Video: Russia expels first US journalist since Cold War

posted at 10:41 am on January 14, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

With the Sochi Olympics just around the corner, one might think that Russia would prefer to put on its best and most welcoming face for the world press. Instead, it kicked out David Satter, who most recently had worked with Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, on the pretext of a visa violation. Satter thinks there is more to this than meets the eye:

Russia has expelled an American journalist and author critical of President Vladimir Putin in one of the first such cases since the Cold War.

David Satter, a former Moscow correspondent for the Financial Times and author of three books on Russia and the former Soviet Union, had been working as an adviser to the U.S. broadcasters Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty since September.

“As some of you may know, I’ve been expelled from Russia,” he wrote on his Twitter page Monday.

Satter told CNN he had gone to the Ukrainian capital Kiev to exchange his existing visa for a correspondent’s visa when he was told his application had been rejected, on the grounds that his presence in Russia was “undesirable.” He is now in London “until we figure out what to do next.”

Russia claims that he waited five days to convert his entry visa to the appropriate multi-entry status, which rendered him as an “undesirable.” That status was apparently decided by the FSB, the successor organization to the KGB:

The 66-year-old said he was then told on December 25 that his application for a new visa to Russia had been rejected on the grounds that his presence was “undesirable.”

“The competent organs have determined that your presence, on the territory of the Russian Federation, is undesirable,” Satter cited the official Russian decision as saying on his Twitter account.

“Competent organs” is a phrase used by Russian authorities to refer to the feared Federal Security Service (ex-KGB) that Putin headed shortly before he first became president in 2000.

But the Russian foreign ministry said Satter was well aware that he had violated migration rules.

“He was denied a multi-entry visa on the grounds that he grossly violated Russian migration law,” the ministry said in a statement.

The “gross” violation took place between November 21 and 26, Satter’s initial entry date and the date in which he applied for the conversion to the new visa. Russia insists that Satter was an illegal alien for five days. Russia also claims that they took action on November 29th and ordered him expelled, and that his violation is so egregious that he can’t return for five years. However, Satter didn’t leave until December 5th, and apparently thought nothing was wrong until he tried to re-enter on Christmas Day.

The FSB’s involvement is a little curious, too. The Foreign Ministry should have been able to deal with this issue on its own if all that was involved was a visa violation. This smells political, and the timing of it is very curious. It looks a little like Moscow didn’t like Satter’s coverage of the Kiev protests over Ukraine’s decision to pull closer to Russia economically, and decided to exact some revenge. That’s certainly Satter’s take.

That throws down a bit of a gauntlet to the rest of the press corps covering Sochi. Do they ignore the incident, even though this may well be a prelude to a wider effort to expel Western journalists? Or do they speak up and force Russia’s hand as the Olympics approach? CNN and AFP at least are reporting on it. We’ll see if the rest of the media follows suit.


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The Russians know PROPAGANDA journalists stooges when they see’em …

Radio Liberty….. bwahahahahahaha

roflmmfao

donabernathy on January 14, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Remember how we were gonna be loved by the world once black Chicago Jesus was president?

Lanceman on January 14, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Gee, I wonder if it will put a damper on NBC as Bob Costas opines about the challenges of being a gay olympian. Just remember Russia, you let Costas in you can keep him.

Happy Nomad on January 14, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Remember how we were gonna be loved by the world once black Chicago Jesus was president?

Lanceman on January 14, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Yeah, well I haven’t heard of any schools being named after the lazy shiftless bastard lately either. I mean seriously, you name an inner-city school Barak Obama Elementary and he’s supposed to be a role model or something?

Happy Nomad on January 14, 2014 at 10:53 AM

I’m trying to care… Nope.

Fallon on January 14, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Happy Nomad on January 14, 2014 at 10:53 AM

I think that was in Jersey and I think it was closed down.

Lanceman on January 14, 2014 at 10:58 AM

Wow, a country that actually enforces its own immigration laws – what a novel concept!

King B on January 14, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Reset.

renalin on January 14, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Gee, you’d almost think Russia was a dictatorship or something.

RadClown on January 14, 2014 at 11:05 AM

At least he didn’t get roughed up and thrown in a closet by Biden’s goons.

