Russia has added Adolf Hitler's autobiography "Mein Kampf" to a list of books that are banned for their extremist content, Russian prosecutors said on Friday.
The book "has been freely available up to now on several websites and was also sold semi-legally by booksellers, since it was not banned," the Russian prosecutor general's office said in a statement.
The lengthy 1925 book by the German Nazi leader, whose title translates as "My Struggle," tells the story of his early years and exposes elements of his anti-Semitic political ideology.
Russia introduced the ban after prosecutors in the central Russian city of Ufa found the book freely available. A city court ruled that the book was extremist, a decision that put it on the banned books list.
In a complex legal situation, Russia already has a law which automatically qualifies all books written by leaders of the German Nazi Party as extremist, but "Mein Kampf" was not explicitly named as a banned book, putting it in a legal grey area.
The Russian justice ministry maintains a list of publications that have been defined as extremist materials on its website, and the sale or distribution of them is punishable with a fine.
The list, which currently has 573 entries, includes numerous Islamic texts and magazines distributed by the Jehovah's Witnesses, as well as a book about Hitler by British historian Hugh Trevor-Roper.