Russia’s foreign ministry on Tuesday announced the ban of dozens of British journalists, media representatives and defence figures from entering the country.
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 such as BBC, the broadcaster Sky News and the Guardian and Times newspapers were personally banned.
Another 20 British figures who Moscow said were linked to the defence industry were also banned from entering Russia. 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 ministry said.
BBC reports that the list includes high-profile journalists, news anchors, editors and senior managers, including the editors-in-chief of the Times, Daily Telegraph, Independent and Guardian newspapers.
“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 ministry said in a statement.
According to the report, among the journalists banned are the Guardian correspondents Shaun Walker, Luke Harding, Emma Graham-Harrison and Peter Beaumont, as well as Katharine Viner, the editor-in-chief of the Guardian.
British journalists working for the BBC, the Sunday Times, the Daily Mail, the Independent, Daily Telegraph, Sky News and a number of other outlets have also been banned. The editors-in-chief of the Times, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Independent were also listed.
The Guardian also reports that Russia has launched an unprecedented crackdown on Russian and foreign independent news outlets since its 24 February invasion of Ukraine, as well as on foreign social media networks.
Legislation was introduced soon after the war began to criminalise media outlets that disseminate “false information” about the Russian army.
A number of media groups stopped operating in Russia as a result, with the draconian law in effect threatening to punish independent journalism with prison sentences of up to 15 years. Russia has also blocked access to several foreign news organisations’ websites, including the BBC and Deutsche Welle.
Russia warned US news organisations this month they risked being stripped of their accreditation unless the treatment of Russian journalists in the US improved.
“Work on expanding the Russian ‘stop list’ will continue,” the statement said.
Among those banned on the second part of the list were the UK minister of state for defence procurement, Jeremy Quin, and Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston.
The full list is:
Shaun Walker, Guardian correspondent; Con Coughlin, Daily Telegraph columnist; Stuart Ramsay, chief correspondent, Sky News; James Rothwell, Daily Telegraph journalist;
John Witherow, editor-in-chief, the Times; Chris Evans, editor-in-chief, the Daily Telegraph; Katharine Viner, editor-in-chief, the Guardian;
Richard Sharp, chair of the BBC board of governors; Timothy Davie, director general of the BBC; Clive Myrie, BBC correspondent and news presenter; Orla Guerin, BBC correspondent; Nick Robinson, BBC presenter; Paul Adams, BBC correspondent; Nick Beake, BBC correspondent; Alexander Thomson, Channel 4 News correspondent and presenter; Dan Rivers, ITV correspondent;
Peter Beaumont, Guardian correspondent; Emma Graham-Harrison, Guardian correspondent; Sophy Ridge, journalist and Sky News presenter; Catherine Newman, journalist and host of Channel 4 News; Edward Verity, editor-in-chief, Daily Mail; Christian Broughton, editor-in-chief, the Independent; Larisa Brown, military news editor, the Times; Mark Galeotti, political scientist;
Joseph Barnes, Daily Telegraph correspondent; Gideon Rachman, Financial Times correspondent; Luke Harding, Guardian correspondent; Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times and Daily Mail columnist; Lawrence Freedman, Sunday Times columnist.
Jeremy Quin, minister of state for defence procurement; Leo Docherty, under secretary of defence; Benjamin Key, commander of the Royal Navy, chief of staff of the Royal Navy; Mike Wigston, RAF commander; Robert Magowan, deputy chief, UK strategic command; Charles Stickland, commander, joint operations, UK armed forces;
Roger Martyn Carr, chair of the board of directors, BAE Systems; Charles Woodburn, executive director of the BAE Systems; David Armstrong, managing director of BAE Systems; Glynn Phillips, managing director of BAE Systems; Clifford Robson, managing director of BAE Systems; Alexander Cresswell, chair of the board of directors and CEO of Thales UK; Christopher Shaw, chief operating officer of Thales UK; Paul Gosling, vice-president, Thales UK; Ewen McCrorie, vice-president, Thales UK; Suzanne Stratton, vice-president, Thales UK; Lynne Watson, vice-president, Thales UK; Gregory Campbell, MP; Gavin Robinson, MP; Samuel Wilson, MP.