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Director of Moscow Library of Ukrainian Literature Facing Embezzlement Charges

A bust of Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko is displayed at the Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow, Russia.

Director of the Moscow Library of Ukrainian Literature Natalya Sharina is facing charges over two alleged cases of embezzlement, the Interfax news agency reported Thursday, citing her lawyer Ivan Pavlov.

If convicted, Sharina faces up to 10 years in prison.

"The investigation's position is obvious: when the main charge is falling apart, something else needs to be added promptly," Pavlov said, referring to last year's crackdown on the library, after which Sharina was detained and accused of inciting ethnic hatred and humiliating human dignity.

Sharina will plead innocent to the charges, according to Interfax.

Sharina's house arrest was prolonged by Moscow's Tagansky District Court in January and will expire on April 28, Interfax reported.

President Vladimir Putin promised to look into the case personally during his speech at the Presidential Council for Culture and Art held in December last year.

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