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Tuesday 25.07.2017 | Name days: Jēkabs, Žaklīna
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Books blacklisted in Ukraine are being freely sold in Latvia

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULatvian book store Polaris, which specializes in books written in Russian, sells books banned in Ukraine. Ukraine added nearly 40 books to its blacklist – for popularizing hate and separatism. More than half of these book are available in Latvia, as reported by Panorāma programme of LTV.

These books often state that Ukraine has been a pro-Nazi country for a long time, and that it has never been able to maintain its independence. Many of those books mention discrimination of Russian-speakers, praise the annexation of Crimea and discuss all kinds of conspiracies. According to the programme, Polaris does not provide books with alternative opinions or alternative approach to the aforementioned subjects.

Many Russian authors whose books are found in the aforementioned bookstore are tied to Russian budget funding. There is also Eduard Limonov’s work ‘Kyiv kaput’.

Pavel Danilin had previously worked in United Russia and the administration of the Russian president. Another author – Dushenov – had spent multiple years in prison for inciting hatred.

Russian politologist Dmitry Oreshkin notes that pseudo-historic books are in favour in Russia. However, those available in Latvia are of low quality: «There are internet trolls working in Russia. Their objective is to ‘toss around dirt’ in Russia’s information space. Here we see paper-trolls and a clear sign of disorientation campaign. It doesn’t matter how ridiculous the things they write appear to people. What is important is that the truth drowns in all the lies. And I don’t believe these people are not driven by altruism.»

The management of Polaris had previously announced that it does not sell literature that appears unacceptable, such as anti-religious texts. Multiple years ago Polaris refused to sell writer Vladlen Dozortsev’s book. Dozotsev had previously said the reason for Polaris’ refusal was the ‘anti-Russian’ subtext in his writing. Polaris Director Yelena Vistrova does not agree with alleged claims that the store has some sort of censure when it comes to events in Ukraine. «I am not in charge of the assortment of books we provide. I only know book publishers by their names. I am not engaged in procurements of books personally, so I don’t know the ins and outs of the process…» – said Bistrova to the programme.

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