Readers of Ukrainian library face persecutions: Russian investigators hunt for Ukrainian book lovers

16:35 Apr. 28, 2016

Russian investigators hunt for Ukrainian book lovers

Close up of the hands of a college student holding open a tiny, bound book in the Special Collections department of a University library, 2016. Courtesy Eric Chen. (Getty Images)

Moscow-based Ukrainian library faces closure

Russian authorities have started to call in for questioning the readers of the Ukrainian literature library in Moscow, which will be closed in the near future.

Read also Visitors of Ukrainian library in Moscow wanted by police

'The other day, an elderly man – a user of the Ukrainian library - was summoned for questioning. Although, we do not know who he was' the UNIAN agency's source said.

The intention to close the Ukrainian library was announced during the Russia State Library for Foreign Literature meeting. Russian authorities plan to create the Ukrainian Centre on its base.

'The Ukrainian literature library's collection of books and other materials will be handed over to the Ukrainian Centre that is to be created on the base of the Russia State Library for Foreign Literature. In such a way, the authorities will get rid of Ukrainian library's employees and will clear the place from the Ukrainian books,' the source said.

Read also Director of Ukrainian library in Moscow faces new charges

It is not the first case when libraries dedicated to the literature of other countries are closed in Russia. As soon as the Russian-Turkish conflict began, the Russia State Library for Foreign Literature immediately clamped down on the Moscow-based Russian-Turkish Cultural Centre.

Russia began prosecuting the staff of the Ukrainian library in Moscow in October 2015. Police detained the library's director Natalia Sharina after searching her house. "Anti-Russian" documents were allegedly found there, among them were the texts dedicated to Stalin's 1930's Holodomor Famine in Ukraine. Sharina is accused of inciting extremism and ethnic hatred as well as embezzlement. If found guilty, she faces 10 years in prison.

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