Russian media watchdog says BBC spreads ‘terrorist ideologies’

Russia’s media watchdog accuses BBC of spreading ‘terrorist ideologies’ in latest in a tit-for-tat row over impartiality

  • Roskomnadzor, the state media watchdog, said it would investigate the BBC 
  • Last month Britain’s monitor Ofcom said RT could face sanctions for impartiality
  • It led to a tit-for-tat exchange in which the names of BBC journalists were leaked

Russia’s media watchdog accused the BBC Thursday of spreading the ideologies of ‘terrorist groups’ via online publications of its Russian service, the latest in a tit-for-tat row over media impartiality.

Roskomnadzor, the state communications and media watchdog, said it would investigate whether the BBC was breaking the law.

This was the latest volley in a wave of rhetoric against the BBC, after Britain’s broadcasting regulator Ofcom last year said the Moscow-funded RT channel had broken broadcasting standards.

The names of 44 BBC journalists working in Russia were leaked on a Russian social media site this week

‘Currently we have discovered materials which transmit the ideologies of international terrorist groups (quotes of terrorist al-Baghdadi)’ on the BBC’s Russian language website, Roskomnadzor said in a statement.

Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi is the leader of the Islamic state jihadist group, also known as ISIS.

Russian law does not forbid quoting individuals considered ‘terrorists’, however any mention of such outlawed groups has to come with the disclaimer that the group is banned in Russia.

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The watchdog said it would probe whether material broadcast by the BBC ‘corresponds with Russian anti-extremism legislation’.

The BBC said in a statement sent to AFP that it ‘fully complies with the legislation and regulations of every country’ in which it operates.

The Russian statement did not cite any specific articles or dates.

Roskomnadzor also said it had requested documents from the BBC’s Russian services to investigate whether it was breaking a new law limiting foreign ownership of Russian media.

It comes a month after UK broadcasting watchdog Ofcom announced Russia’s state-run network RT could face sanctions over its reporting of the Salisbury spy attack

BBC’s Russian service is limited to the internet, but it has expanded in recent years and has many top reporters on the team dealing with often sensitive political subjects.

Britain’s Ofcom said in December it had found violations of impartiality rules in seven of RT’s shows broadcast after the Salisbury nerve agent attack on former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

The ruling led Russia to announce it would launch an investigation into the BBC for breaching fairness standards under Russian media law for its reporting of the same incident. 

In an intensification of the feud, the Sunday Times published a list of names and photographs of eight reporters working for the Moscow-backed Sputnik’s UK bureau in Edinburgh. 

After the Sunday Times leak last month, a list of 44 BBC reporters working in Russia was then published online anyonymously. 

Moscow said at the time that any proceedings against the BBC were a ‘mirror measure’ for Britain’s ‘constant propaganda against RT’, a state-owned channel.

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Survivor of Russia's 'Werewolf' serial killer tells how she woke up in a MORGUE after he raped her and left her for dead

Evil Mikhail Popkov was on Monday sentenced to life in jail for 56 murders on top of 22 for which he was earlier convicted.

Svetlana Misyavitchus survived a ruthless attack by the 54-year-old former cop and has spoken of her ordeal – and how he wrecked her life.

Misyavitchus said she was a 17-year-old virgin when she was returning home in the cold from a friend’s house in her city of Angarsk.

A police car stopped and the driver offered her a lift.

She said: “I thought it’s safe to go with a policeman. I was so cold  from head to toes so I accepted.”

She remembers that he drove past her house and she asked him: “Where are we going?”

The next thing she recalled was him “repeatedly banging my head against a tree" – it seemed "to go on for an eternity".

She added: “I was shaking, he wanted to rape me. He was mute – he didn’t respond to anything.

“He said nothing. I crawled out from under him and ran to his car. I was hoping to find car keys there – but failed.

“He caught me and I tripped down some steps.”

She was wounded but found some passers-by who refused to help her.

She then saw Popkov’s car approaching her through bushes by the side of a main road.

He attacked her again and left her for dead.

She said: “The next I knew, I woke up in a morgue. I woke up, sat down, and spotted a label on the toe of a corpse next to me.

“I woke up in a hospital later.”

She was listed as being 25, but her mother found and rescued her.

Half her hair was torn out during the Popkov attack and she was paralysed down one side of her body.

When she was discharged a few months later, her hair had turned grey.

The now 37-year-old said: “His attack aged me by seven years. My brain was damaged.

“If not for him, I would have had a normal life, had a family, and given birth to great kids.”

The other known survivor is Evgeniya Protasova, 36, who unlike Svetlana managed two build a normal life after her brutal rape and attack.

In common with his other attacks, he struck her over the head, stripped her naked, and raped her.

She said: "It happened in July 1999, when I was 18. My boyfriend had invited me to a restaurant, and we left it about midnight.

"He wanted me to go to his place but I strongly refused, and asked him to take me home.

"Then he got angry and shouted that I could go home on my own."

Like Svetlana, the policeman offered her a lift.

He was plain-clothed but showed her his officer’s ID.

Popkov used this tactic repeatedly, sometimes wearing his uniform, to lure women, often as they walked along the pavement slightly tipsy after a drink.

He even told them they should get a lift home from a policeman because – as all locals knew – there was a rapist and serial killer at large in Angarsk at the time.

Bravely, Evgeniya agreed to the trauma of seeing the killer face-to-face as investigators sought crucial evidence that he was “The Werewolf”.


  • “Chessboard killer” Alexander Pichushkin is a close second behind The Werewolf, after he killed an estimated 62 people in Moscow, with 48 bodies found (years active: 1992-2006)
  • "Rostov Ripper" Andre Chikatilo murdered over 56 women and children for 12 years throughout the Soviet Union before being caught (years active: 1978 – 1990)
  • Rich noblewoman Darya Nikolayevna Saltykova murdered serfs on her estate, with 38 proven victims but a possible total of 147 (years active: 1755-1762)
  • The "Wolf of Moscow" Vasili Komaroff bludgeoned and stabbed 33 men to death in a stable while working as a horse-trader (years active: 1921-1923)
  • A family of robbers, led by Inessa Tarverdiyeva and her husband, murdered 30 people between 2007-2013
  • Sergei Ryakhovsky, dubbed "The Hippopotamus" because of his thick neck, killed 19 prostitutes and homosexuals in order to "cleanse" society (years active: 1988-1993)
  • Alcoholic "Satan in a Skirt" Irina Gaidmachuk killed 17 elderly women to fund her vodka addiction (years active: 2002-2010)
  • "Doctor Death" Maxim Petrov killed 12 of his patients over just one year (years active: 1999-2000)
  • Viktor Fokin, known variously as the "Pensioner Maniac" and the "Grandfather Ripper" lured at least ten prostitutes and drinkers in his home before killing and dismembering them (years active: 1996-2000)

She added: "I have a good family now – I am married with two children, I have a son and a daughter.

“I had never told my husband what I had to go through, but I must say I had been living under a huge pressure inside. This story just did not go away.”

Popkov was said by state investigators to have been shocked that any of his victims, who he attacked with axes, hammers, knives, screwdrivers, and spades, had survived.

After he received his life sentence yesterday, a prosecutor said: “He clearly loved killing. Some victims had 145, or even 170 knife wounds.

“He said that he felt satisfied when he felt their pain as they were stabbed."

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