“Harry Potter” Pulled from Russian E-Book Libraries, Wizarding World Alumni Help Support Ukraine

Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. People are capable of committing horrendous atrocities against others. While there are plenty of examples throughout history, the most recent that has taken over global headlines is the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Since February, Ukrainian forces have been fending off Russian soldiers with tragic casualties on both sides. It’s a sad situation, but thankfully, we know that people are also capable of great good. While Ukraine continues to fend off its invaders, other parts of the world have rallied to support Ukraine, and we’ve learned some of our favorite Harry Potter alumni are joining in to help.

Last month, Red Nose Day brought together Wizarding World alumni Sir Lenny Henry (the shrunken head in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), David Tennant (Barty Crouch, Jr.), Eddie Redmayne (Newt Scamander), Jude Law (young Albus Dumbledore), and Stephen Fry (narrator of the British Harry Potter audiobooks), and together they helped to raise £42.8 million (approximately $55 million) to help aid Ukraine’s efforts.

And now, we’re learning that Jim Broadbent (Horace Slughorn) will also be participating in a fundraiser to help Ukraine. The Royal Shakespeare Company has set up a fundraising concert called Words and Music for Ukraine, with ticket sales benefitting the Disasters Emergency Committee. The event will take place on May 8 at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom. The concert will feature music by the Orchestra of the Swan alongside readings from Shakespeare performed by Broadbent and Samuel West, who recently starred in All Creatures Great and Small with Matthew Lewis. Tickets are currently available for purchase.

Dame Julie Walters (Molly Weasley) wrote an impassioned piece reflecting on the devastating effects war can have on vulnerable groups like children, the sick, the elderly, the disabled, and people of color. Walters expressed, with heartbreaking detail, how children are separated from their parents, the sick suffer without medication, and people of color are denied the right to flee. In the end, Walters explains that while our hearts are in the right place when thinking about any supplies, she emphasizes that to help the vulnerable, money is needed for the charitable organizations working within Ukraine. She pleads with everyone to donate money to the Disasters Emergency Committee, which works with 13 charitable organizations, like Save the Children, currently assisting on and inside Ukraine’s borders.

 

 

One-half of our favorite set of twins is also helping out. Oliver Phelps, who played George Weasley, recently posted to his Instagram, showing support for Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk’s fundraising attempts. Usyk launched a foundation in his name to help provide emergency aid to his native country. To help fund the foundation, Usyk also launched the Hands Off Ukraine clothing line. In his Instagram post, Phelps sports one of the shirts and provides a link for his followers.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Oliver Phelps (@oliver_phelps)

 

Several major companies, such as Disney, WarnerMedia, and Netflix have started boycotting Russia by suspending services and distribution of goods or canceling any potential business. Recently, it was uncovered that the Russian-translated Harry Potter e-books have been withdrawn from two of Russia’s largest e-book libraries, LitRes and MyBook. After April 8, the series was removed and will remain unavailable for an indefinite period. If you managed to purchase them beforehand, the e-books will remain in your personal library. At the moment, there is no official reason for the withdrawal, with LitRes commenting that the e-books were removed at the discretion of the copyright holder. Though not explicitly stated, it’s possible the removal is partially due to the current boycott against Russia. However, physical copies will continue to be republished.

Here at MuggleNet, we have also launched our own campaign to aid children in Ukraine and child refugees from Ukraine. If you are able to assist, please consider donating to UNICEF, or any of the charities discussed in this article.

 

 

Why do you think the Harry Potter series was removed from the Russian e-book libraries? If the invasion continues, do you think physical copies of the series will stop being republished? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

 

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Adam Poncharoensub

"Hogwarts is my home!" is a phrase that I've uttered more times than any sane person should (and my long-suffering friends can attest to it.) For as long as I can remember, I've always found myself escaping reality into the wizarding world to feel at peace. Instead, I'm more likely wandering the suburbs of South Florida shouting choice "Harry Potter" and Batman quotes at unsuspecting victims.