BBC’s Russia reporter expelled and barred for life from country

i’ve been uh designated a threat tonational security and as such i’m notallowed into the countrythis is when i was 18 and i first cameto russiai thought if i say something wrong i’mgoing to be labeled as a spyi’ve reported throughout vladimirputin’s presidency on the gradualcrushing of rights and freedoms do youfeel safe now comfortable now likespeaking openly no never never i don’tfeel safe here in this country it isvery badand it could become much worseany timethis is the story of my expulsion fromrussia and what it says about thecountry i’ve been forced to leaveforeignthe border guards had me signed this tosay i’d been warned of the banfor the end date they scrawledindefiniteapparentlyfor whatever reasonthat’s it my whole story with russia isover[Music]and yet after 12 hours i was suddenlyreleased and let into moscowthey let me infor now but only to packnone of that has been explained to meyet as a reliable source did tell me i’mon a sanctions list for anti-russianactivityi knew that the fsbhad me on their recordsas a threati sort of thought thatif i said something wrong or revealedtoo much or protested too loudly thensuddenly like i’m going to be labeledpublicly a national security but i’mgoing to be labeled as a spyrussia seems a confident carefree placeon the surfacebut underneath are the stories of peoplelike anastasiathe single mom just spent two yearsunder house arrest accused of links to apro-democracy group based in britaini followed her case from the very startwhen anastasia was prosecuted as asecurity threatthey blamed me beingnot a patriot but being an agent ofother countrydo youfeel safe now comfortable now likespeaking openly no never never i don’tfeel safe here in this country i amafraid i am afraid for my children formy mom i don’t want to go to jail ofcourse i am afraid ofpolice sometimesyou you feel uh pessimistic yeah ipersonally right now i feel pessimisticrussian seems like it’s closing off fromthe outside world andand people like you arethe victims of that i guess yeah it wasa time when politicalactivists were under repression but noweveryone actually is under oppressionofficially i was ordered out because arussian reporter wasn’t allowed to stayin londonbut that was two years ago and no onemade a fuss until nowhivcorruptionthere’s the protests bialous uzbekistanfootball i like a bit of footballthe world cupthat was amazing people were reallyfriendly i’ve got someone ran up to mein the street on the square and she’dkiss mefor coming to sranskfile on treason and spiesi don’t even remember which one this wasso many of themhalf of the people that we reported arestill in prisonnemtsov is deadi suppose i could just took it all awaybutit just feels like an archive ofa country of a timeof a period of time which hopefullymight be this miserable forevercan just stand hereguard my place[Music]independent russian journalism is alsounder attack like never beforethe team at deutsche cover stories thatstate-controlled media won’t touchthey’ve already been forced off tv andonto the internetnow the channel has been added to ablack list of media declared as foreignagentsthe journalists have to mark all theirwork with a warning this news is from asource that’s hostile to russia[Music]the status of foreign agentsmeans that wedon’t we are enemies of the other states[Music]that’s exactly what they wanted to to dowith us to say it’s not safe towatch them it’s not safe totalk to them it’s not safe to work withthemon air though with that mandatorywarningin the headlines when we were there anactivist under house arrest for tweetingabout a protest for alexander valnipresident putin’s biggest critic is inprison his entire organization has beenbanned as extremiststhat’sreallystrange now in news bulletins like thisbecause the presenter every time sherefers to alexey navalny or to hisanti-corruption foundation she has toremind viewers that they’ve been labeledextremists and foreign agents the sameas this tv channeland the list of people that journalistsnow have touse that disclaimer for is growing allthe timethere is the understanding in thekremlin that thethe pretending of being democracy isoverit is very bad and it could become muchworseany time[Music]the kremlin was my view for a long timebut its view of journalists of the westand of internal russian critics hasreally darkenedthis is my favorite this is when i was18 and i first came to russiaas a pre-student i was learning russianthen the country was opening up to theworld it was a time of new hopes butreal hardship toothat’s the russian military base inchechnya in the early 2000s during thesecond warso our basic mission was to get awayfrom our minders so we could actuallytalk to people without them listeningi began reporting from russia just aftervladimir putin came to poweri didn’t come to russiato tell bad stories about russia ididn’t come here to undermine therussian state which is this kind ofmentality that they appear to have icame here to talk to russian people andrussian officials and to try tounderstand this country and to explainit to other people vladimir putin’spresenting this as just another workingvisit but of course it’s so much moreyou know who defends human rights herehe told methere have been dozens of peopledetained here on twitteri felt like by singling me outspecificallyi felt like they were saying they didn’tlike what i was reporting they didn’tlike the job i was doing and it waseasier for themjust to get rid of me[Music]russia is getting rid of politicalrivals tooalexey navalny’s team don’t want me toreveal where we met for safety reasonsjust that it’s in europenavalny himself was first poisoned thenimprisonednow all his closest allies are abroadwe found them preparing for a livestream as usual but far from thesurveillance the police searches and thecriminal charges they face in russiabusinessnavalny’s team have been outlawed asdangerous extremists slurred as agentsof the west their real crime diggingdirt on russia’s political elitesexposing corruption[Music]foreignmy own link to russia has been brokenbut vladimir putin is going nowhere he’sjust got the constitution changed so hecan stay on in the kremlini mean i don’t want to gobut i’ll goi mean initially it was devastating nowit just makes me angrybecause it’s not my choiceand also because it’s just wrongfor journalismi do worry aboutwhat’s happening to the country i’mleaving behindand to the journalists and to thejust people that i’ve met who who[Music]who i thinkwould like to livedifferentlyready so i’ve been forced from a countryi’ve called home for almost a third ofmy lifewhose story i’ve tried to explain to theworldbut as russia increasingly sees enemiesall aroundit’s now added me to the list[Music]you

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