Irish man sanctioned by UK Government due to links with Russian media 1 month ago

Irish man sanctioned by UK Government due to links with Russian media

Bryan MacDonald is the head of Russia Desk for RT (Russia Today).

An Irish man has been sanctioned by the British Government due to his involvement with Russian media.

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Bryan MacDonald, born in Kilkenny, is the Head of the Russian and Former Soviet Union Desk for RT (Russia Today).

"RT 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 by carrying on business as a Government of Russia-affiliated entity and carrying on business in a strategically significant sector to the Government of Russia," a notice from the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation, issued on Wednesday (4 May), reads.

"ANO TV-NOVOSTI was designated by the United Kingdom on 31 March, 2022. Therefore, as an employee of RT, MCDONALD [sic] is a member of, or associated with, a person involved in destabilising Ukraine or undermining or threatening the 9 territorial integrity, sovereignty or independence of Ukraine, or obtaining a benefit from or supporting the Government of Russia."

The Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (S.I. 2019/855) were made under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018, and mean that MacDonald's assets have been frozen.

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UK citizens must now freeze any accounts, funds, or other economic resources, and refrain from dealing with McDonald.

Failure to comply or attempting to circumvent the sanctions is a criminal offence.

MacDonald began working with RT in 2013 after writing an op-ed entitled 'How Do You Solve A Problem Like Ukraine?'.

The journalist previously predicted that Russia would not invade Ukraine, describing fears of impending war as "media hysteria".

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"There are no signs that the Kremlin is preparing the public for an imminent major war," MacDonald wrote on Twitter on 12 February, less than a week before the invasion began.

"If it were to happen, people here would be shocked," he said.

MacDonald has since apologised for sharing his belief that Russia would invade Ukraine.

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"I genuinely didn't believe Russia would launch a full-scale military attack on Ukraine," he wrote.

"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."

MacDonald appears to still work for RT, where other journalists such as Jonny Tickle have resigned from the company in protest of the invasion of Ukraine.

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Featured Image: Bryan MacDonald on Twitter