Russia bans 29 British journalists – accuses them of 'fuelling Russophobia in British society'

Moscow accused the individuals of "deliberate dissemination of false and one-sided information about Russia and events in Ukraine and Donbas"

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Russia has banned dozens of British journalists, media representatives and defence figures from entering the country, the foreign ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

Moscow said it was a response to Western sanctions and the "spreading of false information about Russia".

A total of 29 journalists and members of media organisations such as the BBC, Sky News as well as the Guardian and Times newspapers were banned.

Another 20 British figures who Moscow said were linked to the defence industry were also banned from entering Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with Accounts Chamber Chairman Alexei Kudrin at the Kremlin in Moscow.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with Accounts Chamber Chairman Alexei Kudrin at the Kremlin in Moscow.
Ben Wallace made a secret visit to Kyiv last week.
Ben Wallace made a secret visit to Kyiv last week.

The ministry said in a statement: "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.

"With their biased assessments, they also contribute to fuelling Russophobia in British society."

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 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 the Naval Staff Admiral Benjamin Key, junior defence minister Jeremy Quin, and senior figures at the defence and aerospace firms BAE Systems and Thales UK.

"It's sad, but not entirely surprising," said Mark Galeotti, an expert on Russia who was among those banned.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace made a secret visit to Kyiv last week to hold discussions with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on sending further military support to Ukraine.

The Ministry of Defence said they spoke during the previously unannounced trip about continuing to aid the resistance against Russia, “as the conflict enters a different phase”.

It was unclear whether they discussed the two Brits (Aiden Aslin, 28, and Shaun Pinner, 48) currently condemned to death for fighting Russian forces.