The human rights abuses of the January 6 heroes was not the only reason for the bans, but the fact that they cited this at all is really encouraging.
Maybe they are finally listening to me.
I have said since the Maidan that Russians have to play the same game as the US in terms of this psychological stuff. When the US comes out and says that Russia is violating human rights or suppressing journalists, they need to respond by citing the 1/6 protesters and the mass internet censorship in the US.
The Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday published a list of 500 US citizens – including former president Barack Obama – who are banned from entering the country with immediate effect. The move is a response to the ongoing American sanctions against Moscow.
“It is high time for Washington to learn that not a single attack against Russia will go without a strong reaction,” the ministry said in a statement. “The principle of inevitable punishment will be consistently applied, whether we are talking about tougher sanctions or discriminatory steps to hinder the professional activities of our citizens.”
In reprisal for the US embassy in Moscow witholding visas for Russian journalists – which prevented them from accompanying Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to the UN Security Council last month – the Russian government has refused to grant the embassy’s request for a consular visit to Evan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal correspondent charged with espionage.
Besides Obama, the list Russian blacklist includes many members of Congress, governors and attorney-generals of several US states, former officials currently on boards of prominent think tanks, military contractors who supply weapons to Ukraine, and even the short lived “disinformation czar” Nina Jankowicz.
Also on the list are “those in government and law enforcement agencies who are directly involved in the persecution of dissidents in the wake of the so-called Capitol insurrection,” the Russian Foreign Ministry noted.
Notable names in that category include US Attorney for the District of Columbia Matthew Graves, his predecessor Michael Sherwin, DC Attorney General Karl Racine, and Michael Byrd, the Capitol Police officer who fatally shot unarmed protester Ashli Babbitt.
Among the prominent Biden administration officials who made the blacklist are Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources Geoffrey Pyatt (formerly the US ambassador to Ukraine in 2014); James Rubin, former State Department spokesman and current head of the Global Engagement Center; State Department Counselor Derek Chollet; and President Joe Biden’s senior advisor, Anita Dunn.
TV hosts Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers, Rachel Maddow, and Joe Scarborough were also among the sanctioned, along with former NBC presenter Brian Williams.
Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force, Christine Wormuth and Frank Kendall, made the list as well, along with USAF Chief of Staff General Charles Q. Brown Jr.
Think tanks and the military-industrial complex made the bulk of the list, however. Former secretary of defense and Marine general James Mattis was sanctioned for being on the board of General Dynamics, and ex-CIA director George Tenet as board member of agency contractor In-Q-Tel.
You might say “these people probably weren’t planning to go to Russia anyway.” That is maybe true for some, but definitely not all. These think tank people would and absolutely do travel to Russia to meet with the various “dissidents” there and strategize their color revolution plans.
What’s much more important: this is clearly intended to be the start of a trend. America is building an “Iron Curtain” around itself and its few remaining vassals in Europe, and these people should be isolated. With 81 countries attending the next BRICS summit in Saint Petersburg, we have a situation where the whole world is coming together against the US. These same kinds of sanctions need to be put on the US by every nation that is not “all-in for fisting.”
America must be contained. That has to be the strategy. It has to be a reverse of what was done to the USSR during the Cold War.
We do not have any other choice. This country is an absolute menace to the world.