Moscow has banned dozens of British journalists, media representatives, and defence figures from entering the country, the Russian foreign ministry said.
In a move that Moscow said was a response to Western sanctions and the “spreading of false information about Russia”, 29 journalists and members of British media organisations were personally banned, the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
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The list of those banned includes high-profile journalists, news anchors, editors and senior managers at news organisations such as the BBC and broadcaster Sky News, and the editors-in-chief of the Times, Daily Telegraph, Independent and Guardian newspapers, among others.
“The British journalists included in the list are involved in the deliberate dissemination of false and one-sided information about Russia and events in Ukraine and Donbas,” the foreign ministry said.
“With their biased assessments, they also contribute to fuelling Russophobia in British society.”
Moscow apparently didn’t like my reporting from Ukraine
We’ve been put on a Russia sanctions list with Editor @KathViner
— Emma Graham-Harrison (@_EmmaGH) June 14, 2022
Many foreign journalists have left Russia after authorities in Moscow introduced prison terms of up to 15 years for spreading so-called “fake news” about the Russian army.
Moscow has also banned the use of words like “war” and “invasion” and describes its attack on Ukraine as a “special military operation”.
“It’s sad, but not entirely surprising,” said Mark Galeotti, an expert on Russia who was among those banned.
I wasn't racing to visit Z-land Russia, but it is still a very strange/sad feeling to be put on their sanctions list along with other British colleagues. I lived in Russia for more than a decade and have been at least once every year since 2000. https://t.co/IMvTJqlw73
— Shaun Walker (@shaunwalker7) June 14, 2022
The foreign ministry also issued entry bans to 20 figures it said were associated with the British defence industry and were therefore responsible for supplying Western arms to Ukraine.
They included Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Benjamin Key, junior defence minister Jeremy Quin, and senior figures at the defence and aerospace firms BAE Systems and Thales UK.
London has offered military support to Ukraine, including sending air defence systems, thousands of anti-tank missiles and various types of munitions, hundreds of armoured vehicles and other equipment.