With the continuing attack on Ukraine, most Americans probably aren’t jonesing to go to Russia right now. Not that they really could. Well, at least not easily, since there are no flights into the country from the U.S. or any other Western country.
Wanting to go or not set aside, there’s apparently now a list of 963 Americans who are “permanently banned” from ever entering Russia. Some of them include actor Morgan Freeman, actor/director Rob Reiner, and Facebook president Mark Zuckerberg.
Why? Russian Foreign Ministry officials say the nearly 1,000 people on the list “incite Russophobia.”
The Kremlin’s list started with less than 30 names last month. But as Western sanctions continued to grow in the wake of the Ukraine invasion, so did the list.
The Foreign Ministry said in a news release:
In the context of responding to the constantly imposed anti-Russian sanctions by the United States and in connection with incoming requests about the personal composition of our national “stop list”, the Russian Foreign Ministry publishes a list of American citizens who are permanently banned from entering the Russian Federation.
We emphasize that the hostile actions taken by Washington, which boomerang against the United States itself, will continue to receive a proper rebuff. Russian counter-sanctions are forced and aimed at forcing the ruling American regime, which is trying to impose a neo-colonial “rules-based world order” on the rest of the world, to change its behavior, recognizing new geopolitical realities.
Russia does not seek confrontation and is open to honest, mutually respectful dialogue, separating the American people, who are always respected by us, from the US authorities, who incite Russophobia, and those who serve them. It is these people who are included in the Russian “black list”.
Freeman, 84, is apparently on the list because he was in a 2017 video clip where he accused the Russian government of interfering in the 2016 presidential election. In the video, ‘We have been attacked, we are at war.’
The video in question was directed by Rob Reiner (so BOOM, on the list) and was produced for an organization called the Committee to Investigate Russia.
Russia banned Zuckerberg’s Meta’s Facebook and Instagram services, calling them “extremist” organizations, because they dared to allow people to post what Russia was doing to Ukraine.
Freeman, Reiner and Zuck are in decent company, as the list also includes popular names from both sides: President Joe Biden; Vice President Kamala Harris; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York; Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., among others.
Dead people, such as former Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.; Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev, are on the list, too. Because I’m sure they can do a lot of damage…from beyond, maybe?
The list also includes a handful of Canadian government officials and journalists, as well as international religious leaders, and some ordinary people, as well. Because reasons.
Former president Donald Trump was not on the list.
I suppose if Freeman, Zuck, or anyone else on the list really wanted to visit St. Basil’s Cathedral or the State Hermitage Museum someday, they’ll have to be disappointed now. But otherwise? Meh. Or, as former White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who is also on the list, said, “I guess we will have to cancel our August family trip to Moscow …”
I guess we will have to cancel our August family trip to Moscow… https://t.co/wthx35BDdJ
— Jen Psaki (@jrpsaki) May 22, 2022
Feature Photo: Sachkv (altered, cropped) / Wikimedia
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Wife and I cannot wait to go back to Russia. If you have ever been, then you know. It’s a beautiful country and the people are welcoming. Don’t forget Catherine’s Palace, Church on Spilled Blood, Peterhof. There are many beautiful places to see around Russia, don’t be so close minded.
I have no doubt there are many lovely things in Russia. I have friends who have been and they’ve said the same thing. That being said, the country’s treatment of Ukraine may have left, understandably, a sour taste in some peoples’ mouths.
The Russians also just seize people and imprison them for no reason. Although in Brittney Griner’s case, she is being held captive because she is LGBT. Russia is a place that I don’t have to ever go in my life.