Russia has released a list of 500 Americans who are no longer welcome to enter that country — and a few New Englanders made the cut, including Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey, Democratic US Representative Becca Balint of Vermont, former Vermont attorney general Thomas J. Donovan, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha, and New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella.
The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that the decision was “a countermeasure” made in response to “the regularly imposed anti-Russian sanctions by the Biden administration.”
”Given the atrocities we are seeing the Kremlin carry out, being blacklisted by Russia is a badge of honor,” Formella said Monday. He was listed along with numerous other state attorneys general.
“I am proud to vigorously enforce New Hampshire law and will continue to do so despite attempts like this to try and intimidate America’s public officials,” Formella said. “This ‘action’ will have no impact on me, my office, or our work.”
Former president Barack Obama is also on the list, along with political advisers, state lawmakers, board members of NGOs, academics, researchers, analysts, employees of certain tech firms, many people associated with the RAND Corporation and the Brookings Institution, members of the military, and police officer Michael Byrd (who killed Trump supporter Ashli Babbit during the January 6 attack on the US Capitol).
Russia has banned Harvard University’s Lubomyr Hajda, Volodymyr Dibrova, Timish Holowinsky, and Emily Channell-Justice, all of whom are associated with the university’s Ukrainian Research Institute. Harvard Professor of Economics Jason Furman, Boston College professor Heather Cox Richardson, and Steven Tian, the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute’s director of research, have been banned as well.
Several prominent journalists from major news networks also are banned, including CNN anchor Erin Burnett, former NBC News anchor Brian Williams, acting Voice of America chief Yolanda Lopez, investigative journalist Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, Matthew Joseph Continetti of the National Review, and MSNBC hosts Rachel Maddow and Joe Scarborough.
Late-night talk show stars also were targeted, with Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, and Seth Meyers all permanently banned from entering Russia. Meyers, who grew up in New Hampshire, poked fun on Twitter at a WMUR news story that emphasized his Granite State roots.