Police jail the head of Moscow's Library of Ukrainian Literature for stocking books that ‘distort’ history
After being interrogated earlier today by federal investigators, the director of Moscow's Library of Ukrainian Literature, Natalia Sharina, has been formally detained by police, according sources at the news agency TASS.
"She is currently being detained for the next 48 hours. A court will determine the issue of her arrest," sources in the police told TASS.
Police raided the Library of Ukrainian Literature on Wednesday, October 28. According to the news agency Moskva, the authorities were looking for "copies of a newspaper that allegedly distorts historical facts, giving the publication a 'Russophobic' character."
According to Echo of Moscow, police are likely targeting the Ukrainian political publication Chas Rukhu ("Time of Movement"). According to REN-TV, quoting a source in the police, the raids are connected to a criminal case that was suspended in 2011.
Early on Wednesday morning, investigators also raided the private home of Valery Semenenko, the co-chairman of the Association of Ukrainians in Russia. After the search, he was briefly detained and questioned by police, before being released, his daughter told Mediazona.
This is not the first time the authorities have searched Moscow's Library of Ukrainian Literature. On December 21, 2010, police raided it on the suspicion that it was distributing anti-Russian books. Linguists even examined several of the publications found at the library, confirming that some materials propagated anti-Russian views. The library's director, Natalia Sharina, said police simply confiscated anything containing the word "nationalism."
Three days later, on December 24, police returned to the library and seized its computer hard drives and library cards (obtaining the list of everyone registered at the facility). The library was closed and sealed until January 8, 2011, when Russian officials announced no further plans to interfere with its work.