What’s the harm in visiting Russia? | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

What’s the harm in visiting Russia?

“Travel is fatal to prejudice,” Mark Twain trenchantly observed after a lifetime of wandering. The US State Department seems to fear he was right.

Last month it issued a scary warning to Americans: “Do not travel to Russia.” The official reason is that American tourists could be victims of terrorist attacks or “harassment by Russian government security officials.” That’s hard to swallow. This warning is the latest blow in a campaign to discourage Americans from learning about life in other countries.

As the Biden administration warns Americans against traveling to Russia, it is also making it comically difficult for Russians to visit the United States. In April the State Department announced that it will no longer process visa applications from Russians anywhere inside Russia; applicants now must travel abroad to file them. This will naturally lead many Russians to spend their vacations elsewhere.

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