BBG Watch Commentary

“The Russian decision to declare me persona non grata is more than an action against a single journalist. It is an admission that the system under President Vladimir Putin cannot tolerate free speech, even in the case of foreign correspondents.” — David Satter in WSJ

“I may be barred from Russia, but I intend to keep writing about that troubled country,” wrote David Satter in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal.

David Satter
David Satter

We at BBG Watch believe that Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) — where David Satter works as a reporter, news analyst, and advisor — will also continue its outstanding journalism in Russia and in other countries where media are not yet free. With the support of U.S. taxpayers, RFE/RL journalists will not succumb to blackmail.

“David Satter deserves our strongest support and Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) deserves more funding from Congress to overcome censorship,” Ted Lipien, a former Voice of America executive at the independent Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB –, said in a statement obtained by BBG Watch.

“Restrictions on freedom of expression are one of the main causes of political oppression, poverty, terrorism and military conflicts. By barring David Satter from Russia, President Putin’s administration exposed its own weakness. It should reverse this decision for the good of Russia and its people who are entitled to free flow of information,” Lipien added.

Read (may require subscription): “Why Journalists Frighten Putin” by David Satter, The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 15, 2014.