The regime in the Kremlin is out to annoy the UK as much as possible, but the actual losers are Russian citizens. Article 44 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation provides:
"(1) Everyone is guaranteed freedom of literary, artistic, scientific, intellectual and other types of creative activity and tuition. Intellectual property is protected by the law.
(2) Everyone has the right to participation in cultural life, to the use of institutions of culture, and access to cultural values."
This provision is in practice waste paper as individuals lose the opportunity to use British Council services. And the British Council's local employees particularly suffer as they lose their livelihoods for no reason - security men visit them late at night and make it clear on flimsy pretexts that they had better not turn up for work any more.
Will any Russian citizens take steps to get redress against this affront to their rights? Will any of them win, or even bring, a court case over the loss of their rights or their jobs? I'm not holding my breath.
In the case of State of Mauritius v Khoyratty (2006) the Privy Council said: “The idea of a democracy involves a number of different concepts. The first is that the people must decide who should govern them. Secondly, there is the principle that fundamental rights should be protected by an impartial and independent judiciary. Thirdly, in order to achieve a reconciliation between the inevitable tensions between these ideas, a separation of powers between the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary is necessary."
I do not believe any of these concepts applies in the Russian Federation today. Whatever kind of state it is, it is not a democracy.