Skip To Content
BuzzFeed News Home Reporting To You

Utilizamos cookies, próprios e de terceiros, que o reconhecem e identificam como um usuário único, para garantir a melhor experiência de navegação, personalizar conteúdo e anúncios, e melhorar o desempenho do nosso site e serviços. Esses Cookies nos permitem coletar alguns dados pessoais sobre você, como sua ID exclusiva atribuída ao seu dispositivo, endereço de IP, tipo de dispositivo e navegador, conteúdos visualizados ou outras ações realizadas usando nossos serviços, país e idioma selecionados, entre outros. Para saber mais sobre nossa política de cookies, acesse link.

Caso não concorde com o uso cookies dessa forma, você deverá ajustar as configurações de seu navegador ou deixar de acessar o nosso site e serviços. Ao continuar com a navegação em nosso site, você aceita o uso de cookies.

Burning Books Is Apparently Now A Thing In Russia

Authorities in Komi burned dozens of textbooks because they were "alien to Russian ideology."

Posted on January 14, 2016, at 7:22 p.m. ET

Alexander Nemenov / AFP / Getty Images

Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky

Russia's culture ministry is scrambling to distance itself from local authorities in a northwestern republic who have burned a set of books whose publication was funded by a Western philanthropist.

Last month, authorities in the republic of Komi burned 53 textbooks housed at the Vorkuta Mining and Economic College because they were full of ideas "alien to Russian ideology," local website 7 x 7 reported. Among them were textbooks on logic, French surrealism, and criminology.

All the books destroyed were published as part of the Soros Foundation's "Renewal of Humanitarian Education" project inside Russia. According to a letter from the local ministry of education, another 400-odd books were ready to be destroyed via shredder.

Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky was quick to rebuke the local authorities for their actions. Burning books is “completely unacceptable,” he told local news outlet Meduza because it “looks terrible and provokes strange historical associations.” Several groups associated with Soros, whose founder George Soros has been highly critical of the Kremlin, have been labeled as "undesirable" by the Russian government.

"It’s significant that the Russian culture minister has condemned the book burning in Komi as 'completely unacceptable,'" said Leonard Benardo, Regional Director for Eurasia, at Soros's Open Society Foundations. "But that this was possible in the first place underlines the closing of intellectual freedom in Russia today – a trend that urgently needs to be reversed," he told BuzzFeed News by email.

The books that were destroyed weren't exactly flying off the shelves, according to Yeleva Vasilyeva, director of the library where the books were confiscated. "These books were brought here a very long time ago," she told 7 x 7. "I've been working here 11 years and the books were brought before I arrived. Nobody ever borrowed them, they were actually kept in a storeroom."

ADVERTISEMENT