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Russia Expels British Journalist After Criticism

A British journalist from "The Guardian" newspaper has been expelled from Russia after reporting claims in U.S. diplomatic cables that the country had become a "mafia state."

"The Guardian" said today that Luke Harding, the daily's Moscow correspondent, was refused entry to Russia as he returned from London over the weekend.

The paper said Harding was sent back to Britain on the next available plane. He was given no specific reason for the decision, the paper said.

Harding had flown back to Moscow after two months in London reporting on the contents of the U.S. cables, given to his paper by whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks.

Harding's expulsion follows his reporting in December on assessments of modern Russia from the U.S. cables, which listed a string of damaging allegations about the links between top officials, oligarchs, and organized crime.

with agency reports