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Thu Oct 29, 2015, 05:43 PM

Russia raids Ukrainian library in Moscow, arrests head

Armed, masked police raided a Moscow library specializing in Ukrainian literature, arresting its director before dawn on Thursday and carting off books that the authorities called illegal anti-Russian propaganda.

Russia's Investigative Committee said it had opened a criminal case against Natalya Sharina, the director of Moscow's Library of Ukrainian Literature, to determine whether she was guilty of inciting ethnic hatred and "denigrating human dignity".

Investigators had confiscated "anti-Russian propaganda", including "extremist" writings by Dmytro Korchinskiy, a Ukrainian nationalist author banned in Russia, the committee said. If convicted, Sharina could face up to four years in prison.

Kiev, which accuses Moscow of waging war on its territory on behalf of pro-Russian separatists in a conflict that has killed thousands of people, said the raid showed that the Kremlin had effectively outlawed expressing Ukrainian identity.

"This is another insolent act from the Kremlin aimed at intimidating the ethnic Ukrainian minority in Russia and launching a new round of repression against people linked to the Ukrainian language and culture," Ukraine's Culture Ministry said in a statement.


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