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Amy Klobuchar, John McCain (who’s dead) and Morgan Freeman: Russia’s very weird ‘black list’

In response to what it called recent “hostile actions taken by Washington,” Russia has banned almost a thousand Americans, some of whom are actually still alive. 

Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Sen. Amy Klobuchar
MinnPost photo by Craig Lassig

Annoyed at all the nasty reactions to their savage, unjustified, and not-terribly successful war (sorry, their “special military operation”) in Ukraine, Russia has banned almost a thousand Americans, most of them alive but a few dead ones as well, from coming to Russia for a visit until further notice.

As reported by the Washington Post, a list of 963 Americans who are unwelcome to visit Russia was published by the Russian Foreign Ministry over the weekend.

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris led the do-not-visit-us list. (Also unwelcome: president’s scandal-plagued son Hunter Biden, though First Lady Jill Biden and other Biden children and grandchildren were not explicitly banned.) 

All the top leaders of House and Senate Democrats (Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer for example), were banned. Among Minnesotans, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and U.S. Rep Ilhan Omar made the don’t-bother-applying-for-a-visa list.

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Moscow was more selective about Republicans, banning, for example, the House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, but not, for whatever reason, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. Also unbanned was the still titular Republican Party leader and former president Donald Trump. But the Russians did ban former ardent Trump backers from the Republican Senate caucus, including Lindsay Graham of South Carolina. 

I don’t know if Moscow doesn’t get timely updates on alive-or-dead news or the Russians just hold a grudge, but the list included a bipartisan group of dead lawmakers, including Sens. John McCain, Harry Reid and Orrin Hatch. (Hatch just died last month and Reid last December but McCain made a fairly well-publicized departure from this life almost four years ago.)

Russia did specify that the banned list was in response to what it called recent “hostile actions taken by Washington” during Russia’s unprovoked and murderous military operations in Ukraine.