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U.S. Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Report: Putin ally flings death threat at Menendez over plan to impose sanctions

N.J. senator won’t back down from plan to combat threat of Russian invasion of Ukraine

By David Wildstein, January 18 2022 9:01 pm

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez is facing death threats from Russia after his introduction of legislation that could impose debilitating sanctions against Russian banks and senior military government official if Russia invades the Ukraine, a Russian media analyst for the Daily Beast is reporting.

The threat was leveled by Akesky Zhuravlyov, a member of the State Duma.

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“Russia’s state TV, where pleasing the Kremlin is always at the top of their agenda, was unashamed of the lawmaker’s death threats against Sen. Menendez,” said Julia Davis on Twitter.  “They proudly transcribed Zhuravlyov’s belligerent utterances that concluded with “Bang-bang, bastard!”

Despite the risk, Menendez doubled down on his tough stance against Russia.

“Putting aside the fact that these guys actually poison their opponents, the fact is the U.S. is actually trying to pull Putin back from the brink and avoid conflict,” Menendez said.  “Again, I’ll simply state the truth: Do Russian mothers really support a war that many of their sons won’t return from?”

The chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Menendez has proposed spending $500 million to aid Ukraine in the event of a Russian attack.  He also wants the State Department to sanction Russia’s natural resources industries.

“This legislation makes it absolutely clear that the U.S. Senate will not stand idly by as the Kremlin threatens a re-invasion of Ukraine,” said Menendez. “As the Biden administration seeks a diplomatic path forward this week in Europe to avoid another bloody escalation in Ukraine, I find little reason to believe that Putin is negotiating in good faith nor do I believe he has any newfound respect for Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

In a Russian television appearance last month, Zhuravlyov promoted the kidnapping of Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Arizona), a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who backs arming Ukraine to defend itself against Russia.

Menendez is not the first New Jersey politician to face threats from foreign governments.

In 2020, China announced sanctions against Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton) in retaliation to his speaking out against human rights abuses that target ethnic and religious minorities.

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