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BBC journalist leaves Russia after ‘unprecedented surveillance’

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A journalist for BBC’s Russian-language service said on Monday he would leave Russia for “exile” in Britain as a result of surveillance of his actions in Russia.

Andrei Zakharov, along with other journalists, wrote a report saying he felt the need to leave Russia after he experienced “unprecedented surveillance” in Moscow, according to Reuters.

He called his decision to leave “the sad but accurate word ‘exile’” in a tweet

In October, Russia deemed Zakharov a “foreign agent,” a decision that the BBC condemned at the time. 

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“The BBC strongly rejects the decision by the Russian authorities to designate Andrei Zakharov from our Moscow bureau as a ‘foreign agent,’” the news organization said in October.

The Kremlin, however, has said that journalists and media outlets designated as foreign agents are permitted to keep working in Russia, Reuters added.

Zakharov did not say in his report whether he attributed the uptick in surveillance of his activities to his foreign agent designation or his recent investigation into alleged Russian hackers, Reuters noted. 

The journalist has also reported on topics including matters involving President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinPutin to ponder options if West fails to meet demands regarding Ukraine Ukraine president, US lawmakers huddle amid tensions with Russia Thousands of Russian troops withdrawing from Ukraine border: report MORE and Russian disinformation factories, the news service added. 

The Hill has reached out to the BBC for comment.

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