May 31, 2022 - Politics

Seven living Utahns are banned from entering Russia

Illustration of the Kremlin behind a red velvet rope.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Russia has banned all of Utah's Congressional delegation from entering the country — except for Sen. Mike Lee.

The big picture: The five not-Mike Lee congressmen are among 963 Americans that Russia has banned, according to a list updated in late-May by the country's Foreign Affairs ministry.

  • It also includes President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, most of Congress, and other public figures like actor Morgan Freeman, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and billionaire George Soros.
  • The list does not include former-President Donald Trump.

Why it matters: The travel bans are largely symbolic, but they reflect the disintegration of Russia-U.S. relations since the Russian invasion of Ukraine earlier this year, Reuters reports.

Zoom in: The list of banned Americans includes at least eight Utahns. In addition to the five from Congress, the others are:

  • U.S. District Judge Dale A. Kimball
  • Brett Tolman, a lobbyist and former federal prosecutor
  • Former U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, who died in April

Between the lines: Lee is far from the only U.S. senator still allowed in Russia, but his positions on the country have already been controversial.

Of note: Evan McMullin, Lee's midterm challenger, is campaigning on Lee's historically friendly posture toward Russia.

Yes, but: McMullin is misleadingly using Lee's past votes to portray him as anti-Ukraine since the invasion, Politifact found.


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