US Should Not Fund Ukrainian ‘Blacklist’

Scott Ritter, a military analyst and CN contributor, was among those blacklisted by a Ukrainian government agency that appears to be funded by the United States. Ritter has written the following letter to his representatives in Congress. 

Schumer and Gillibrand. (U.S. Senate Photographic Studio/Wikimedia Commons)


Senator Charles Schumer

Leo W. O’Brien Federal Office Building

11A Clinton Avenue, Room 827

Albany, NY 12207

Senator Christine Gillibrand

Leo W. O’Brien Federal Office Building

11A Clinton Avenue, Room 821

Albany, NY 12207

Representative Paul Tonko

19 Dove Street, Unit 302

Albany, NY 12210

July 27, 2022

Dear Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, and Congressman Tonko,

My name is Scott Ritter. I am a New York State resident, currently residing in the Town of Bethlehem, in Albany County. My family and I have lived at our current address since July 2000.

I am writing to you in your collective role as my elected representatives in the United States Congress, specifically regarding H.R. 7691, the Additional Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2022, which became Public Law 117-128 on May 21, 2022, which each of you voted in favor of.

I draw your attention to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, specifically the following language: “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”

By enacting Public Law 117-128, you appear to have abrogated your Constitutional responsibilities in so far as you may have, in fact, made a law which both abridges the freedom of speech and a free press by enabling the Government of Ukraine, through the use of US taxpayer dollars appropriated under Public Law 117-128, to publish a “blacklist” singling out US citizens as “Russian propagandists” for exercising their Constitutional rights pertaining to free speech and a free press.

The “blacklist” in question was published on July 14, 2022, by the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation, and consists of a list of politicians, academics, and activists who the Center claims promote “Russian propaganda.” Many on this list are citizens of the United States, some of whom, like me, have taken an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.

While the specific criterion used by the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation for selecting persons for inclusion on this “blacklist” is not known, in my case the Ukrainian government appears to have taken umbrage against my articulation of Ukraine as a NATO base of operations, my analysis of the Bucha Massacre in early March which assigns responsibility to Ukrainian security services, and my description of the current Ukraine-Russian conflict as a “proxy conflict” being waged on behalf of the United States.

Whether one agrees with my positions on these and other matters pertaining to Ukraine is not the point; by articulating my views, I am exercising my rights under the Constitution of the United States. While the Government of Ukraine is free to express its opinions regarding my viewpoints as it sees fit, the Government of the United States, by using funds appropriated by the United States Congress, should not facilitate the actions of the Government of Ukraine in this regard.

I draw your attention to Section 507(a) of Public Law 117-128, which directs that “[f]unds made available by this title under the heading Economic Support Fund may be made available for direct financial support for the Government of Ukraine.”

Public Law 117-128 makes available $8,766,000,000 for assistance for Ukraine under the heading “Economic Support Fund.”

On July 12, 2022, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) issued a press release in which it announced that $1.7 billion in direct budgetary aid was provided to Ukraine under Public Law 117-128, which allowed the Government of Ukraine, among other things, to pay the salaries of Ukrainian civil servants. This would logically include the salaries of the employees of the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation.

As a constituent whose name has appeared on a so-called “blacklist” published by the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation, my personal and professional life has been, and continues to be, detrimentally impacted by the chilling effect of being labeled a “Russian propagandist” for simply exercising the right to free speech guaranteed by the United States Constitution. Moreover, Ukraine has a history of converting “blacklists” of this nature into “kill lists”, where those who speak out against the policies of the Ukrainian government are being murdered or threatened with violence. I am certain you agree with me that Congress cannot be in a position where, through its actions, foreign governments are provided the means to intimidate citizens of the United States from exercising their Constitutionally protected rights regarding free speech.

