Russia Expels Journalist After WikiLeaks Stories
'The Guardian' correspondent wrote articles critical of Putin
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2011 1:25 PM CST
A file photo of The Guardian reporter Luke Harding.   (AP Photo/Christian Jungeblodt/The Guardian)
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(Newser) – This won't help the perception that Vladimir Putin is a wee bit thin-skinned: When a British reporter tried to re-enter Russia after writing a series of damning articles based on the WikiLeaks cables, he got this message from a security official: "For you, Russia is closed," reports the Guardian. The newspaper's Moscow correspondent, Luke Harding, got stopped at the airport, detained in a cell for about an hour, then sent home on the first available flight.

Before trying to re-enter the country, Harding had been back in the UK for about two months writing stories that depicted Vladimir Putin as presiding over what amounted to a "virtual mafia state." He is thought to be the first British reporter to be expelled by Moscow since the end of the Cold War, notes the Guardian. Russia has not given an official explanation for the move.