BBC Eastern Europe Correspondent, expelled from Moscow after many years. Formerly Istanbul, Madrid & Havana. Currently reporting on Ukraine

Joined June 2011
🚨So pleased ⁦⁦@simonschusterUK⁩ publishing this after my expulsion x-Moscow “Russia…believes it’s at war with the West but it’s also waging a war within, where those who think differently are labelled as enemies, foreign agents & even traitors” thebookseller.com/rights/ss-…
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On top of 2 x criminal charges @vkaramurza is now a 'foreign agent', too - supposedly working 'in the interests' of Ukraine Appealing the designation in court today he said: 'You don't have to be a Ukrainian agent to speak out vs the war; it's enough just to have a conscience'
«Для того, чтобы выступать против войны, не нужно быть «украинским агентом» — достаточно просто иметь совесть» Выступление Владимира Кара-Мурзы в Замоскворецком районном суде Москвы 12 августа 2022 года. vot-tak.tv/novosti/12-08-202…
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Kara-Murza's lawyer says VKM never got 'a single kopeck' from Ukraine, but 'details like proof haven't bothered the Russian authorities for a long time' 'Their idea...is clear: if someone speaks out against the war in Ukraine, he's clearly doing it for money - nothing else!'
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Remember Marina #Ovsyannikova, the Russian state TV producer who stormed the evening news with a 'Stop the War!' poster in March? She just got house arrest for another protest, but managed to display this in court: 'May the murdered children come to you in your dreams!' 1/
Replying to @mediazzzona
Перед тем как из зала вывели всех журналистов Овсянникова успела показать плакат в видеокамеры zona.media/online/2022/08/11… Фото: «Медиазона»
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She got off with a fine for her TV protest-further fuelling Ukrainians' claims it was some kind of stunt Then she got a job in Germany with Die Welt annoying independent Russian journalists struggling for work in enforced exile, when she'd helped pump state propaganda for yrs 2/
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Then Ovsyannikova returned to Russia to fight her ex husband, who works for RT, for custody of their 11 y/o But she continued to protest vs the Ukraine war In July her poster read: 'Putin is a murderer, his soldiers - fascists. 352 children killed. How many more have to die?'
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For that poster, standing opposite the Kremlin with 'bloodied' dolls at her feet, Marina Ovsyannikova has been charged with spreading 'false' information about the war The prison term is up to 10 yrs For now, she's under house arrest (often happens for women with kids u/18)
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A year ago the FSB labelled me a threat to national security barring me from entering Russia It was another blow v free speech & journalism But Putin has since launched a terrible war & criminalised truth itself 1000s are dead His key critics are in jail or exile What a year
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Opposition activist Vladimir Kara-Murza is back in court in Moscow The hearing's on extending custody ahead of a trial for 'spreading false info' (telling the truth) on Russia's war vs Ukraine He faces a long prison term but he's told me: "The price of silence is unacceptable"
1/4. Пишет Максим Круглов: «Совсем грустно было побывать на продлении меры пресечения Владимира Кара Мурзы. То есть — отрадно было увидеть его, неунывающего, не сдающегося; отрадно увидеть товарищей, пришедших поддержать Володю.
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Since his arrest Vladimir's also been charged with a 2nd offence: working with an 'undesirable organisation' The event in question was in support of political prisoners Now @vkaramurza is one of them (and the list is growing)
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This photo shows him smiling on his way into court today even though he's now been in custody since April He is, by the way, a British citizen too...
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During the hearing, @vkaramurza sat in his 'aquarium' (glass cage in court) reading a copy of Solzhenitsyn's GULAG Archipelago 📸 @Activatica
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When you're on the beach in Crimea that your country annexed illegally in 2014 and you thought that was fine...then something goes bang
Атмосфера на пляже в Крыму (посмотрите со звуком, via Baza)
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This exchange captures the mood of many Ukrainians now towards Russia & Russians, even those who've spent their lives opposing Putin & paid heavily for that. The response inside Ukraine, under invasion, is usually: whatever they did, it's not enough. Harsh, but it's how they feel
Just watched a very uncomfortable exchange on @tvrain. The anchor, Anna Mongait, was interviewing Sergei Leschenko, a former Ukrainian legislator and now an advisor to Zelensky's office. It was a polite interview, but at the end something happened that made my hair stand on end.
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This comes from the same place of anger as Zelensky's call to ban all Russians from visiting Europe Putin's war has done so much harm - and not just the most obvious sort
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‘No to war!’: Russian opposition politician Ilya Yashin @IlyaYashin continues to speak out, even in court today via video link from prison - where he’s locked up, awaiting trial for spreading ‘false information’ (telling the truth) about the Ukraine war 📷@Sota_Vision
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Russian judge sentences US basketball star Griner to 9 yrs No real bright side, other than the fact it may take her one step closer to a prisoner swap Reports that the US proposed swapping her & @freepaulwhelan for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout… посмотрим
❗️Звезда баскетбола Бритни Грайнер получила 9 лет колонии zona.media/news/2022/08/04/g…
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Paul Whelan got 16 years & he was expecting a prisoner swap too. I was always told the Russian demands were off the wall, unrealistic. Now the US supposedly suggests handing back Bout for @freepaulwhelan & Brittney Griner, a big shift. But negotiating with Russia is never easy
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Sarah Rainsford retweeted
Russia: the west is cancelling Russian culture Also Russia: bans one of the leading websites popularizing *checks notes* Russian culture
Russian prosecutors have declared the publisher of the excellent arts mag @calvertjournal an "undesirable organisation" which is fraught with criminal charges for anyone in Russia tied to them. interfax-russia.ru/rossiya-i… Quite a bizarre move given the fact CJ was never political.
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A very moving interpretation of #Ukraine’s anthem today at the Albert Hall for the BBC Proms: performed by the Freedom Orchestra, bringing together brilliant Ukrainian musicians from inside & outside the country
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Sarah Rainsford retweeted
“Yes, we are having a party,” said Anna Mitrokhina. “We are outside of politics, we want to dance, to feel and have fun. I can’t worry any more and this helps me forget.” ⁦@Andrew__Roth⁩ in Moscow, where the champagne flows as Ukriane burns theguardian.com/world/2022/j…
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