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Ukraine Bans Russian War Films Over Propaganda Fears

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed into law legislation that bans the public showings of movies considered to be Russian propaganda, Ukraine's parliamentary website said Thursday.

The move is part of a battle for popular support between Moscow and Kiev as Ukraine fights against Russian-backed separatists in the country's east.

The ban affects films made after the end of the Soviet Union in 1991 that "popularize state organizations occupying [Ukraine] and popularize the values of a criminal underclass," the law's introductory text states.  

While the law banning films celebrating "occupiers" does not refer to any one country, the legislation's introductory text specifically targets Russia, which annexed Ukraine's Crimea region last year.

 "Ukraine has suffered for years from the Russian Federation's crushing aggression in the information sphere," the text says.

"With time this has meant that a sizable part of Ukraine's citizens have stopped considering themselves as members of Ukrainian society and relate negatively to everything tied to Ukraine, her culture, and her society."  

Ukraine has already banned several Russian films this year, including the 2000 classic "Brat 2" for scenes in which its Russian gangster antihero uses anti-Ukrainian slang words while battling Ukrainian gangsters.  

In August, Ukraine banned 14 Russian media channels, including RT and LifeNews, for promoting war propaganda. RT and LifeNews, among other Russian media, frequently represent the government in Kiev as a fascist "junta" and celebrate the achievements of eastern Ukrainian separatists.  

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