Ban on Russian Cats

This is the extent of voluntary reaction to events in Ukraine.

A Russian blue cat. (Flor de Azur/Wikimedia Commons)

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

The International Federation of Felines (FIFe) on Tuesday ordered a ban on the importation of Russian-bred cats, presumably anywhere in the world. 

“No cat bred in Russia may be imported and registered in any FIFe pedigree book outside Russia, regardless of, which organization issued its pedigree,” the FIFe board said in a statement.

The board said the ban was imposed because of events in Ukraine:  

“The FIFe Executive Board is shocked and horrified that the army of the Russian Federation invaded the Republic of Ukraine and started a war. Many innocent people died, many more are wounded and hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are forced to flee their homes to save their lives. We can all witness the destruction and chaos caused by this unprecedented act of aggression.

On top of that our Ukrainian fellow feline fanciers are desperately trying to take care of their cats and other animals in these trying circumstances. We are extremely happy that many members of FIFe clubs bordering Ukraine, such as Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Moldova, are lending a helping hand to their Ukrainian breeder friends.

The Board of FIFe feels it cannot just witness these atrocities and do nothing, so it decided that as of 01.03.2022:

  • No cat bred in Russia may be imported and registered in any FIFe pedigree book outside Russia, regardless of, which organization issued its pedigree.
  • 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.”

So far the International Canine Association has said nothing about Russian dogs. Russian birds cannot be stopped from flying over the border.

Apparently taking no public position on Ukraine — no matter one’s walk in life — is making oneself an accomplice to Russia’s actions. It demonstrates the kind of pressure felt by ordinary people to not be seen as siding with Russia, even if that means not importing Russian cats.

It also highlights U.S. impunity for massive, unprovoked attacks on other nations, such as Iraq in 2003, that provoked no such public outcry in the West. On the contrary, dumping French wine and renaming French fries “Freedom Fries” was the outcry against France trying to stop that disastrous invasion.

Sporting and Cultural Bans

The cat ban follows voluntary actions against Russian cultural and sporting organizations and individuals that fall outside the scope of U.S. and European sanctions.  On Monday Russian orchestra conductor Valery Gergiev was fired from his job at the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also been banned by orchestras in Rotterdam, Vienna and at Carnegie Hall in New York.

Warner Brothers has delayed releases of its films in Russia; Spotify has closed its office in Russia; the Glasgow Film Festival has dropped two Russian films and the Venice Biennale has removed Russia’s pavilion among other cultural bans

A university in Italy even tried to ban a course on Fyodor Dostoevsky, but reversed itself after an outcry.  “Not only is being a living Russian wrong in Italy today, but also being a dead Russian, who was sentenced to death in 1849 because he read a forbidden thing. That an Italian university would ban a course on an author like Dostoevsky is unbelievable,” said Paolo Nori, a writer who is teaching the course. 

The North American-based National Hockey League, which has hundreds of Russian players, announced that it was severing its business ties to the Russian Federation:

“The National Hockey League condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and urges a peaceful resolution as quickly as possible. Effective immediately, we are suspending our relationships with our business partners in Russia and we are pausing our Russian language social and digital media sites. In addition, we are discontinuing any consideration of Russia as a location for any future competitions involving the NHL.” 

Russian-born NHL players have reported receiving threats. Dan Milstein, an agent who represents most of the Russians playing in the ice hockey league, spoke of one of his players being verbally attacked on the street. “He was yelled at to, ‘Get back to your country,’ and was called a Nazi and other words,” Milstein told ESPN. “Clients are being called Nazis. People are wishing that they are dead. These are human beings. These are hockey players. These are guys contributing to our society, paying millions of dollars in taxes to support the U.S. and Canada and doing all kinds of charity work back home. Stop looking at them as aggressors. Stop being racist.”

In its statement, the NHL defended its Russian-born athletes. “We also remain concerned about the well-being of the players from Russia, who play in the NHL on behalf of their NHL Clubs, and not on behalf of Russia,” it said. “We understand they and their families are being placed in an extremely difficult position.” 

The International Ice Hockey Federation has banned Russia and Belarus from participating in this year’s world championship.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) has recommended that athletes from Russia and Belarus be barred from its events.

The International Football Association (FIFA) has suspended Russia and barred it from competing at the World Cup later this year in Qatar. Russia is appealing the ban.

The video game maker EA Sports has gone so far as to remove Russian teams from its soccer and ice hockey computer games. 