As such, I respectfully request that each of you investigate what role, if any, funds authorized by you under Public Law 117-128, have been used to underwrite the actions of the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation, and more specifically, if any funds appropriated under Public Law 117-128 have been used to pay the salaries of Ukrainian civil servants employed by the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation involved in the preparation and dissemination of this so-called “blacklist”.

Under Section 507(d) of Public Law 117-128, Congress directs that “[t]he Secretary of State or the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, as appropriate, shall report to the appropriate congressional committees on the uses of any funds provided for direct financial support to the Government of Ukraine pursuant to subsection (a) and the results achieved, not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act and every 90 days thereafter until September 30, 2025,” and that such a report “shall also include the metrics established to measure such results.”

I request that each of you become personally involved in preparing the appropriate questions to be asked of either the Secretary of State or the Administrator of USAID when they next appear before Congress to carry out their mandated reports regarding the use of funds provided for the direct financial support of the Government of Ukraine. The specific metric of interest here is whether any of these funds were used to pay the salaries of civil servants employed by the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation involved in the preparation and dissemination of the aforementioned “blacklist”.

If funds were, in fact, used in this manner, I would respectfully request that you, in your status as my elected representatives to the United States Congress, take the appropriate action necessary to ensure that funds appropriated by the United States Congress are not used to suppress the free speech rights afforded to citizens of the United States, including myself, by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Moreover, I would insist that you take the appropriate action to guarantee that the Government of Ukraine immediately cease and desist in all activity designed to threaten and intimidate citizens of the United States. You are duty bound to protect the interests of the United States and its citizens rather than facilitate the actions of a foreign power that are, by design, intended to accomplish just the opposite.

Congress cannot be allowed to bypass Constitutionally imposed constraints on its actions by allowing a foreign government to do that which would not be permitted here in the United States. By paying the salaries of the civil servants employed by the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation, who have prepared and disseminated the so-called “blacklist”, you and your fellow Senators and Representatives appear to be doing just that—allowing the Government of Ukraine to suppress the right of free speech guaranteed to United States citizens under the Constitution.

I look forward to hearing back from each of you as to how you propose to proceed in this matter.



Scott Ritter

31 comments for “US Should Not Fund Ukrainian ‘Blacklist’

  1. RS
    July 29, 2022 at 12:08

    Way to go Mr. Ritter. However, the time it took you to write indicates you still have faith that it will reach an ear similar to yours. Don’t bet on it. Look what the people who govern us did to the 1st, 2nd and 4th Amendment to the U.S Constitution. The proof of the pudding will be evident from their response if there is one. Then, if anyone of them get that far will they act?

  2. Spike
    July 28, 2022 at 20:04

    Is the most simplistic of ways, ” Hot damn”. Well worded and right to the point. Thank you, really. Don’t stop, ever. Yes what is freedom of speech, what is left? I don’t care the argument you have said it well. Thank you again.

  3. Lois Gagnon
    July 28, 2022 at 19:05

    Their expected form letter will be the tell that they have no regard for the constitutional rights of US citizens. It’s worth forcing them to reveal that lack of regard with this letter. Little by little their treachery is exposed.

    • Paul Moon
      July 29, 2022 at 06:18

      Good luck Mr. Ritter.

  4. Vera Gottlieb
    July 28, 2022 at 14:59

    Bravo Ritter but…hate to rain on your parade. As with all the mass shootings that have occurred lately and all the indignations that followed – now to absolutely nothing will happen. Killer Kapitalism will continue to endure.

  5. Jack
    July 28, 2022 at 14:50

    Good luck, Mr. Ritter. IMHO, the chances of you receiving a serious reply to your legitimate concerns are about equal
    to those of a snowball’s chances of survival in Hell. Sad commentary on current life here in the land of the free and home
    of the brave.

  6. c
    July 28, 2022 at 14:41

    Mr. Ritter, would you please run for president in 2024.

  7. John Woodford
    July 28, 2022 at 14:30

    He raises a fundamental Constitutional issue, so I’m sure our Supreme Court will want to step in and defend our liberties against foes foreign and domestic. Tee-hee!!!!

