Latest congressional status symbol? Nearly a dozen Maryland lawmakers banned by Russia.

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Washington’s newest status symbol isn’t a seat at a coveted dinner party or an invitation to ride on Air Force One.

Lawmakers from Maryland and other states were hoping Tuesday to spot their names on a different sort of list that similarly exudes political cachet.


“I almost missed that I am #683 on the list of Americans newly banned from Russia,” tweeted U.S. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, the Baltimore County Democrat, on Tuesday.

Ruppersberger wasn’t the only Marylander on the newly-released list by the Russian Foreign Ministry. All eight members of the state’s U.S. House delegation appear among the 963 banned Americans, as do Democratic Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen.


“It is a badge of honor to be banned by Russia, alongside many of my colleagues, for my support of Ukraine and democracy,” said U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes, also a Baltimore County Democrat.

Included on the list are Democratic President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris — but not Republican former President Donald Trump — as well as members of Congress, journalists and business executives such as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Three deceased senators — John McCain, Harry Reid, and Orrin Hatch — also appear, as does actor Morgan Freeman. Freeman was once featured in a video about Russia’s influence in the 2016 presidential election.

The foreign ministry cited “anti-Russian sanctions by the United States” in its news release listing American citizens “who are permanently banned from entering the Russian Federation.”

Many lawmakers used their inclusion to emphasize their opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and their solidarity with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

“I’m glad that my strong objections to Putin, his dictatorship, and his despicable war against Ukraine are being heard loud and clear by the Kremlin,” said Van Hollen, who is up for reelection this year.

Ruppersberger, who has called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “barbaric,” tweeted that he did not find himself on the list immediately “because no one ever calls me Charles Albert (hence my Twitter handle). This is the easiest sacrifice I’ll ever have to make for the Ukrainian war effort.”

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His Twitter handle is @Call_Me_Dutch.


The list misidentified House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, the Southern Maryland Democrat, as “Democratic Senator from Maryland.” He is serving his 21st term in the House.

Regardless, Hoyer said in a statement that he was proud to be included and that “House Democrats will continue to stand with the Ukrainian people in their time of need.”

Maryland’s congressional delegation — including nine Democrats and Republican Rep. Andy Harris — have been supportive of congressional efforts to support Ukraine with various forms of aid.

Cardin, a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has long advocated for holding Russia accountable for cyberattacks, election interference and human rights abuses.

Since this is an election year, appearing on the banned list “could definitely be a point of pride, especially given the U.S. rallying around Ukraine,” said Roger E. Hartley, dean of the University of Baltimore College of Public Affairs.

Hartley said he could imagine lawmakers using the list to raise campaign money. The theme, he said, might be “Putin hates me.”