Leading Russian fantasy writer Sergei Lukyanenko has announced a ban on his books being translated into Ukrainian in protest at the longstanding demonstrations on Kiev’s Independence Square (Maidan) and the ousting of former president Viktor Yanukovych. Lukyanenko, one of Russia’s most read authors, is best known for his Night Watch series of urban supernatural novels, which was made into two highly successful fantasy films, and translated into over 30 languages, including English.
Lukyanenko, 45, has been a vocal critic of the so-called Euromaidan protests, comparing them to a “forced sex change”. He has now voiced an intention never to travel to Ukraine, writing on his blog that “Ukraine is now a forsaken land, that will take three generations to overcome this villainy and cowardice.” He also urged “normal Ukrainians” to flee to Russia or Belarus and warned Ukrainian fantasy writers not to come to Russian sci-fi conventions. He has denied Ukraine’s legitimacy as a state: “There is no such country as Ukraine, and there shall never be. Either it will be a part of Russia, or else a Polish protectorate,” he wrote on his blog.
Protests against Yanukovych and his alleged close ties with the Russian government began last November; they culminated on Saturday with the former president fleeing the capital and his rival Yulia Timoshenko being released from jail.