Instrument of UK soft power

The British Council, whose activities in Russia were suspended by the Kremlin on Saturday, is a registered charity that uses education and culture to spread British soft power internationally.

The group said Saturday it was “profoundly disappointed” by the decision, taken amid escalating tensions over the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England.

The British Council is a network of cultural and linguistic institutes, with 179 branches in 107 countries, according to its 2017 annual report.

Over 65 million people directly used the service last year, with 731 million people also engaging with it online through broadcasts and publications.

It was founded in 1934 as “extreme ideologies were gaining influence, with the rise of Communism in Russia, and Fascism in Germany, Italy and Spain,” according to its website.

The council was granted a Royal Charter in 1940, which set out its mission as “promoting a wider…

Read more