|Journalists from The Guardian are prohibited from entering Moscow|
Russia has barred 29 members of the British media, including five Guardian journalists, from entering Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. Moscow said this action was a response to Western sanctions. This measure is also an effort to suppress the "spreading of false information about Russia" as well as anti-Russian actions by the British government. "The British journalists included in the list were involved in the deliberate dissemination of false and unilateral information about Russia and events in Ukraine and the Donbas," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. While 20 people described as "linked to the defense complex", including military figures, senior aerospace figures and lawmakers, were also barred.
Among the journalists banned were Guardians correspondents Shaun Walker, Luke Harding, Emma Graham-Harrison and Peter Beaumont, as well as Katharine Viner, editor-in-chief of the Guardian. British journalists working for the BBC, Sunday Times, Daily Mail, Independent, Daily Telegraph, Sky News and a number of other outlets have also been barred from entering Russia. The editor-in-chief of the Times, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Independent are also listed. A Guardian spokesman said: “This is a disappointing move by the Russian government and a bad day for press freedom. "Reliable and accurate journalism is more important now than ever, and despite this decision, we will continue to report strongly on Russia and its invasion of Ukraine," said a spokesperson for The Guardian.
Russia has launched an unprecedented crackdown on independent Russian and foreign news outlets since its February 24 invasion of Ukraine, as well as on foreign social media networks. The law introduced soon after the war began to criminalize the media for spreading “false information” about Russian soldiers. As a result, a number of media groups have stopped operating in Russia, with a draconian law in force threatening to punish independent journalism with up to 15 years in prison. Russia has also blocked access to the websites of several foreign news organizations, including the BBC and Deutsche Welle.
Russia warned US news organizations this month that they risk being stripped of their accreditation unless the treatment of Russian journalists in the US improves. "Work on expanding Russia's 'stop list' will continue," the statement said.
According to Al Jazeera, Moscow has also banned the use of words such as "war" and "invasion" and described its attack on Ukraine as a "special military operation".
"It's sad, but not entirely surprising," said Mark Galeotti, a Russia expert who was among those banned. Among those banned from the second part of the list were Britain's minister of state for defense procurement, Jeremy Quin, and Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston.