Tulsi Gabbard, Rand Paul Placed on List of Russian Propagandists by Ukraine

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and former Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard have been listed by Ukraine among a number of American politicians, academics and activists Kyiv claims have promoted "Russian propaganda."

The list was compiled by the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation, founded in 2021 by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to study the impact of Russian disinformation. The center is part of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council.

The list—which also includes retired U.S. Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor, military strategist Edward Luttwak, political scientist John Mearsheimer and journalist Glenn Greenwald—does not explain what the consequences are for those who Ukraine clearly considers responsible for promoting the Kremlin's line. But it offers explanations for inclusion on the list.

In April, Paul said President Joe Biden provoked Russia to invade its neighbor by advocating Ukraine's entrance into NATO.

Rand Paul and Tulsi Gabbard
In this combination photo Senator Rand Paul, left, leaves the U.S. Capitol on June 23, 2022 and former U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard speaks at a rally at Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C. on June 23, 2022. Paul and Gabbard have been included in a list of "Russian propagandists" by Ukraine. Getty

He also said: "You could also argue the countries they've attacked were part of Russia. Or part of the Soviet Union."

Paul was immediately rebuked for this by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who said Russia was not justified in invading Ukraine.

Former Rep. Gabbard said that the U.S. had provoked Putin for many years and that there are 25 dangerous biolabs in Ukraine that could release deadly pathogens.

The former representative has been accused of of lending credibility to Russian propaganda.

The biolab claims have also been supported by Greenwald, who Ukraine says didn't want the U.S. to help Ukraine to avoid provoking Russia into a nuclear war.

Macgregor is listed as having said that the Russian army was highly skilled and "invincible," while Mearsheimer is on Ukraine's blacklist for having said NATO provoked Vladimir Putin into war.

Luttwak is listed as having given support to holding referendums in the breakaway Ukrainian regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.

Greenwald told UnHerd that the list was "standard McCarthyite idiocy." Mearsheimer told the news site he was disappointed with being listed as a Russian propagandist, while he defended his claim that the war was provoked by the U.S. wanting to accept Ukraine into NATO.

"I am surprised that the blacklist did not include the Pope, Henry Kissinger, Noam Chomsky, Jeffrey Sachs, Stephen Walt, Barry Posen, and other prominent figures who have made arguments similar to mine and others already on the list," Mearsheimer told Newsweek.

Luttwak also objected to the label of Russian propagandist. Talking to UnHerd, he said he was not "exactly Putin's most faithful agent," saying he has argued for Western powers to send weapons to Ukraine since "day one of the war."

Sen. Paul told Newsweek: "While I have repeatedly said my sympathies lie with Ukraine, my loyalty is to the United States. My oath of office obligates me to defend the United States and that includes defending our country from incurring massive new debt no matter how worthy the cause."

A spokesperson for Colonel Macgregor told Newsweek he was unavailable for comment, while a spokesperson for Gabbard sent us an extract from an interview between the former representative and Tucker Carlson on Fox News, where Gabbard calls the list hypocritical.

Newsweek has contacted Greenwald and Luttwak for comment.

As well as U.S. citizens, the list of "Russian propagandists" includes political figures, experts and public figures from Germany, Switzerland, Brazil, Poland and France.

Other Americans on the list are: political and business advisor Harlan Ullman, author Paul Pillar, economists Jeffrey Sachs and Steve Hanke, political analyst Brian Berletic, academics Patrick Basham and Clifford Kiracofe, former army officer David Payne, ex-diplomat Michael Springmann, retired intelligence officer Scott Ritter, finance specialist Jason Ross, businessman Mike Callicrate, politicians Geoff Young and Diane Sare, journalists Caleb Maupin and Tony Magliano, retired business consultant George Koo, Republican former Senate staffer Jim Jatras, former CIA officer Ray McGovern, former Virginia State Senator Richard Black and political analyst Graham Fuller.

Update 7/27/22, 4:00 a.m. ET: This article has been updated to include responses from Mearsheimer and Paul.