BBC reporter says Russia told her never to return


Moscow-BBC journalists can’t go back to “catastrophic” treatment on Saturday, indicating that Russia has banished her and the country she has reported for years has turned inward. Said to her.

In a rare move already during poor bilateral relations, Russia is one of two English Moscow correspondents on the British broadcaster after London refused to give visas to Russian journalists. Sarah Rainsford said she had returned home.

In an interview with the BBC, Rainsford said he was shocked by the decision he felt was part of a broader diplomatic game when relations between Russia and the West deteriorated.

The move not to renew Russia’s visa after the end of this month seemed technical, but she said it wasn’t.

“I have been banished,” she said.

“I was told (by Russian authorities) that I would never be able to come back. Personally, it’s devastating.”

Rainsford, who has been on a second mission in Moscow, said she spent almost one-third of her life in Russia and spent years studying it.

Her departure by the end of this month preceded the September parliamentary elections, which cracked down on Russian media domestically, which Russian authorities consider to be backed by malicious foreign interests intended to arouse anxiety. Continue to the period of.

Rainsford said her description of the oppressive environment has made it increasingly difficult to tell the story of Russia.

“This is a clear indication that the situation has changed. It’s another really bad sign of the situation in Russia. Another sign that Russia is approaching,” he said.

The BBC urged Moscow to reconsider and called the case an assault on media freedom.

Russia has repeatedly warned London to respond to visa-related persecution of British Russian journalists.

Andrew Osborne