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Tipsheet

Russia Bans Obama, Maddow, Colbert From Entering the Country

Russia has banned hundreds of U.S. citizens, including former President Barack Obama, from traveling to the country in response to the U.S. sanctions over the Ukraine war. 

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On Friday, the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry announced that it is blocking entry for 500 Americans in response to the sanctions the country claims are designed to damage Russian officials and civilians. 

The ban also includes liberal commentator Rachel Maddow and liberal late-night hosts Steven Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel, along with former officials and lawmakers from both parties who were elected to Congress during last year's midterm elections. 

The ministry also said the list includes individuals involved in the "persecution of dissidents" who participated in the Jan. 6 protests at Capitol Hill. 

"It is high time for Washington to learn that not a single hostile attack against Russia will be left without a strong reaction," the announcement reads. "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." 

It is worth noting that the ban on U.S. citizens came to the release of a report by Special Counsel John Durham, which concluded that the FBI's initiation of the Trump-Russia probe was unjustified. Durham's extensive investigation revealed significant flaws in the Department of Justice and FBI's compliance with the law. 

The Durham Report revealed that Obama and then-Vice President Joe Biden were aware of Hillary Clinton's plan to create a false narrative connecting Trump to Russia. 

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The ban on the former president's visit to Russia can be viewed as disapproval of policies pursued during his time in office. In addition, tensions between the U.S. and Russia have risen as the two countries fought a bitter conflict. 

As the Democratic Party bows down to Ukraine, sending millions of dollars in aid to help the "struggling" country, many Republicans have argued that it is not the U.S.'s war to fight. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla) said backing Ukraine is not in the U.S. interest. 

"While the U.S. has many vital national interests — securing our borders, addressing the crisis of readiness within our military, achieving energy security and independence, and checking the economic, cultural, and military power of the Chinese Communist Party — becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them," DeSantis said earlier this year. 

On the contrary, Biden has vowed to support Ukraine for "as long as it takes,"--even if that means shipping boatloads of U.S. money to the country.  

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