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Director of Moscow's Ukrainian Library Charged With Embezzlement

Books by Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko are displayed at the Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow. Maxim Shemetov / Reuters

Director of the Moscow State Library of Ukrainian Literature Natalya Sharina has been charged with embezzlement, the Interfax news agency reported Tuesday.

“Today Sharina has officially been charged under Section 4, Article 160 of the Criminal Code [embezzlement]”, her lawyer Ivan Pavlov said Tuesday.

The investigation has accused Sharina of using library funds to pay her legal fees, according to Pavlov.

On Oct. 28, 2015, the library was searched and Sharina was arrested on the grounds of “inciting ethnic hatred and humiliating human dignity.” Authorities searched the library and found materials that they deemed extremist.

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

Following last year's crackdown, the library has officially been deemed extremist and shut down.

President Vladimir Putin promised to personally look into the case against Sharina while speaking at the Presidential Council for Culture and Art in December 2015.

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