The NSA still has access to everything he works on though, so there is that.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 14, 2014 at 11:05 AM

It looks a little like Moscow didn’t like Satter’s coverage of the Kiev protests over Ukraine’s decision to pull closer to Russia economically, and decided to exact some revenge. That’s certainly Satter’s take.

If his take is correct (seems plausible), that’s not revenge. Revenge would be throwing him in jail or killing him in the middle of the night. This is just ensuring that the press provides only favorable coverage. For Obama (and Democrats in general) the methods are different, but the result is the same.

Fenris on January 14, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Just another way for Putin to bitch-slap Obama. He knows he’s dealing with a weak-kneed girly man.

fogw on January 14, 2014 at 11:10 AM

What’s happened to our (for union protected teachers, read that “are”) journalists?

Media Blackout of Michelle Obama’s 24 Day Hawaii Vacation

…The Obama administration has a history of bullying the press to keep them from reporting on the Obama family’s luxury vacations at taxpayer expense. Once again it appears the media has acquiesced. Not even the paparazzi have dared take pictures of Obama on her extended vacation…

Fallon on January 14, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Cold War II

listens2glenn on January 14, 2014 at 11:15 AM

I am so envious of Putin. I would love to expel some journalists!

Can we pleae expel those vapid airheads on CNN? What about that David Gregory? All of MSNBC? Oh please.

I would put ‘inflicting bureacratic red tape upon journalists’ on my bucket list.

Do it again Vlad. Harrass them some more! For the love of all that is Good and True!

perries on January 14, 2014 at 11:17 AM

He knows he’s dealing with a weak-kneed girly man.

fogw on January 14, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Obama wears a onesie. Obama has a man bag. Obama eats pizza with a knife and fork.

Yeah, Putin knows exactly who he is dealing with.

Happy Nomad on January 14, 2014 at 11:17 AM

International trolling of the MSM. Think of the awesome possibilities people!

perries on January 14, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Under the obama Administration, the US has been diminished in the eyes of the world. During the Syrian rush to war, Putin came out the winner and both obama with his stupid red-line and John Kerry making proposals he wasn’t prepared for the Syrians to act one made us look like booger eating morons. Further, it made Putin look like the savior of Middle East peace.

hawkdriver on January 14, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Media Blackout of Michelle Obama’s 24 Day Hawaii Vacation

Fallon on January 14, 2014 at 11:11 AM

From the linked article …….

The First Lady turns 50 years old this Friday. A gala White House party is planned for Saturday night, but guests are being encouraged to eat dinner beforehand. The Obamas would have had to borne the cost of their guests’ dinner as this is a private party and not an affair of state that could be paid by the taxpayers. There is no word on whether there will be a cash or open bar.

This party’s on their tab so Barky and Moochie tell their guests to eat before they arrive. This is the definition of cheap leeches, who have spent their lives living off the government. And I doubt if they have any “real” friends to invite to a party. That’s how they get away with dissing their “guests”.

fogw on January 14, 2014 at 11:23 AM

It isn’t as if 99% of journalists are worth a damn anymore, anyway, alternative media excepted.

They get out there and lie to us, and suppress the truth. They trash good people and cover up for bad people. Expel the heck out of them. Lose their passports, deny their visas, check out their family retainer employment practices, check if their library books are overdue.

perries on January 14, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Satter has written some of the best books on post-soviet Russia. The human tragedy that Communism leaves in it’s wake.

“Darkness at Dawn: The Rise of the Russian Criminal State”

“It Was a Long Time Ago, and It Never Happened Anyway: Russia and the Communist Past”

kcewa on January 14, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Happy Nomad on January 14, 2014 at 11:17 AM

Rides a girly-bike wearing a girly helmet.

President Sissy-Pants.

fogw on January 14, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Gee, you’d almost think Russia was a dictatorship or something.

RadClown on January 14, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Just as Obama got a pass from the Left for not being Bush, for too many on the Right give a pass to Putin for not being Obama. We must be careful not to fall into this trap.

thebrokenrattle on January 14, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Gee, I wonder if it will put a damper on NBC as Bob Costas opines about the challenges of being a gay olympian. Just remember Russia, you let Costas in you can keep him.

