Moscow libraries pull LGBT-themed and ‘foreign agent’ authored books
Moscow libraries are hiding books by authors who have been declared “foreign agents,” or who are critical of the war in Ukraine, as well as books that authorities might consider “LGBT propaganda.” Such books are being pulled from shelves, taken out of circulation, and are not available to order online, writes publication The Village, citing sources in four Moscow libraries.
According to the publication, all libraries in Moscow’s Central Administrative District received a list of writers whose books should not be available to order on the site mos.ru. Most likely, the books will be available to read only in library reading rooms.
“They dictated the names over the phone with embarrassment,” said The Village’s source. According to him the list includes Boris Akunin, Dmitry Glukhovsky, Dmitry Bykov, Andrey Makarevich, Ekaterina Shulman, and others.
“We were also told over the phone to pull from the shelves, at our discretion, books with, in our view, pictures showing LGBT propaganda,” the source added.
Two other libraries in the Central Administrative District started removing books by “foreign agent” authors and those touching on LGBT-related topics. One of the libraries also removed issues of the history magazine Diletant, which is published by Alexey Venediktov, the former editor-in-chief of the radio station Echo of Moscow.
One library in the city’s Southern Administrative District removed the works of 10 authors from public access. They now inform readers that those books are unavailable. The Village’s source said library leadership made the decision in anticipation of a coming inspection by the prosecutor’s office.
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In October, Boris Akunin reported that his name was taken off the bills at the Russian Academic Youth Theater, in Moscow, and the Alexandrinsky Theater, in St. Petersburg. Later, Moscow’s central House of Books bookstore banned prominent placements of books by Akunin and a variety of other authors, including some who have been declared “foreign agents.”
In late November, the State Duma passed a full ban on LGBT “propaganda,” pedophilia, and “sex changes” among people of all ages via media, the Internet, advertising, literature, and film. The Russian president has not yet signed the law.
On December 1, a new law on “foreign agents” took effect in Russia, which prohibits them from “the production of information” for minors. As the State Duma website states, printed material that comes under the new will be marked with an “18+” label, can be sold in stores only in opaque packaging, and will be prohibited in organizations for children.