The Corner

Russia Expels David Satter, the First U.S. Journalist Kicked Out since the Cold War

Yesterday, it was reported that the Russian government has refused to re-admit David Satter, a journalist for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and an NRO contributor. The Russian government has informed him that he is now considered a persona non grata in the country; the U.S. embassy in Moscow has taken up the issue with the Russian foreign ministry and demanded an explanation, but hasn’t received one. Following is the statement from Kevin Klose, president of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty:

I report today that the Russian government has denied a visa to David Satter, distinguished journalist adviser to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc. (RFE/RL), and informed him he is persona non grata on the territory of the Russian Federation.

This expulsion of Mr. Satter is entirely without foundation or explanation. It is a fundamental violation of the right of free speech and journalistic liberty.

U.S. Embassy Moscow was immediately informed of this action against Mr. Satter and lodged a formal diplomatic protest with the Russian foreign ministry. The U.S. embassy has sought without success for an explanation from the Russian foreign ministry of this decision.

Mr. Satter and this company have acted in good faith at all times to conform to instructions conveyed from the Russian foreign ministry regarding Mr. Satter’s visa application.

Mr. Satter first received word on Dec. 12, 2013, from the foreign ministry that a visa for him was approved. This message was repeated on Dec. 16, 2013.

On Dec. 23, 2013, the foreign ministry issued an official visa-approval number to be presented by Mr. Satter to the Russian embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine.

When Mr. Satter went to the Russian embassy in Kyiv, he was informed that there was no approval for him under that official approval number. He was advised by the foreign ministry to return the next day, and speak with Alexei Gruby, an embassy diplomat.

On Dec. 25, Mr. Gruby told Mr. Satter that Russian “competent organs” had determined his presence on the territory of the Russian federation was undesirable and he was being barred entry to Russia.

Mr. Satter had been living and working in Russia as an RFE/RL adviser and journalist since September 2013 on a 1-year business visa.

Mr. Satter’s courageous, thoughtful journalism, analyses, and commentaries are critical to public understanding of the deepening challenges confronting Russia in this post-Soviet era.

We want nothing more than that Mr. Satter forthwith be able to return to Moscow, where he has lived and worked since September 2013, advising, reporting, and commenting for our Russian service and providing trenchant interviews, columns, and analyses to many news and opinion sites.

Mr. Satter, a Chicago native and U.S. citizen, has won acclaim and recognition as a foremost expert in Russia and the West.

Satter has most recently written for NRO from Ukraine, where he was following the protests there over the Ukrainian government’s drifting away from Western Europe and embrace of Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

Patrick Brennan — Patrick Brennan is a writer and policy analyst based in Washington, D.C. He was Director of Digital Content for Marco Rubio's presidential campaign, writing op-eds, policy content, and leading the ...

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More