Moscow thrust the BBC into the geopolitical limelight yesterday by axing its radio service from Russian airwaves. Media pundits are blaming the decision on rising anger between Moscow and Britain as the head of Russia's BBC called the radio silence “highly irregular and extremely disappointing.” But a Russian regulator denied any political motivation behind the move and promptly hung up on the Guardian.
The decision follows months of on-and-off radio static for Russia's BBC after it aired an interview with Alexander Litvinenko, the dissident who fingered Moscow for poisoning him. Since then, the Kremlin has campaigned to blame his death on British spies and the countries have kicked out 4 of each other’s diplomats. Today the BBC is appealing its unceremonious booting from the airwaves.