Sky’s Lisa Holland says most Muscovites are not following the Skripal story but the wealthy elite won’t like a London holiday ban.
It fell to the Russian Embassy in London to tweet a short initial statement while the Commons was still sitting, giving the first indication of Russia’s response.
It came as no surprise that Theresa May’s punishment list was described as “unacceptable, unjustified and shortsighted” and that “all the responsibility for the deterioration of relations lies with the UK”.
So that’s it then – game on.
The next move will come from Russia – and it’s not a question of if but when that happens and a raft of counter measures is unveiled.
Already, Britain’s ambassador to Moscow has been hauled back to the Foreign Ministry, no doubt to be told once more Russia pleads not guilty and it’s Britain which isn’t playing by the rule book.
Not the rule book from which Britain points out chemical weapons were banned a long time ago, but the one which Russia is relying on, saying it should be given access to the nerve agent inquiry.
Over the water, on the banks of the Moskva River, British staff at the embassy will be wondering which of them will be London-bound within a week and how many can hang on longer.
Ordinary Russians simply aren’t following the twists and turns of the Skripal saga in the way Britain is.
They would hardly notice if England didn’t show up to the World Cup, let alone a few ministers or Royals.
What about visas?
Britain is an expensive country that isn’t on the day-to-day holiday list for pretty much most Russians.
Of course, for the wealthy elite, it’s a different matter.
And they are the cronies surrounding Mr Putin at the top.