Media Shut Downs

The European Union and Britain have removed English-language Russian broadcasters RT and Sputnik from the airwaves and cable networks and Google has removed their channels from YouTube in Europe.  Hackers have shut down Russian government ministry websites, including the Kremlin’s, making it difficult to access transcripts of Russian government statements.  Only the Russian state newswire TASS appears to be functioning normally, although it too was hacked on Monday. Signed with the logo of the hacktivist group Anonymous, the following message appeared on its website: 

“Dear citizens. We urge you to stop this madness, do not send your sons and husbands to certain death. Putin makes us lie and puts us in danger. We were isolated from the whole world, they stopped buying oil and gas. In a few years we will live like in North Korea. What is it for us? To put Putin in the textbooks? This is not our war, let’s stop it! This message will be deleted, and some of us will be fired or even jailed. But we can’t take it anymore.”

Russia intervened militarily last Thursday in the eight-year old civil war in Ukraine in which ethnic Russians have been under attack after resisting the U.S.-backed 2014 coup in Kiev.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former U.N. correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and numerous other newspapers, including The Montreal Gazette and The Star of Johannesburg. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London, a financial reporter for Bloomberg News and began his professional work as a 19-year old stringer for The New York Times.  He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @unjoe  


35 comments for “Ban on Russian Cats

  1. Andy
    March 5, 2022 at 20:46

    The silver lining, if there is one, in these attacks on all things Russian and on Russian individuals who refuse to engage in on demand performative denunciations is that maybe now pro-Western Russians will see just how unhinged and morally bankrupt the West really is.

  2. Fred
    March 5, 2022 at 13:20

    It is apparent that a large number of politicians and regular people use any opportunity to demonstrate how dumb they can be.

  3. Richard Coleman
    March 4, 2022 at 19:32

    Long ago I had a female Siamese cat who I mated with a Russian Blue male. The kittens were breathtakingly gorgeous. I traded two of them to my landlord in lieu of a month’s rent.

  4. paul
    March 4, 2022 at 18:50

    In 1914 dachshund dogs were attacked in Britain.

    Strangely, the Cat Federation remained silent for the past 8 years when towns and villages in the Donbas region were (and still are) being shelled by heavy artillery and multiple rockets, killing 15,000 people. How many cats innocently chasing mice were killed or maimed over this period?

  5. pink prince
    March 4, 2022 at 17:45

    During George W Bush’s term, there weren’t people around the world boycotting American products nor American people, animals plants nor products being barred from any events. Members of Congress called French Fries “Freedom Fries”. If any of them get the Russian Flu will they call it the “Freedom Flu”?
    Lindsay Graham called for Putin to be assassinated and said Putin is a murderer. If he is a murderer, so are George W Bush, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Tony Blair and many other current and former world leaders.

  6. David A.
    March 4, 2022 at 15:28

    Joe, you are ignoring the possibility of Russian blue cats being trained to carry recording devices and sneaking into sensitive US military facilities. The information from these recordings can then be transmitted by Russian human radio operators—the other half of the cat/human intelligence teams. (Everyone has been desensitized to animals being punched with tags and encumbered with radio-transmitting collars by sadistic scientists on PBS nature programs.) I know that this is pure speculation but in a post-truth world, asking for evidence is Hate (as is everything else that doesn’t show groveling acceptance and parroting of State Department Newspeak).

  7. Vincent Berg
    March 3, 2022 at 20:04

    The thought police seem to be jacking with the connection.

  8. Sharon
    March 3, 2022 at 19:53

    Russian cats, I am sure, are similar to cats around the world, they don’t give a sh*t. The FIFe is just removing their opportunity to turn their backs. I am confident they could NOT care less. (sorry for being irreverent)

  9. Mike Weston
    March 3, 2022 at 17:44

    People are losing their f’n’ minds. (Again)

  10. Lois Gagnon
    March 3, 2022 at 15:57

    Is it mass psychosis yet? People virtue signaling their support for fascism unbeknownst to themselves. I have to admit, that’s quite a trick they’ve pulled off. Too bad about the boomerang effect though. It’s gonna be a doozy.

  11. rosemerry
    March 3, 2022 at 15:26

    This is done by people who actually pretend to be free, liberal and democratic. Do not allow the accused to answer, do not allow his/her point of view to be heard at all, ensure all mention of the subject is approved by official censors. Democracy (or demoncracy?) rules like Washington Rules in place of international law.

  12. Ken
    March 3, 2022 at 14:51

    The pictured cat does look like a KGB cat.

  13. George Philby
    March 3, 2022 at 14:27

    I bought a Russian cat today.
    I had to drown the puss of course.
    The cops are coming for my sleigh –
    It’s driven by a Russian horse.

  14. vinnieoh
    March 3, 2022 at 13:57

    I studied and played trumpet for many years, am very partial to brass music, and thus drawn to Russian symphonic music. I have transferred many vinyl recordings to digital WAV files on my computer; I’m going to cue up all the Mikhail Glinka pieces and Glazunov’s tone poem Stenka Razin, Tchaikovsky’s Waltz from Eugene Onegin, and possibly later put on Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. Ah, if only Scheherazade could beguile the king with stories of wonder and enchantment and so avoid her execution.

