Russia bans 29 British journalists and defence officials

russia bans 29 british journalists and defence officials
russia bans 29 british journalists and defence officials

Russia has denied entry to scores of British journalists, media representatives, and defence officials, the Russian foreign ministry announced on Tuesday.

In a move that Moscow claimed was in retaliation to Western sanctions and the “distribution of false information about Russia,” 29 journalists and members of British media organisations, including the BBC, Sky News, the Guardian, and the Times, were prohibited from entering Russia.

Twenty additional British officials with ties to the defence industry, according to Moscow, were also denied entry to Russia.

“The British journalists on the list are intentionally spreading incorrect and biassed information about Russia and the events in Ukraine and Donbas,” the ministry said in a statement.

“Their skewed evaluations also contribute to the spread of Russophobia in British culture.”

Included on the list are prominent journalists, news anchors, editors, and senior administrators, such as the editors-in-chief of the Times, Daily Telegraph, Independent, and Guardian newspapers.

Moscow had pledged to retaliate against sanctions and prohibitions against Russian officials and media abroad.

It has already denied entry to dozens of American and Canadian officials and journalists.

“It’s unfortunate, but not wholly unexpected,” said Mark Galeotti, a Russia expert who was among those blacklisted.

Guardian journalist Shaun Walker, who served as the paper’s Moscow correspondent for more than a decade, tweeted that it was “quite strange/sad to be put on their sanctions list alongside other British colleagues.”

The British media regulator suspended RT’s broadcast licence in March, citing the channel’s ties to the Russian government, which had launched troops into Ukraine and suppressed independent journalism.

A week after sending its armed forces into Ukraine, Russia approved a law mandating up to 15 years in prison for purposefully propagating “fake news” that contradicts official military claims.

Ordinary Russians have limited access to independent reporting on their nation, as nearly all large media outlets that oppose official policies have been shut down in recent years.

Moscow also issued entry restrictions to twenty individuals who, according to the Kremlin, were involved with the British defence establishment and consequently responsible for supplying Ukraine with Western armaments.

Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Benjamin Key and top leaders from BAE Systems and Thales UK were among those present.

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