Happy Nomad on January 14, 2014 at 10:51 AM

…wouldn’t that be a cause for celebration!…I’d buy the beer!

KOOLAID2 on January 14, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Wow, I wish we had an immigration policy like Russia. Five days overstayed and BOOM, they come after you.

OccamsRazor on January 14, 2014 at 11:45 AM

Rides a girly-bike wearing a girly helmet.

President Sissy-Pants.

fogw on January 14, 2014 at 11:28 AM

I had forgotten about that bike-riding picture. But a technical point here…. Are sissy pants the same thing as mom jeans?

Happy Nomad on January 14, 2014 at 11:52 AM

Happy Nomad on January 14, 2014 at 11:17 AM

Rides a girly-bike wearing a girly helmet.

President Sissy-Pants.

fogw on January 14, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Careful. He might think about a strongly worded …. no he wouldn’t, he’ll cry.

TerryW on January 14, 2014 at 12:03 PM

too many on the Right give a pass to Putin for not being Obama. We must be careful not to fall into this trap.

thebrokenrattle on January 14, 2014 at 11:32 AM

We (the right) cannot do anything about Putin.

Lanceman on January 14, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Remember how we were gonna be loved by the world once black Chicago Jesus was president?

Lanceman on January 14, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Yeah, well I haven’t heard of any schools being named after the lazy shiftless bastard lately either. I mean seriously, you name an inner-city school Barak Obama Elementary and he’s supposed to be a role model or something?

Happy Nomad on January 14, 2014 at 10:53 AM

Did you know there is actually a fungus named after O’bama? Also a parasitic worm, which is totally fitting.

Del Dolemonte on January 14, 2014 at 12:25 PM

What’s happened to our (for union protected teachers, read that “are”) journalists?

Media Blackout of Michelle Obama’s 24 Day Hawaii Vacation

…The Obama administration has a history of bullying the press to keep them from reporting on the Obama family’s luxury vacations at taxpayer expense. Once again it appears the media has acquiesced. Not even the paparazzi have dared take pictures of Obama on her extended vacation…

Fallon on January 14, 2014 at 11:11 AM

She’s staying at Oprah’s place on Mau’i, which is only accessible by a 4 mile long private road.

Del Dolemonte on January 14, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Can you blame them? The USA is a clusterstook thanks to democrats.

Murphy9 on January 14, 2014 at 12:41 PM

We (the right) cannot do anything about Putin.

Lanceman on January 14, 2014 at 12:05 PM

So we should cheer and champion him?

thebrokenrattle on January 14, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Uhhh… he should have his blood tested for Polonium.

Alberta_Patriot on January 14, 2014 at 1:03 PM

So we should cheer and champion him?

thebrokenrattle on January 14, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Don’t get too upset. It’s a morose and melancholic ‘championing’, if you will.

Lanceman on January 14, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Don’t get too upset. It’s a morose and melancholic ‘championing’, if you will.

Lanceman on January 14, 2014 at 1:19 PM

I sorta get that, it’s bittersweet all around.

thebrokenrattle on January 14, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Video: Russia expels first US journalist since Cold War

Why should the Russians have all the fun? There is a large number of “US journalists” I’d like to expel from right here in the good ol’ USA.

M240H on January 14, 2014 at 2:03 PM

We (the right) cannot do anything about Putin.

Lanceman on January 14, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Sure we can. We can recognize the fact that he is a dictator and champion those that oppose him and support liberty in Russia. Anybody who is on Twitter but not following Garry Kasparov is missing out.

Gingotts on January 14, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Wow, I wish we had an immigration policy like Russia. Five days overstayed and BOOM, they come after you.

OccamsRazor on January 14, 2014 at 11:45 AM

Yeah, too bad that only applies to journalists that oppose him politically. When it comes to illegal Muslim migrants who can serve as slave labor for Putin’s cronies during the day, rob people and build bombs at night, the policy isn’t so stringent.

Gingotts on January 14, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Lanceman on January 14, 2014 at 10:58 AM

There are at least five, and one is just three miles from my house (in a neighborhood I wouldn’t walk through).

Al in St. Lou on January 14, 2014 at 5:12 PM