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Human Rights

Russia bans 500 Americans including journalists, President Obama from entry

Some of the journalists worked for CNN and were those who reported on the imprisonment of Wall Street Journalist Evan Gershkovich

Moscow's Red Square at night
Moscow's Red Square at night | Shutterstock

May 20, 2023 8:21am

Updated: May 20, 2023 8:21am

Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday released a list of 500 Americans it has banned from entering the country in response to western sanctions amid its illegal invasion of Ukraine.

“In response to the regularly imposed anti-Russian sanctions by the [Joe] Biden administration, which, according to Washington’s plan, are designed to inflict maximum damage on Russia by personally affecting officials and ordinary citizens of our country, as a countermeasure, entry into the Russian Federation is closed for 500 Americans,” reads a statement from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The list mostly includes political leaders and media personalities such as MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, CNN's Erin Burnett, and even Stephen Colbert.

U.S. political party officials, including Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, R, and Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, D, and also made the list.

Also among the 500 are active administration officials whom the ministry says facilitate “the spread of Russophobic attitudes and fakes, as well as the heads of military-industrial complex companies that supply weapons to the regime in Kiev.”

The statement also said it was listing law enforcement agents and officers who were charging and investigating “dissidents” involved in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots.

“It is high time for Washington to learn that not a single hostile attack against Russia will be left without a strong reaction,” the Russians asserted. "The principle of the inevitability of punishment will be consistently applied, whether we are talking about tougher sanctions pressure or discriminatory steps to hinder the professional activities of our fellow citizens."

The RFA also stressed it was denying U.S. Embassy officials in Moscow access to visit with imprisoned Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich.