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Russia Seeks Suspended Sentence For Ukrainian Library Director

Natalya Sharina attends a hearing at Moscow's Meshchansky district court on May 25.
Natalya Sharina attends a hearing at Moscow's Meshchansky district court on May 25.

Russian prosecutors are seeking a five-year suspended sentence for the former head of Moscow's Ukrainian Literature Library, who is accused of extremism and embezzlement in a case that has been denounced by rights activists.

Prosecutors made the request during a May 29 hearing at Moscow's Meshchansky District Court, where the trial of Natalya Sharina is in its final stages.

Sharina was detained in October 2015 and charged with inciting extremism and ethnic hatred because her library's collection allegedly included books by Ukrainian ultranationalist and author Dmytro Korchynskiy, whose works are banned in Russia.

Sharina, who has rejected all the allegations against her as politically motivated, was placed under house arrest.

In April 2016, investigators charged her with misallocating library funds, allegedly because she used library funds to pay for her legal defense in another extremism case against her that was dismissed in 2013.

A suspended sentence would mean that Sharina would not be imprisoned.

Her lawyer said the authorities had "trumped up" new charges after realizing their initial case against his client was too weak.

The respected Russian human rights group Memorial considers Sharina a political prisoner.

Based on reporting by TASS, Interfax,, and RFE/RL's Russian Service

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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