Verum returned to the Mystical dorm room after a long day at MysticLand Elementia School. Her plan was to crawl into her bed for a nice nap. But the moment she stepped into the room, her crystal ball began its usual low humming. It sensed its Seer companion’s presence.
What else could Verum do but world-gaze? As she grasped the news, her face scrunched up. Scorch, who had walked in after Verum, asked, “What is the news, Verum?”
“It’s rather complex and confusing. Everyone has a different version of the story,” said Verum, “But to put it shortly, it is about a British Broadcasting Channel (BBC) journalist, Sarah Rainsford. The BBC is the United Kingdom’s national broadcaster. Rainsford works as the BBC correspondent posted in Moscow, the capital of Russia, which is the world’s biggest country.”
“Okay? Go on,” encouraged Scorch.
“Rainsford’s visa expires at the end of August. But instead of renewing it, Russia is forcing her to leave by not renewing the visa,” said Verum, “A visa is a permit added to your passport which officially allows you to enter another country and stay there for a limited period of time.”
She added, “Rainsford is devastated as she has lived in Russia for nearly one-third of her life. She even speaks Russian fluently. Over the years, she reported many important events that occurred in Russia.”
“This is a serious situation,” said Scorch, “How did the BBC react to this?”
“The BBC Director-General Tim Davie called Russia’s move an attack on media freedom. They disapprove of it,” replied Verum, “But Russia has a different story to tell. State-owned media Rossiya-24 reported that Rainsford’s expulsion is to fight discrimination against Russian journalists in the UK.”
“Oh, what is the discrimination?” said Scorch.
“In April, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova released a statement. In it, she claimed that the UK was persecuting (oppressing) Russian journalists under the suspicion that they were spies,” replied Verum, “Russia denies this of course.”
She added, “But the UK and even Sarah Rainsford has reiterated that the UK has imposed sanctions (punishments) on Russian citizens who have corruption charges and have performed Human Rights Violations.”
“This is so tricky,” said Scorch.