Escalating diplomatic crisis between UK and Russia sparks fears of Russophobia
In the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Dormition of the Mother of God and All Saints in Knightsbridge, flickering candles lit up the faces of about 200 congregants this week as haunting prayers were sung to celebrate the mystery of holy unction.
Worshippers repeatedly made the sign of the cross and bowed as they sought healing of the soul and forgiveness of sins. Despite the cathedrals location in one of the most affluent parts of London, it felt far removed from the world of oligarchs, espionage and deadly nerve agents.
But the impact of the escalating diplomatic crisis between Russia and the UK over the poisoning of the former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, has unsettled Russians living in London. While ramping up the rhetoric against Vladimir Putins regime, Britains foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, cautioned against an outbreak of Russophobia during an interview on Radio 4s Today programme.