Another step taken by Russia against press freedom in the country: the Foreign Ministry has imposed an entry ban on many British journalists and media representatives, some with absurd justifications. Representatives of the British Ministry of Defense are also "blacklisted".
Russia has imposed entry bans on around 50 other British citizens, mainly journalists and media representatives. The Russian Foreign Ministry released 49 names in addition to a long "black list" already including hundreds of Western citizens. Among those named are BBC boss Tim Davie, the editors-in-chief of several British newspapers and former Russia correspondents Shaun Walker and Luke Harding, who work for The Guardian newspaper.
Harding had previously been prevented from entering Russia despite having a visa and accreditation. Numerous BBC correspondents and journalists from the newspapers "Daily Mail", "The Times", "Financial Times", "The Daily Telegraph", "The Sunday Times" and from television stations are also named. The sanctions against the journalists are a reaction to the punitive measures against Russian media representatives in Great Britain, it said.
The said British journalists are involved in "deliberate dissemination of false and one-sided information about Russia and events in Ukraine and Donbass," the ministry said without justification. "They are also helping to fuel Russophobia in British society with their biased assessments."
The list also includes 20 names of representatives of the British Ministry of Defense and the defense industry - "in connection with anti-Russian actions by the British government," said the ministry in Moscow. Accordingly, the sanctions were issued for British arms deliveries to Ukraine. These weapons would be used to "kill peaceful populations and destroy civilian infrastructure," the ministry claimed.
The pro-Russian separatists in Donbass have been complaining about massive shelling from the Ukrainian side with Western weapons since 2014. Thousands of people have died there at the hands of militants from both sides. Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the fighting has intensified enormously, especially in the past few weeks.