  8. Sylvia Haven
    July 28, 2022 at 13:53

    Please share any responses you receive. My own congressional representatives just reply to my carefully composed thoughts with boiler plate letters which are often off topic.

  9. Gary P. Supanich
    July 28, 2022 at 13:37

    We are lucky to have Mr. Ritter and others speak out about the travesty that has unfolded in the Ukraine. But legal action is required here, seeking an injunction in federal court to stop our government (i.e., its state action) from funding the efforts by the Ukrainian government to violate the constitutional rights of our citizens. For the good of all of us, I urge Mr. Ritter and the others on that “hit list” to seek legal action to stop our government’s action in support of such censorship and defamation.

  10. Alex Cox
    July 28, 2022 at 13:24

    You are in some pretty good company, Scott. Well done!

  11. onno Frowein
    July 28, 2022 at 11:47

    Having lived & worked in UA from 2000- 2007 I can verify how corrupt (to the bone) & criminal that nation is from Kuchma to todays Selensky. The EU invested BILLIONS of Dollars in this nation while it NEVER reached the UA people but ended always in the pockets of corrupt/criminal politicians. Russia & Putin were glad when the UA became independenot in 1997. UA was & is a nation of criminals without a FUTURE except for stealing Western nations BLINDLY. No wonder UA lists as # 156 on the list of MOST Corrupt nation on this planet!

  12. Peter Loeb
    July 28, 2022 at 11:05

    Thanks Scott Ritter!

    My sister who lives in Italy has emailed me that “Zelensky is mazing. He is defending his country.”
    The international PR works. What a tragedy.

    I answered but not with Ritter’s eloquence which we come to expect. At a minimum.

  13. michael888
    July 28, 2022 at 10:25

    My guess is the Biden admnistration helped or themselves compiled the Blacklist of American citizens. Zelensky is just a US puppet President of Ukraine, probably posing for Vogue right now.

  14. July 28, 2022 at 10:24

    Semper Fi, Scott.

  15. forceOfHabit
    July 28, 2022 at 10:23

    Excellent point. I fully support Ritter’s requests.

  16. alice slater
    July 28, 2022 at 10:19

    Did Scott get a response from Schumer or Gillibrand on his letter?

  17. Dfnslblty
    July 28, 2022 at 09:26


    Protest Loudly.

    Keep writing

  18. Realist
    July 28, 2022 at 05:17

    Aside from Senator Rand Paul, who was himself blacklisted by these vile Ukrainian blacklegs, the entire American Congress is composed of fascists who praise “freedom and democracy” every chance they get to spout off in public but in actuality work in their official capacities to destroy these principles and deprive people, such as the Ukrainian nation, of these blessings all for the simple purpose of imposing American hegemony upon the entire world and especially to prevent Russia, China, Iran and several other countries in the global South and East from advancing, raising their standard of living, interacting freely with other nation states and just generally improving the quality of life within their borders. America and its government have become entirely about pounding other countries down and preventing them from reaching their full potential. Mostly this is done with the over-fed American military and the smoke and mirrors of American propaganda in all its dishonorable and deceitful forms. While most of the world strives for a PAX (peace), Washington brings us (Monkey) POX. Now how did that happen?

  19. Shirley Wise
    July 28, 2022 at 00:43

    Wonderful…..I would like to sign onto this!

  20. Shriley Wise
    July 28, 2022 at 00:41

    Where can I sign onto this?

