Russian Athletes, Media, and Cats Face Bans

Russian Athletes, Media, and Cats Face Bans

International organizations and companies are taking swift action to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has been met with sanctions, and Moscow could soon find itself isolated from much of the world.

A ban of Russian aircraft from the airspace of the United States went into effect on Wednesday evening, while a joint Europe-Russia mission to Mars is now likely to be delayed or even canceled. Moreover, Russia is now being barred from international competitions and cultural events.

Russia has also been banned from competing in the FIFA World Cup, a move that will keep the Russian men's team from participating in the qualifying playoffs scheduled to begin at the end of the month. Unless the suspension is lifted, Russia would be unable to qualify for competition at the World Cup.

That decision was followed by an announcement from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which had recommended that Russia and Belarus be barred from all competitions. However, athletes from the two countries could still compete.

"The IOC EB (Executive Board) strongly urges International Sports Federations and organisers of sports events worldwide to do everything in their power to ensure that no athlete or sports official from Russia or Belarus be allowed to take part under the name of Russia or Belarus. Russian or Belarusian nationals, be it as individuals or teams, should be accepted only as neutral athletes or neutral teams. No national symbols, colours, flags or anthems should be displayed," the IOC said in a statement on Monday.

On Thursday morning, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) went even further and stated that athletes from Russia and Belarus were to be expelled and will not be allowed to compete when the games open on Friday.

"The war has now come to these Games, and behind the scenes, many governments are having an influence on our cherished event," IPC president Andrew Parsons said Thursday after announcing the ban. "We were trying to protect the Games from war."

It isn't just humans from Russia that are being impacted. The Fédération Internationale Féline (International Cat Federation) has also banned Russian cats from its international competitions. The rule will remain in place until May.

"No cat belonging to exhibitors living in Russia may be entered at any FIFe show outside Russia, regardless of which organization these exhibitors hold their membership in," the International Cat Federation, which spans almost forty countries, said in a statement to the Washington Post.

Musicians, festival organizers, and industry leaders from the world of entertainment have announced their decisions to postpone events in Russia, which could limit entertainment offerings in the country.

Several bands, including Green Day and Imagine Dragons, have already canceled tours in Russia. Rock legend Eric Clapton also announced that shows in St. Petersburg and Moscow were canceled and will not be rescheduled.

The Cannes Film Festival announced that no Russian delegation would be welcome this year, and the Venice Film Festival is now organizing free screenings of the Ukrainian film Reflection, which is about the conflict in Ukraine's Donbass region.

Several movie studios have announced that they would halt the distribution of films to Russia. These include such high-profile releases as The Batman from Warner Bros. and Paramount's The Lost City.

Tech World Disconnected Russia

Several tech giants have also sought to disconnect Russia. Apple has said that it would stop selling its products in Russia, while Netflix announced that it would not broadcast twenty Russian state-run channels that it is required to air under Russian media laws.

In addition, Google, TikTok, YouTube, DirecTV, and Meta have all restricted access to RT America, the Russian state-owned media outlet. RT has been described by the U.S. State Department as a critical element in "Russia's disinformation and propaganda ecosystem."

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on

Image: Reuters.