Russian security chief calls BBC ‘fake news factory that Britons themselves take with a smile’

Britain is a former empire trying to stay relevant in European affairs by becoming an anti-Russian champion, Nikolai Patrushev, a senior Russian security official, believes. British people see through this ruse, he said.

Patrushev, the former head of the security service FSB, who currently chairs the Russian national security council, painted a highly unfavorable picture of modern Britain in an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta. He said the British establishment still cannot get over their country’s rapid transition from the world’s most-powerful empire to a nation subjugated by its former colony, the United States.

The Russian official said Britain is trying to preserve its diminishing influence by becoming Europe’s champion in an anti-Russian crusade, based on supposed common European values. This foundation however is false, Patrushev said.

“Britain poses as a model democracy. But it’s not clear how it complies with the strict censorship in the British media, for example,” he said.

“The BBC has pretty much become a fake news factory that the Britons themselves take with a smile,” Patrushev added. “Admittedly, Britain is not alone in its Russophobic policy. Except the nations with the same mindset mostly are in Eastern Europe.”

The criticism comes amid a low point in Russian-British relations, which deteriorated further from an already low level last year over the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal in the UK. London claims that the deed was done by Russian intelligence agents and has been stonewalling all of Russia’s requests for details of the investigation. Moscow denies any involvement and says the affair is being used by Britain to stir anti-Russian sentiment at home and in other nations.