Russia blacklists British media and military figures
Russia’s Foreign Ministry has barred 49 British nationals from entering the country.
The list, released on Tuesday, includes defense industry officials, representatives of the British Armed Forces, as well as 29 journalists and heads of major news outlets such as the BBC, The Financial Times, Sky News, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Independent, Channel 4 News, and The Guardian.
Two former Moscow correspondents of the latter outlet are included: Luke Harding and Shaun Walker. Harding had previously been briefly expelled from Moscow, in 2011, due to visa violations. Long time The Moscow Times columnist, and trenchant Russia critic, Mark Galeotti, is also included. He is currently employed at RUSI, a defence sector lobby group funded by the US State Department, the British and Qatari governments and weapons contractors – such as BAe Systems and Lockheed Martin.
Other prominent media figures blacklisted include Financial Times writer Gideon Rachman, Sunday Times regular Dominic Lawson and BBC correspondent Orla Guerin.
The ministry released a statement on its website explaining the decision and stating that it believes “the British journalists on the list are involved in the deliberate dissemination of false and one-sided information about Russia and the events in Ukraine and Donbass.”
“With their biased assessments, they also contribute to fueling Russophobia in British society,” the statement added.
Moscow claims that the blacklisting of Western journalists comes in response to the sanctions and pressure put on Russian media outlets abroad.
Russia’s list also includes 20 British nationals that have been deemed to be tied to the UK’s defense industry, including Deputy Secretary of Defense Jeremy Mark Quin, Under Secretary of Defense Leo Docherty, Commander of the Royal Navy Benjamin John Key and Royal Air Force commander Michael Wigston.
The ministry noted that these people were involved in making decisions on the supply of weapons to Ukraine, which are being used by “local Nazi formations to kill civilians and destroy civilian infrastructure.”
The statement concludes by stating that the “stop-list” is still not finalized and that the ministry will continue working on it, presumably planning to add more people to the list.
So far, Russia has banned a number of foreign politicians, actors and business figures, including 1,023 American nationals, including US President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Vice President Kamala Harris and Hollywood star Morgan Freeman.