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Representatives of "cultural" segment of social networks are surprised: "How does the magic touch of Emir Kusturica threaten Ukraine's national security?" Aksinya Kurina, a journalist and public figure, known for her consistent struggle against censorship, insists that ignorance threatens this security more than those figures from the "black lists." This is the reaction to the list (published September 22) of cultural figures that are forbidden to cross the Ukrainian border.
To the well-known names, among which are Russian actors Sergei Bezrukov and Mikhail Boyarsky and the director of Ukrainian descent, public communist Vladimir Bortko, Ukraine has added the above-mentioned Bosnian director Emir Kusturica (who until recently had hieratic status in Ukraine), American actor Steven Seagal, writer and actor Yevgeni Grishkovetz. Ukrainian culture fans actually do not care about Seagal do not care, while situation with Kusturica and Grishkovetz is different: part of Facebook intellectual community fanatically defend them.
Mrs. Kurina claims violation of Article 15 of the Constitution of Ukraine. Indeed, it clearly states: no ideology can be dominant in Ukraine, censorship is prohibited, and people have the right to publicly defend political views and be engaged in any activity not prohibited by Ukrainian laws. But fighters with censorship are spinning the facts. Because they were annoyed by the dismantling of Lenin monuments, which began on December 8, 2013 (demolition of "the main Lenin" in Kyiv). They were also not satisfied with the ban on the Communist Party and everything connected with it. Madame Kurina and her adherents seem to be extremely active in fixing the manifestations of "fascism." Although there is no difference between the communist and the Nazi regimes.
Those who criticize the practice of "black lists" and call it Soviet and totalitarian would be right if we did not have war now. The war, which lasts for four years. The Russian Federation has started this war. And everyone who supports the aggressor shares his views. Accordingly, supporting the annexation of Crimea, director Kusturica created a threat to the national security of our state. So, unlike the odious Russian writer Zakhar Prilepin, this respected world artist did not join the ranks of “militia” of Donetsk People’s Republic. However, Kusturica, Grishkovetz, Bezrukov, Rozenbaum and other defendants of the "black list" are hundred times more dangerous than mercenary troops and even regular Russian army. And I will tell you why.
Not a single terrorist armed with a grenade launcher is a leader of public opinions. He does not form an agenda. The gunman is only able to scare when aiming at unarmed hostages. However, when the bandit is far away - he does not seem terrible. Nevertheless, cultural figures have influence and weight. Unfortunately, the story is not about the situation inside of Ukraine, and the anger of the fighters against censorship confirms this. We are looking for moral, cultural and spiritual authorities ourselves outside of our country. And we value former merits, abstract talents, without synchronizing it with the time, the context of the ideological conflict between Ukraine, Russia, and everything that is pro-Russian.
And if a politician like Russian MP Zhirinovsky or Italian Berlusconi supports the annexation of Crimea and the war in Donbas, some of the "advanced" Ukrainians are outraged by this fact. And when this position is taken by Kusturica or Grishkovetz, everyone ignores these circumstances. Although I repeat: both in the civilized world, and in the Russian Federation, culture (not politics) is forming the general meanings. In this case, figures from "black list" formulate the wrong and unacceptable meanings for Ukraine. And if you do not understand this, this is the peak of ignorance, in which opponents of existing prohibitions accuse those who create lists and impose bans.
Finally, life in the Russian and pro-Russian cultural context is now barbaric...
Critics claim that censorship and violation of freedom of thought is carried on, either by government itself or by paramilitary groups, under the banner of 'combatting Russian propaganda'. Recall, country’s war against Russian propaganda is in full swing; this year Ukraine has enacted a ban on book imports from Russia. Ukraine also regularly updates Myrotvorets, Ukrainian website that purports to reveal personal information of people who are considered to be "enemies of Ukraine" (a few thousands of Ukrainian and worldwide workers of the mass media were put in these lists – AFP, Al Jazeera, BBC, Reuters, France 24, Sky news, CNN, Xinhua, Associated Press, The Guardian and others). Different events, e.g. on leftist or feminist causes, are targetted by far-right assaults and direct violence. Most recently, ultranationalists threatened a book on LGBT families launch and tried to disrupt the presentation of collection of essays on past and present of the Left in Europe at Lviv Book Forum, the major book fair in Ukraine. Mr. Kokotyukha's article is a paradigmatic case of "patriotic intellectuals'" response to such criticism.