BBC correspondent Sarah Rainsford has described her expulsion from Russia as “devastating”.
Moscow – The Russian authorities had told her that after her visa expired at the end of August she would “never be allowed to return to Russia,” said Rainsford on the BBC 4 radio station on Saturday. The journalist emphasized that she spent almost a third of her life in Russia.
Russian state television reported on Rainsford’s expulsion on Friday. The decision is therefore a response to British policy towards Moscow.
Rainsford was “shocked” by the decision of the Russian authorities. “I really loved trying to tell Russia’s story to the world, but it’s an increasingly difficult story,” she said.
The journalist recalled the 1990s, which were “a time of new and exciting freedoms for Russia”. During her career in the country, she has traced the path by which “these freedoms have been reduced and reduced and reduced”.
The BBC had denounced the expulsion of its longtime Russia correspondent as a “direct attack on freedom of the media”. BBC Director General Tim Davie described Rainsford as an “extraordinary and fearless journalist”. You have provided “independent and thoroughly researched reports on Russia and the former Soviet Union”.
The Russian authorities repeatedly criticize Western reporting on Russia in public and regularly condemn articles or reports as anti-Russian. However, expulsions of journalists are rare.
Relations between Britain and Russia have been strained for years. London accuses the Kremlin, among other things, of being behind the poison attack on former Russian double agent Sergej Skripal in Salisbury, England in 2018.
isd / gt