The legacy of Petro Poroshenko, who is approaching the end of his five-year presidential term, is marred by war, economic decline, and Russophobic policies.
A recent New York Times op-ed hails the “reforms” which the outgoing Ukrainian leader supposedly spearheaded — the same reforms which left 13,000 people dead and caused the economy to shrink by 15% in two years.
Moreover, the works of 500 Russian writers have been banned in Ukraine. A further 1,000 Russian artists are prohibited from entering the country,
The cynical notion that Ukrainian leaders are to blame for the 13,000 deaths recorded to date in the Russia-Ukraine conflict -- a covert war of aggression launched by Moscow in spring 2014 -- fits the wider pro-Kremlin narrative on the ongoing hostilities in the Donbas.
The economic free-fall which marked the first years of the Poroshenko presidency has also been linked to the armed conflict, as well as the Russian annexation of Crimea, where plundered industrial facilities and enterprises, losses in labour force, and ruined infrastructure continue to generate billions of dollars in losses annually. Incidentally, the above-mentioned figure of 15% roughly corresponds to the economic output of Crimea and the Donbas before their illegal occupation by Russia (ibid., p. 1).
Russians writers are not banned in Ukraine. In May 2017, the Ukrainian parliament adopted a law dictating that the import and sale of books originating in Russia be subject to approval by a relevant state body, and mandating the withdrawal from sale of a number of books advancing anti-Ukrainian propaganda, historical revisionism, and Russian irredentism. An overwhelming majority of Russian literature is freely available for purchase.
The statement on banned "Russian" artists is a gross manipulation of both facts and figures. In accordance with a 2015 law, the Ukrainian Culture Ministry publishes a list of "cultural figures whose actions threaten the national security of Ukraine." As of March 2019, the list contains 148 names -- not 1,000 -- and is not limited to Russians.