In the midst of the Ukraine-Russia War, Ukraine has officially banned Russian-created music released after 1991 in an attempt to “derussify” the country and separate itself from the attacking nation. The bill was passed on June 19th and by removing Russian-language music in public spaces, the percentage of Ukrainian music was subsequently increased, boosting the overall focus on Ukrainian culture that is separated from Russian influence.
Russian is the primary language of many living in the south and east Ukraine, leading to the government’s decision to increasingly weed out Russian influences within their country in order to further disassociate themselves. This ban also hopes to reduce Russian propaganda within Ukraine and also increase a sense of patriotism, focusing only on Ukrainian culture that is distinct from its neighboring country.
The banning of Russian-produced music was limited to that released after 1991 since that was the year that Ukraine declared independence. Therefore, deceased musicians who have no association with the current Ukraine-Russia conflict will not be banned, such as the composer of “Swan Lake” and “The Nutcracker,” Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. In addition, Russian artists who have publicly condemned Russia’s role in the war are eligible to request an exemption from the ban by submitting a written statement that they support Ukraine and urge Russia to cease the continuation of this war.
The “derussification” of Ukraine, previously called “decommunization,” began over 8 years ago after Russia’s invasion of Crimea, formerly part of Ukraine, and now part of the Russian Federation following the 2014 annexation. The country of Russia under the power of Vladimir Putin has continued to undermine Ukrainian identity through decades of attempts to seize control of the country. In banning Russian music throughout Ukraine, the success of “derussification” continues as Ukrainian morale is boosted, as much as it can be, and their culture as an independent nation is preserved.