by Russian nationalists Alexander Dugin, Eduard Limonov and Sergei Glazyev.[4]

Russian books accounted for some 60% of the market, and the bookselling experts predicted a considerable disruption of the business, book shortages, as well as the growth of the book black market.[5]

The State Committee for Television and Radio-broadcasting, whose duties include enforcing the information policy in Ukraine, is set in charge of book permits and is to issue bans on books deemed inappropriate which come "from territory of the aggressor state and from the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine". Types of printed matter which require permits include books, brochures, children's books including coloring books, as well as maps, atlases, globes, etc. Each permit is to be entered into the special state register and is valid for at most 5 years. Bans are based on evaluations by a council of experts and may be contested.[6]

For example, in August 2017 the Committee banned two novels of Boris Akunin and memoirs of Vladimir Vysotsky. [7] In December 2018 it banned a number of children books from Russia about Russian epic bogatyrs, as well as some memoirs and historical books.[8]

The committee also maintains a list of Ukrainophobic, racist, terrorist, etc. books for importers not to seek permit (202 items in the September 26, 2018 list). [9]

In September 2018 Lviv Regional Council banned public use of Russian-language books, films and songs in the region until Russia's withdrawal from Ukraine.[10][11]


  1. ^ a b "Президент обмежив доступ на український ринок книжок з Росії – новини на УНН | 30 грудня 2016, 14:03". Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  2. ^ "Ukraine publishers speak out against ban on Russian books | Books". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  3. ^ "Ukraine prepares to ban 'anti-Ukrainian' Russian books | Books". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  4. ^ "Ukraine bans 38 Russian 'hate' books amid culture war". BBC News. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  5. ^ "Ukraine Enacts a Winter Ban on Book Imports From Russia". Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  6. ^ "Постанова : Деякі питання видачі (відмови у видачі, анулювання) дозволу на ввезення видавничої продукції, що має походження або виготовлена та/або ввозиться з території держави-агресора, тимчасово окупованої території України". Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  7. ^ "НАКАЗ 10.08.2017 N 206"
  8. ^ "В Україну заборонили ввозити російські казки про богатирів"
  9. ^ "Перелік книжкових видань, зміст яких спрямований на ліквідацію незалежності України, пропаганду насильства, розпалювання міжетнічної, расової, релігійної ворожнечі, вчинення терористичних актів, посягання на права і свободи людини"
  10. ^ "Region in Ukraine's west bans Russian-language books, movies". Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  11. ^ "A Ban on Russian Books. The largest city in Western Ukraine votes to ban Russian-language cultural products". Tablet Magazine. Retrieved 2018-12-27.