Times ‘bowed’ to pressure, diplomat claims in damning open letter
Russian Ambassador to the UK Andrey Kelin accused The Times of “potholing” to outside forces after deleting an interview with the diplomat from its website. Kelin warned that the move did not bode well for the newspaper’s readers.
The story in question was published last Sunday, but as of Thursday it was no longer available on the Times webpage. Instead, readers receive a notice that the article “has been removed.” An online service that logs content from popular internet links dates from Tuesday morning as the last article snapshot.
The Russian Embassy released a statement from Kelin on Thursday condemning the deletion of the interview. The message, which was addressed to Times editor Tony Gallagher, described the decision as “deeply revealing” and hinted that the newspaper had taken the plunge after “[coming] under fire from the influential local anti-Russian troops.
“Your newspaper has unfortunately yielded to outside pressure or, most likely, to instructions from the authorities”, Kelin argued.
Far from being the mark of a courageous and independent editorial policy. And bad news for your readers, who have been deprived of a balanced hearing of viewpoints and, therefore, the ability to form their own judgment on the crisis in Ukraine.
The original Times article, headlined ‘Russia ready for ceasefire but not ready for defeat, says UK ambassador’, explained Moscow’s position on the conflict with Ukraine, as well as than the possibility of peace talks.
The Ambassador commented on internal Ukrainian issues, such as the poor economic situation and the repression of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church by President Vladimir Zelensky. The discussion also focused on Russia’s relations with China.
The Russian Embassy issued a copy of the article in its entirety, in protest against its deletion by the newspaper.
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