Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky and Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan headlined a list of US business luminaries sanctioned by Russia on Thursday – the latest round of escalating tit-for-tat penalties levied following the invasion of Ukraine.
Prominent journalists were included on the list of 29 Americans who are barred from entering Russia on an “indefinite basis.”
ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos and CNN anchor Bianna Golodryga are also subject to the ban.
“When my parents and I left the Soviet Union as refugees in 1980, we were told that our feet will never touch Soviet soil again. I guess the Kremlin waited more than four decades (and an unprovoked war against a former member state) to make it this official?” Golodryga tweeted after the news surfaced.
The latest Russian sanctions also targeted several prominent members of the Biden administration and the U.S. military – including Vice President Kamala Harris, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain and deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks. Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff, was also tabbed with a ban.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said “top leaders, businessmen, experts and journalists who form the Russophobic agenda, as well as the spouses of a number of high-ranking officials” are among those who can no longer enter the country.
The Kremlin is lashing out in response to crippling sanctions imposed by the US and other Western nations. The penalties have targeted leading Russian banks and companies as well as prominent billionaire oligarchs and the family members of figures close to Vladimir Putin – including his daughters.
Russia has blocked access to Meta-owned platforms Facebook and Instagram, alleging the services were guilty of “extremist” activity. LinkedIn has been banned in Russia since 2016.
Executives from Twitter – another social media platform banned in Russia – were left off the list. YouTube executives were also spared despite the Google-owned platform’s clashes with Russian authorities.
Russia announced similar sanctions against 61 Canadians – including several journalists.
The Kremlin has attempted to limit the flow of information since it launched its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in late February.
Several news organizations, including ABC and CNN, curbed their operations in Russia in March after the Kremlin passed a new law allowing authorities to fine or imprison journalists they deem to have reported “fake” news about the Russian military or government.