    Glinka’s compositions surrounding Pushkin’s epic poem “Ruslan and Ludmilla” led me to learn more about Russian culture.

    The liner notes for Glazunov’s piece led me to an inquiry of the history of the Cossacks (the Volga Boatmen,) their support for the czar, their campaign against the Boyars, and some of the history of that region now at war.

    The finest trumpet virtuoso I had ever heard was on the Angel/Melodia recording of the Hummel Concerto in E flat by Timofei Dokshizer.

    I thought it an odd remark by Putin that “Who would want to live in a world without Russia” and possibly something was lost in translation, but now as I reflect…

    The first cat we had when I was an adolescent was a Russian Blue. Someone had dropped off some kittens on our street, and a little neighbor girl with somewhat sadistic tendencies buried that kitten alive when she was done playing with it that day and we heard its desperate cries, rescued it, and it grew into one of the most beautiful and fiercely loyal animal friends I’ve ever known.

    As the US’ and the west’s behavior becomes more bizarre the suspicion grows that the trouble right here in River City is greater than they will admit.

    “Friends, that’s trouble with a T,
    and that rhymes with P,
    and that stands for…”


    Ha – I’ll probably also cue up Leo Kottke’s “When Shrimps Learn to Whistle.”

  15. Anonymot
    March 3, 2022 at 13:53

    Seriously, it’s silly time. American induced hysteria used to be reserved for Americans, now our banned vodka has been joined by cricket players, horses raced by Russians, beef stroganoff and good grief, the oligarchs we’re kicking out will probably take all of the fine caviar with them to punish American oligarchs like the Bidens, Gates, and Zuckerberg. Oligarch Trump only eats Big Macs, but I hear that their buns are sesame seeded which is a Russian export. Will the famed Russian Tea Room have to close? Could they get a compromise by checking passports at the entrance and barring Russians?

    We could, at least, thank Putin on giving us an exclusive on initiating wars for two decades- even though Biden set this one up.

  16. susan
    March 3, 2022 at 11:19

    Absolutely ludicrous!

  17. Drew Hunkins
    March 3, 2022 at 11:05

    At first I thought this was an Onion or Babylon Bee headline.

  18. Robert Emmett
    March 3, 2022 at 10:44

    One thing that’s been bugging me (well, a lot more than one really) is this full-throated, rabid, one-sided response by U.S. media & public that appears to be picking up steam & circling the globe. Everyone’s getting into the act. It seems calculated, sure. Especially when you think back on how the Russiagate phenom primed the pump for a steady stream of anti-Russian invective that turned out to be ginned-up.

    Now in response to the whipped-up hysteria of “Putin invasion” a sort of pent-up anger burst into a deluge when said invasion did happen. At last! An undeniable reason to bash Putin & Russia! And hound them from our abodes of righteousness! Even some Russians are doing it. People falling all over themselves in one-sided hate-blame. And this is the moral ground?

    Scrap any inconvenient history. Ignore prevalent signs of rampant neo-Naziism in the Kiev regime. Turn a blind eye to u.S./NATO/Brit machinations over the last 8 yrs.(and more).

    It feels like maybe there’s a force building that could sweep aside any attempts at reaching some kind of rational détente. Is that by design? Is it to make Russia a permanent pariah? Or will Russia determine the outcome and deal with the fall-out (so to speak) as Scott Ritter argues? Are there forces truly out of anyone’s control that push this beyond some calculated endgame, to an unexpected & undesired outcome that all will come to rue?

    Anyway, thanks CN for consistently thought-provoking coverage, analysis & commentary. Gotta go. Gotta study-up on the law of proportionality in war.

  19. Evan
    March 3, 2022 at 10:42

    At first, I thought this was a joke. What the heck? These psychopaths are harming regular Russian citizens for no reason.

  20. JBAshburn
    March 3, 2022 at 10:04

    Ironically, the Congressman who coined “freedom fries” was the late Rep. Walter Jones from North Carolina. He went on to forever publicly regret his support of the Iraq war, and became a stalwart against American military interventionism. He is sorely missed.

  21. Jeff Harrison
    March 3, 2022 at 09:50

    Talk about Chickenshit!

  22. James Terry
    March 3, 2022 at 09:11

    My wife and I have a handsome Russian Blue which we are not going to make known to too many people because of the hysteria which is now shown, as seen in this article, against Russian cats. This attitude against Russians and anything related to Russia is also reminiscent of the attitude which was exhibited toward people of German descent in the United States during World War I. And it now appears that RT has now been banned from being seen on YouTube in the United States.

  23. jesika
    March 3, 2022 at 08:17

    Dogs will be next, no more Borzoi or wolfhounds! Why import them when we have plenty of cats in need of good homes, anyway? Amazing, the lunacy and hypocrisy, Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld devastation of Iraq is forgotten, Bush even came out to condemn Putin!

