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Moscow authorities looking for patrons of Ukrainian library

Moscow authorities looking for patrons of Ukrainian library
Article by: Yulia Polikovska
Translated by: Anna Mostovych

Russian investigators have requested personal data on three patron who had checked out books in the Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow in 1998, 2008, and 2010, Ukrinform reported, April 12, 2016

The investigator leading the case against the Director of the Library of Ukrainian Literature Natalia Sharina has asked library employees to provide personal data on three patrons who had checked out several books by Yevhen Hutsalo: The Mentality of Hordes (May 15, 2008), Ukraine or Death (July 10, 1998,) Famine in Ukraine ( February 1, 2010).

It is not clear why Russian investigators are looking for readers who had checked out these books 8, 18, and 6 years ago, since the current criminal case is based on episodes from 2011 to 2015.

sharinaAs reported earlier, the library’s director, Natalia Sharina, was arrested on October 28, 2015, after searches at the library. A case was opened against her according to article 282 of the Criminal Code (incitement to ethnic hatred and antagonism and denigration of human dignity).

According to the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, the reason for the legal action was the “distribution of banned extremist materials,” including books by Dmytro Korchynskyi. In addition, books about Stepan Bandera were seized during raids in the library as well as the magazine Barvinok (Periwinkle), which had an image of a red and black flag.

On October 30, 2015, Moscow’s Tagansk District Court placed Sharina under house arrest.

On April 5, 2016, Sharina was charged with embezzlement. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Moscow authorities to prepare proposals for the preservation and use of the library’s funds. According to unofficial sources, there are plans to “reorganize” the library and to house a multimedia center on Eastern Slavic peoples in the current facility.

Translated by: Anna Mostovych
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