Support The Moscow Times!

Director of Ukrainian Library in Moscow Handed 4-Year Suspended Sentence

Natalya Sharina Valery Sharifulin / TASS

Natalya Sharina, former director of Moscow's State Library of Ukrainian Literature, was handed down a four- year suspended sentence on Monday for distributing extremist materials and embezzlement.

Sharina was arrested Oct. 28, 2015, on grounds of “inciting ethnic hatred and humiliating human dignity.” During a search of the library, police reportedly discovered "extremist' literature.

Two days later, Sharina was released from jail and placed under house arrest.

The crackdown on the library and its director came as Russian-Ukrainian relations reached a low, leading to speculation the raid was politically motivated. Authorities later shuttered the library.

Police added charges of embezzlement to Sharina's case in April this year. According to investigators, the former director spent 3.5 million rubles ($55,000) of the library's funds to pay her legal fees.

Commenting on the sentence, Sharina's said “it doesn't reflect reality” and that she was “shaken to the core by this whole situation,” the RBC news website reported.

Earlier this year her defense team filed a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights, claiming that the books implicating Sharina could have been planted in the library during the search.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more