AN IRISH man has been sanctioned by the UK government for his connection to a major media organisation in Russia.
Journalist Bryan MacDonald, who is listed as being from Kilkenny in the document, is on the list of those being sanctioned due to working with RT (formerly Russia Today).
The sanctions include the freezing of assets and travel bans.
The document states that he is the head of the Russia Desk for the English language edition of RT, which is "owned or controlled by ANO TV-NOVOSTI, which is or has been involved in obtaining a benefit from or supporting the Government of Russia".
"ANO TV-NOVOSTI was designated by the United Kingdom on 31 March 2022. Therefore, as an employee of RT, MCDONALD is a member of, or associated with, a person involved in destabilising Ukraine or undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty or independence of Ukraine, or obtaining a benefit from or supporting the Government of Russia," the document states.
UK citizens must now freeze any accounts with those MacDonald and others on the list of those sanctioned, refrain from dealing with the funds or assets or making them available to such persons and provide any information concerning the frozen assets that Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation may request.
At the end of February, MacDonald tweeted to say that he "genuinely didn't believe Russia would launch a full-scale military attack on Ukraine.
"Like most journalists, analysts & pundits based in Russia, I thought it was sabre-rattling or a bluff to force the West's hand in negotiations.
"I apologise for getting it so badly wrong."
Just a week earlier, he had tweeted to say "there are no signs that the Kremlin is preparing the public for an imminent major war."
"If it were to happen, people here would be shocked."
Same here, and am not only living in Russia, but working for a Russian media outlet.
There are no signs that the Kremlin is preparing the public for an imminent major war.
If it were to happen, people here would be shocked. https://t.co/SNXGnXfJ5b
— Bryan MacDonald (@27khv) February 12, 2022