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Poroshenko Signs Legislation Banning Communist, Nazi Propaganda

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko

President Petro Poroshenko has signed into law legislation banning Soviet symbols and communist-era propaganda in Ukraine.

Poroshenko's office made the announcement on May 15.

Under the legislation, the communist government that ruled between 1917 and 1991 is condemned as a criminal regime.

Its symbols and propaganda are banned -- a measure that would require the demolition of monuments to Bolshevik Revolution leader Vladimir Lenin and other Soviet-era icons that remain.

The legislation applies the same treatment to the Nazi regime, which occupied and controlled much of Ukraine during World War II.

The measures drew strong Russian criticism when they were approved by parliament in April.

They are part of a shift away Soviet imagery, which Kyiv says the Kremlin is using to influence neighbors and promote self-serving myths about World War II amid the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine is deeply at odds with Russia over its annexation of Crimea and support for separatists in a conflict that has killed more than 6,000 people.

Based on reporting by TASS, Interfax, and AFP