Arnold Schwarzenegger asks Vladimir Putin to stop the war in new video. Watch
In the video, Schwarzenegger said Russian soldiers were told they’d be fighting Nazis in Ukraine. He said many of the troops now know those claims were false.
Film icon Arnold Schwarzenegger told Russians in a video posted on social media Thursday they’re being lied to about the war in Ukraine and accused President Vladimir Putin of sacrificing Russian soldiers’ lives for his own ambitions.
Schwarzenegger is hugely popular in Russia, and apparently also with Putin. The President of Russia’s Twitter account follows only 22 accounts – one of them the actor’s.
In the nine-minute video, Schwarzenegger said Russian soldiers were told they’d be fighting Nazis in Ukraine, or to protect ethnic Russians in Ukraine or that were going on military exercises, and that they’d be greeted like heroes. He said many of the troops now know those claims were false.
“This is an illegal war,” Schwarzenegger said, looking straight into the camera while seated at a desk in a study. “Your lives, your limbs, your futures are being sacrificed for a senseless war condemned by the entire world.” Schwarzenegger posted his emotional video on Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.
While some of those services are blocked in Russia, he also posted it on the Telegram messaging app, which is not, where it got more than a half-million views. It was subtitled in Russian.
The former California governor brought up painful memories about how his own father was lied to as he fought with Adolf Hitler’s forces during World War II, and how he returned to Austria a broken man, physically and emotionally after being wounded at Leningrad.
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He asked Russians to let their fellow citizens know about “the human catastrophe that is happening in Ukraine.” The video showed bombed out buildings in Ukraine and people coming under Russian shelling.
He then addressed Putin directly, saying: “You started this war. You are leading this war. You can stop this war.”
Schwarzenegger described his long ties to Russia, having traveled there as a body builder and film action hero. In 2010, as California governor, he led a delegation of Silicon Valley business leaders and venture capitalists on a trip to Moscow.