Russia Kicks Out First US Journalist Since Cold War
No explanation offered for expulsion
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2014 3:44 AM CST
A Communist supporter carries red flags at Moscow's Red Square.   (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

(Newser) – Looks like the Kremlin thaw that saw the release of Pussy Riot members may have been short-lived: Radio Free Europe's David Satter has become the first American journalist to be kicked out of Russia since Newsweek bureau chief Andrei Nagorski got the boot in 1982, reports the Guardian. Satter says that when he traveled to Ukraine to renew his visa, diplomats at the Russian embassy told him the "competent organs" had decided his presence in Russia was no longer desirable, and he was banned from returning to the country.

The US ambassador in Moscow lodged a formal complaint but was not given an explanation for Satter's expulsion. Satter, who has been writing about Russia for decades, has been unable to return to his Moscow apartment to collect his belongings. He suspects the expulsion is linked to a book he is writing about some of the murkier episodes in Russia's post-Soviet history. "I think this is a change in policy," he tells the Financial Times. "The Russian authorities have moved from trying to influence the Western press to trying to control it."