NEWS
16/09/2018 19:58 BST | Updated 17/09/2018 14:49 BST

Andrew Murray, Jeremy Corbyn Aide, Barred From Ukraine Over 'Links To Putin Propaganda Network'

He's previously claimed Russia 'does not pose an ideological or systemic challenge'.

RT
Andrew Murray (middle) appearing on the Kremlin-backed RT earlier this year.

One of Jeremy Corbyn’s top aides has been barred from entering the Ukraine after he was deemed a national security risk with links to Vladimir Putin’s ‘global propaganda network’.

Andrew Murray, a former Communist party member and longstanding ally of the Labour leader, was given a three-year ban from the country in June, reports the Mail on Sunday.

A Ukrainian intelligence officer told the paper the move was taken because he is “regarded as being part of Putin’s global propaganda network, peddling Russian lies, particularly about Crimea and the war in Eastern Ukraine”.

Ukraine was plunged into crisis in 2014 after a popular uprising protesting the government’s decision to forge closer links with Russia over the EU, descended into bloodshed and a new pro-Western government installed.

As a result of what was dubbed the Euromaidan Revolution, Putin annexed Crimea and deployed Russian forces in Ukraine, sparking a civil war in the Donbass region.

In response Murray helped form the ‘Solidarity with the Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine’ which pinned the blame on the crisis on the pro-Western government and “fascists”.

Speaking of Murray’s ban from the country, the Ukranian security services said: “We made a decision to ban the entrance of the citizen of Great Britain [Mr Murray] starting from June 2018 for three years based on the law of Ukraine about the legal state of foreign citizens ... in order to insure the national security of Ukraine.”

Murray is currently working part-time with Corbyn’s office and is on secondment from his position as chief of staff to the Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey.

HuffPost UK last week reported he and another Corbyn aide, Iram Awan, have been working in the Labour leader’s office without required security clearance.

A Commons investigation has since been launched.

Murray has backed the Kremlin on a number of issues including the downing of MH17, the annexation of Crimea and has previously expressed solidarity with North Korea.

He appeared on the Kremlin-backed RT in January and in an interview with George Galloway, said: “Russia is a capitalist country, it does not pose the ideological or systemic challenge that the existence of the Soviet Union did.”

Two Russians, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov have been identified by the UK Government as those behind the attempted assassination of Sergie Skripal and his daughter Yulia by spraying Novichok on their front door in Salisbury in March.

RT
Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

An investigation by Bellingcat and The Russian Insider revealed a number of anomalies that directly contradict Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov’s claims they were merely “tourists” who visited Salisbury to see the city’s famous cathedral in March of this year.

The biggest hole in the pair’s story is the fact no record of either men exists from before 2009 when passports under their names were issued, which the report says “suggests the two names were likely cover identities for operatives of one of the Russian security services”.

In the same RT interview, Murray also said: “Russia is filling a vacuum to some extent in the Middle East and pushing back against some American interests there.”

Russia currently backs the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad and over the course of the last seven years has killed an estimated 90% of the 200,000 civilians killed during the country’s devastating civil war.