Steven Seagal Has Something To Say About The Ukraine Situation

Steven Seagal has something to say about the Ukraine situation — so listen up, folks. The action star is a long-time, staunch defender of Russia and Vladimir Putin. According to Vanity Fair, Seagal was granted Russian citizenship in November 2016 after Putin handed him a shiny new dual citizenship passport. "I want to congratulate you and express the hope that this is another, albeit small, gesture, and it might be a sign of the gradual normalization of relations between our countries," Putin said during a special ceremony in Moscow. Seagal and the former KGB agent have a friendship spanning back "decades." They initially bonded over their love of martial arts, disdain over the international community's views on Russia, and general machismo.

The Washington Post reports that Seagal's grandmother was Russian. She was born in the eastern city of Vladivostok. Seagal was a regular fixture in Russia even before being granted citizenship. He starred in a series of ads for Moscow's telecom company, Megafon. In addition, Seagal was part of a motorbike rally supporting Putin in the annexed Crimea.

Seagal doesn't hold back when it comes to his appreciation of Putin. "I know him well enough to say that he is one of the greatest world leaders, if not the greatest world leader, alive today," he told Russia Today (via BuzzFeed). So, when Steven Seagal has something to say about the Ukraine situation, it's likely to be pretty controversial to anybody in the West.

The Seagal-Putin Bromance

As usual, Steven Seagal is defending his buddy Vladimir Putin. The martial arts master-turned self-professed CIA operative–turned Hollywood actor-turned proud Russian citizen blames the current conflict on "propaganda." Seagal alleged to Fox News that "huge sums of money" are being splashed out by a mysterious "outside entity" to spread misinformation, intending to incite disharmony between Russia and Ukraine.

Despite being banned from Ukraine for five years due to "national security reasons," Seagal claimed that he still views the country as part of his adopted Russian "family." He said he's praying that the two countries can reach a mutually satisfactory settlement so "we can live & thrive together in peace." Meanwhile, Russia has been heavily bombing Ukraine since invading the country in February.

Russian forces launched a missile strike on the center of Ukraine's second-biggest city, Kharkiv, on March 1, resulting in mass casualties. According to The Wall Street Journal, Putin is becoming increasingly agitated by his troops' slow progress. To create some severe shock and awe, he's ordered more attacks on civilian targets. Al Jazeera reports that the number of fatalities and casualties caused so far is unverifiable. However, they cite a U.N. spokesperson who claims there have been 136 civilians killed, 13 of whom were children. In addition, they state there have been 400 non-fatal casualties.