    • Nomad
      March 3, 2022 at 15:22

      World first to put so many harsh sanctions on another country. Cant help but think its been planned to coerce the worlds people to believe a fascist reset will give them freedom. Business/people co-op yet a scorpion’s sting. This is a battle between nationalism and the world deep state domination of life itself. A social credit system combined and operated with digital currency run by big business tech and central banks that will distroy human freedom forever. This must not be allowed to happen.

  24. March 3, 2022 at 05:44

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  25. mgr
    March 3, 2022 at 03:35

    Absurdity is on the rise. More seriously, the coordinated push in reporting and in all these associated “patriotic” actions seem intended to create and control the Western narrative. Regardless of what is happening on the ground, overall they seem directed toward firmly installing a new Cold War paradigm for the next 40 or 50 years. The huge beneficiary of such an outcome of course is the US “blob” (the modern, expanded military industrial intelligence, etc. complex) which thrives in just such an environment. Perhaps we should see this as a terraforming effort by the “blob” to create a more suitable environment for itself. The Biden admin is a vehicle for this.

    The outcome for American society is an ever more autocratic and totalitarian government at home. This is also an environment where the US oligarchy can reign freely. Perhaps that is what this is all about? In terms of actions for mitigating climate change, for example, I can imagine that the fossil fuel industry, for one, is well on board and throwing their money and marketing behind this blitz. You can imagine all the other kinds of enterprises joining in such an “infomercial” and social media campaign with the purpose of a creating a new Cold War environment. After all, Ben Norton reported last year on NATO’s plans for developing psych-ops capability. Just where do we think all that psych-ops-ing is going to be directed? To some enemy..? I suspect that it is aimed even more so at the home crowd.

    All the forces of our unsustainable status quo which is leading humanity to the edge of the abyss, are out in full force to create another multi-generational Cold War money&power-train.

    • Tim Slater
      March 3, 2022 at 12:12

      > The huge beneficiary of such an outcome of course is the US “blob”

      Not just them: the share prices of German arms manufacturers have soared over the last few days (and I bet the same is true in other NATO countries, though I haven’t looked).

      • Mark Campey
        March 4, 2022 at 15:45

        Yes they have all reached a 52 week high

    • Mats Larson
      March 3, 2022 at 16:10

      Everything in the US is a capitalist conspiracy. Oligarchs own and control everything in the US. They never pay in any way for anything. Whatever money they spend on politics and elections, on media and brainwashing campaigns, they write everything off and make the US tax-payer pay for everything. That’s freedom and democracy American-style. Now, why wouldn’t Venezuela or North Korea want that?

    • Richard Coleman
      March 4, 2022 at 19:26

      All true, but let’s not forget the persecution of the Japanese-Americans during WW2. George Takei where are you?

  26. KiwiAntz
    March 3, 2022 at 03:29

    Don’t you know that Russian’s are now the new Jews? Russian’s & even their poor Cats are being cancelled, deplatformed & vilified like the Jewish people were during WW2, that’s how hysterical & unhinged this has become! What’s next? Crystal Night & Russian’s being sent to Western Concentration camps? Will Russians have to wear a Red star on their clothing & have a QR code tattooed on their arms for I.D purposes? The bullying, pathological hatred & demonisation of Russia & Russian’s is the most cowardly & hypocritical thing that I’ve ever witnessed in my lifetime! The last time I saw a ethnic group that was treated like this was the Jewish people & we all know what happened to them? Keep it up Europe & the US, because if you push Russia too far to it’s breaking point, to quote the Joker in the movie of the same name, you will get what you f**ken deserve?

    • Aanother Word
      March 3, 2022 at 15:29

      It’s been reported in this paper that the Ukrainian government is controlled by Neo-Nazis. Reportedly, one of the aims of the Russian offensive is to quash Neo-Nazism. Americans in their blind hatred have been pre-disposed to suspect Russia since before cold war. Of course a lot of this is due to ignorance. My several letters to set things right have never been published. I’ll fight, however, if anyone attempts to destroy my collection of Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff.

  27. Andrew Nichols
    March 3, 2022 at 02:44

    The European Union and Britain have removed English-language Russian broadcasters RT and Sputnik from the airwaves

    1. If folks werent convinced that the incarceration and silencing of Assange meant the death of a free press, then…

    2. Russian propaganda bad Western propaganda good
    3. The definition of an enemy is one whose voice must not be heard.

    • TS
      March 3, 2022 at 12:19

      In Western Europe and elsewhere, you can still watch RT News and other items here:


      (You may have to hit the “rt player” button again when you land on this page.)

      An enlightening — and harrowing — documentary is “Donbas – Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow”

  28. free variable
    March 3, 2022 at 01:42

    Next: Russian cats banned from making future appearances in memes.

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