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Russia sanctions dozens of British journalists and media personalities

Russia has banned dozens of British journalists, including officials from the BBC, Times and Guardian, from entering the country.

A statement released by its foreign ministry said those on the 29-person list were “involved in the deliberate dissemination of false and one-sided information” about Russia and the war in Ukraine.

Twenty other figures who, according to Moscow, are linked to the defense industry were also sanctioned.

Among those on the list are BBC Director-General Tim Davie, Times editor John Witherow, Guardian editor Katharine Viner, Daily Telegraph editor Chris Evans and BBC President Richard Sharp.

BBC President Richard Sharp and Managing Director Tim Davie are among those sanctioned (House of Commons/PA)

(PA Archive)

BBC journalists Nick Robinson, Orla Guerin and Clive Myrie, who all reported from the field in Ukraine and its capital Kyiv during the conflict, are also present, as are correspondents from ITV News and Channel 4 News.

Russia said the journalists and media representatives named had helped “fuel Russophobia in British society”.

A BBC spokesman said: “We will continue to report independently and fairly.”

While a spokesperson for The Guardian said it was a “disappointing move” by the Russian government and a “bad day for press freedom”.

They added, “Reliable and accurate journalism is more important than ever, and despite this ruling, we will continue to report solidly on Russia and its invasion of Ukraine.”

Emma Graham-Harrison, one of the Guardian’s sanctioned journalists, wrote on Twitter: “Surprised probably doesn’t cover how I feel about being sanctioned/banned by a country I’ve only visited just once.”

Another Guardian reporter, Shaun Walker, added: “I wasn’t in the running to visit Z-land Russia, but it’s still a very strange/sad feeling to be put on their sanctions list with other British colleagues.

“I have lived in Russia for over a decade and have been there at least once a year since 2000.”

A Telegraph spokesperson said: “The Telegraph is proud of its reporting on the invasion of Ukraine and regrets Russia’s attempts to restrict press freedom.”

Russia said those figures on the list who are linked to the British defense industry had been involved in making decisions “on the supply of weapons to Ukraine, which are used by local punishers and Nazi formations to kill civilians and destroy civilian infrastructure”.

Financial Times chief foreign affairs commentator Gideon Rachman, who is on the list, said on Twitter: “I have been banned from visiting Russia – which is a shame as I have always learned from my travels there. -low and I enjoyed them.

“I hope I can return to the country when it has a civilized government that no longer attacks its neighbors and assassinates its opponents.”

The list also includes the head of Britain’s navy and senior executives from defense and aerospace firms Thales UK and BAE Systems.

Moscow has seized on the far-right origins of one of the units in Ukraine, calling the fighters of the Azov regiment “Nazis” and accusing, without proof, their commander of having committed atrocities during the war.

Last month, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss announced that Russian companies were being cut off from Britain’s accounting, management consultancy and public relations sectors as part of new sanctions against the country.

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Post expires at 6:38pm on Saturday June 25th, 2022

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