  21. James Davis
    July 28, 2022 at 00:36

    In 1918 we” big money, Wallstreet” sent a 250,000-man expeditionary force against the new socialist government of Russia the USSR. To attempt to kill it in its infancy and then in WWll they “the Wallstreet boys” sent Hitler after the USSR but not until he knee capped or denuded The last remaining colonial powers, England ; France and Belgium so as to have all the newly independent lands be up for grabs at the end of the war, so that the new monopolar power that could cajole; coup; bully; assassinate them into a system that would impoverish its indigenes peoples and enrich a very few. In fact, they would kill one of there own to stay in power.
    We will fight the Russians to the last Ukrainian, and we will fight the Russians to the last American Doller, no matter how many children go to bed at night hungry or no matter how many people are homeless no matter how many people are without health care.
    When you can’t understand why our government behaves the way it does, it is because they are fascist supporting fascist and to these fascists who govern us, it doesn’t matter if our hole infrastructure crumbles under the wight of a behemoth military budget, the most important thing is to make sure that no people can break away an govern themselves and there resources independently in their own fashion. That is, the driving factor. When you view the world from this lens, you see why we always look like a bully.

    • Charles Carroll, U.S. Navy Retired
      July 28, 2022 at 11:16

      Excellent. Very few in the US know about the 1918 invasion. Maybe your article will awaken a few.

      • Mark Stanley
        July 29, 2022 at 12:23

        Did not US & Canadian forces also steam out of Vancouver & Seattle? in 1921 to Vladivostok in a misguided effort to attack The Soviet Union from the east?

  22. Marc Warshaw
    July 27, 2022 at 22:45

    Well said, Scott. Though given the recipients of your request, I would neither request either response nor action.

  23. Irina Grosman, MD.
    July 27, 2022 at 21:30

    You are very right Mr. Ritter! It is unthinkable that such corrupt government of Ukraine, which in turn itself the most corrupt country I personally know, would impose such “black list” on the American Citizens and the US government!
    Please let me know what kind of response, if any, you will get from the senator Schumer.
    Thank you for your powerful voice defending the American Constitution!

  24. Karen
    July 27, 2022 at 21:23

    I am also a constituent of the same representatives and would like to support this request.

  25. Jose L Acevedo
    July 27, 2022 at 20:04

    Excellent letter sent to Schumer, Gillibrand and Scott Ritter’s Congressman. Don’t know much about Paul Tonko, but Chuck Shumer and Christine Gillibrand —- if not neocons themselves —– are certainly neocon enablers. We certainly know the pivotal role the neocons have played in whittling away our civil liberties and constitutional rights. We also know that despite the fact that they represent a miniscule fraction of the US they exert a disproportional influence in the government often to the detriment of the people that make up this nation. They have brought this nation from one crisis to another for the last 20 or more years easily transitioning from one administration to the other irrespective of party affiliation with absolutely no accountability for their past crimes. This is why government abuse is so rampant and the kleptocrats that govern do not serve the interests of the people but that of defense contractors, the intelligence services, big oil and gas, Wall Street, Israel and the online tech giants of silicon-valley.

    The narrative regarding the war in the Ukraine is controlled by these same people that have no compulsion about silencing dissenters through censorship, intimidation or outright imprisonment — such as in the case of Julian Assange— if necessary. The Ukrainian government under the entitled Zelensky wouldn’t have taken the liberty to come up with a list of so called “Russian Propagandists” without the approval of certain actors within the US government. These abuses will not stop until we the people act in unison to put a stop to it. It can start with contacting our representatives, but it must also give impetus to a mass movement of righteous people of all political views to take to the streets in mass protests and hold our leaders accountable and — if necessary — change the leadership. Scott Ritter’s letter is a great start.

    • Shirley Wise
      July 28, 2022 at 00:43

      Wonderful…..I would like to sign onto this!

      • leo
        July 28, 2022 at 03:17

        We all know that they are part of the system and will do what they told. But there is no harm in trying.

    • SH
      July 28, 2022 at 17:59

      Don’t forget that “we the people” are the ones who put, and keep, these folks in office – the “mass movement” we need is one at the polls to “change the leadership”. We need to “contact our representatives” indeed – with a notice of termination of employment – nothing short of that will change a thing – as Biden has told us -“nothing will fundamentally change” ….

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