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U.K.-Based Russian Journalists Report Threats After Ex-Spy Poisoning Scandal

Hannah McKay / Reuters

Russian journalists working in Britain have reported receiving online threats after Moscow was accused of orchestrating the attempted poisoning of a former double agent in southern England earlier this month. 

British Prime Minister Theresa May said Monday that Russia was “highly likely” to be behind the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia on March 4. May gave Russia a midnight deadline on Tuesday to explain how a military-grade nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union came to be used in the poisoning of the Skripals in the city of Salisbury.

London-based correspondent Liza Gerson, from Russia’s state-controlled NTV news channel, reported receiving an email reading, in part, “those who work in Russia with a pen can die by the sword.” 

Her name appeared in British media stories last week after a Russian newscaster warned “traitors” not to settle on British soil. 

The chairman of the Russian Union of Journalists Vladimir Solovyov expressed “extreme concern” over the reported threats in comments to the state-run RIA Novosti news agency on Monday. 

“[Journalists have] found themselves in an extremely tense psychological situation, preventing them from fulfilling their official duties,” he was cited as saying. 

Solovyov said his union planned to ask the British National Union of Journalists to weigh in on the reported threats.

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