Steven Seagal has been filmed expressing his love and support for close allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin during a lavish meal in Moscow on Sunday to celebrate his 70th birthday.
Video circulating on social media shows the former Hollywood action man giving a speech at the function on April 10, surrounded by several Russian elites targeted by Western sanctions amid Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Polarising Russian state television presenter Vladimir Soloviev, who has openly backed Putin’s invasion and accused Britain of orchestrating the horrific scenes of civilian massacres in Bucha, can be seen standing just to the left of Seagal.
Margarita Simonyan, one of Russia’s leading pro-Kremlin media moguls and editor-in-chief of RT, was also in attendance according to the Financial Times.
Both have been placed on the EU’s sanctions list amid Russia’s invasion of its neighbour.
Dressed in his customary black shirt and yellow-tinted glasses, the action star declared to the pro-Putin audience: ‘Each and every one of you, you are my family and my friends. And I love all of you and we stand together, through thick and through thin.’
Video circulating on social media shows the former Hollywood action man giving a speech at the function on April 10, surrounded by several Russian elites targeted by Western sanctions amid Russia’s war in Ukraine. (Russian state television presenter Vladimir Soloviev is pictured standing to the left of Seagal, pictured right)
Despite the West’s united condemnation of the invasion of Ukraine, Seagal waxing lyrical about his love for his Russian comrades should come as no surprise – he was granted Russian citizenship in 2016 and is a longtime friend of Putin
Polarising Russian state television presenter Vladimir Soloviev (L), who has openly backed Putin’s invasion and accused Britain of orchestrating the horrific scenes of civilian massacres in Bucha, can be seen sitting just to the left of Seagal. Margarita Simonyan (R), one of Russia’s leading pro-Kremlin media moguls and editor-in-chief of RT, was also in attendance according to the Financial Times
Despite the West’s united condemnation of the invasion of Ukraine, Seagal waxing lyrical about his love for his Russian comrades should come as no surprise.
A long-time friend of Putin, the American actor was granted a Russian passport in 2016, having vocalised his support for the annexation of Crimea two years prior, and was made Russia’s special envoy to the US in 2018.
The pair have been pictured together on a number of occasions, and are thought to have bonded over their mutual love of martial arts.
Seagal is a longtime practitioner of aikido, while Putin is known to have studied judo and the Russian combat art of sambo from a young age. They have attended numerous sporting events together, and Seagal as recently as last year spoke at
The Russian President was suspended as president of the International Judo Federation just weeks ago in response to the invasion of Ukraine.
Seagal has previously described Putin as ‘one of the greatest world leaders, if not the greatest world leader, alive today’, and in February said in an interview with Fox News Digital that a propaganda from an ‘outside entity’ pitted Russia and Ukraine against each other.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (L) and American action movie actor Steven Seagal (R) visit a newly-built sports complex of Sambo-70 prominent wrestling school in Moscow
The pair have been pictured together on a number of occasions, and are thought to have bonded over their mutual love of martial arts (Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) speaks with US actor Steven Seagal (L) during the Mixed fight Championship in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on August 11, 2012)
U.S. actor Steven Seagal attends a meeting of the ‘A Just Russia – For Truth’ party in Moscow, Russia May 29, 2021
‘Most of us have friends and family in Russia and Ukraine,’ he told Fox News Digital.
‘I look at both as one family and really believe it is an outside entity spending huge sums of money on propaganda to provoke the two countries to be at odds with each other.’
On April 10, the day Seagal celebrated his birthday with Russia’s elite, the mayor of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol said that more than 10,000 civilians had died after enduring weeks of Russian bombing raids and hunger due to the siege.
One day later, an international team of forensic investigators arrived in the town of Bucha, northwest of Kyiv, where the exhumation and examination of more than a thousand civilian corpses began.
Ukrainian authorities say over 1,200 bodies have been found in the area and that they are weighing cases against ‘500 suspects’, including Putin and other top officials.
On Monday, the work of exhuming bodies from a mass grave in a churchyard in Bucha resumed after more than 400 dead civilians were discovered. The majority had been gunned down.
Meanwhile, Putin and Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko yesterday echoed the sentiments expressed by Soloviev, declaring the reports of the Bucha massacre as fake and part of a Western propaganda plan.
‘When [Western leaders] say ”Bucha” to me, I ask them – ”Have you ever been to Raqqa? Did you see how this Syrian city was turned to rubble by American aircraft?”, Putin said.
‘Corpses lay in the ruins for months decomposing. Nobody cared. No one even noticed.’
Lukashenko went even further, declaring that the Russian security service (FSB) could even prove that the events of Bucha were in fact concocted by British and other Western bad actors to discredit Russia’s ‘military operation’ in Ukraine.