This is a typical example of the kind of low-grade anti-Russia propaganda that the free press likes to fill its pages with.
It’s a story in the Daily Telegraph about some apparent changes to the Russian tourist visa application process.
Apparently the changes include new questions about income and about the applicant’s social media accounts.
The questions are described as ‘intrusive’. The article presents this as something sinister – and uses it to paint Russia in a bad light.
The report says that they tried to contact the Foreign Office to get a list of questions that Russian visitors to the UK are asked for comparison but the Foreign Office could not supply them. This is third-rate journalism. If you want to make a comparison then you need to get the form yourself e.g. – ask a contact in Russia to make an application so you can get a form. To put your lazy and half-baked research into the article and leave it at that is shoddy journalism – the kind, one hopes, would lead to a fail in journalism school – but which is all too common in the Western press.
In reality; questions about having sufficient income are hardly unusual in Visa application forms. Russia already asks these questions for business long-stay visas and has it seems simply decided to ask them for tourist visas as well. It isn’t clear from the article but these new regulations may apply to visa applicants from countries other than Britain.
As concerns social media accounts. Russia is perhaps interested in finding out if people visiting are bloggers who plan to write hostile material about Russia and/or support terrorism. Again – these changes probably apply to people from countries other than Britain. Russia (like Britain) has a problem with terrorist supporters who are very active on social media. This is probably connected to those problems. As the article acknowledges the US asks visa applicants similar questions.
So. A complete non-story – dressed up as evil Russia behaving in a sinister fashion.
This is the kind of low-grade hate propaganda that papers like the Telegraph feeds its readers on a daily basis. Ah. The ‘free press’.