No, this isn’t Fahrenheit 451. This is modern-day Russia.
Police are looking for visitors – as far as 18 years ago – of a Ukrainian library in Moscow. This comes in a crackdown of supposed anti-Russian sentiment, with Ukrainian sympathy being seen as falling well in that category.
They have demanded the officials of the Moscow Library of Ukrainian Literature release personal information such as home address of several individuals who have visited and checked out books on Ukrainian history and, specifically, the Holodomor, a man-made famine under the Soviet Union that killed up to 8 million people. They specifically ask, as seen below, for information on the following people:
- Ментальність орди (Horde Mentality), taken out on May 15, 2008
- Україна або смерть (Ukraine or Death), taken out July 10, 1998
- Голос в Украіні (The Voice in Ukraine), taken out February 1, 2010
This is not the first time the library has been investigated by the police or the government. The director of the library, Natalia Sharina, was arrested in late October, 2015, on account that some of the material may “incite hatred” and were “extremist” against the Russian people. If convicted, she could face up to five years in prison, a charge and penalty that Human Rights Watch have said are “not only an assault on personal liberty, but on every person who cares about ideas and learning and education.”