Steven Seagal has described himself as “1 million percent Russian” weeks after it was revealed that President Vladimir Putin had awarded him a Medal of Friendship for his work in support of the nation.
Seagal, who has been named the Russian Foreign Ministry’s special envoy for Russian-US humanitarian relations, made the comments Monday at a founding event of the International Movement of Russians in Moscow.
The group was formed to unite Russophiles from different countries in their goal to advance a more positive narrative and help lift European Union sanctions against Russia, which have been tightened amid the country’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine.
At the event, Michigan-born Seagal, 70, said of his upbringing, “My father was pure Russian and I grew up in a pure Russian household because my mother was completely immersed in Russian culture and had no parents.”
“So I grew up with Russian culture,” he continued. “I grew up with Russia and loved everything I learned about it from a very young age. And for me I am 1 million percent Russophile and 1 million percent Russian.”
The actor and martial artist also accused his native United States of spending “billions of dollars on disinformation and lies” in a campaign to “try to discredit, demoralize and destroy the nascent morality of Russia.” It’s Russian hatred lesson.”
He added that “more than half the people of America love Russia and Russians and know they are being lied to.”
Seagal’s comments come weeks after the Russian government announced that he had received an Order of Friendship medal for his “great contribution to the development of international cultural and humanitarian cooperation.”
Established in 1994 by former President Boris Yeltsin, the award recognizes the work of Russians and foreigners aimed at improving the lives of Russians.
Other notable recipients of the Russian Order of Friendship Medal were former International Olympic Committee chief Jacques Rogge and Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank and former Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund.
The late Queen Elizabeth II’s cousin, Prince Michael of Kent, returned his Order’s Medal of Friendship after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
It’s not the first time Seagal has received special awards from the Russian state and even from Putin himself.
Putin presented the actor with his official Russian passport after he became a citizen in 2016. Seagal is an American citizen by birth and also became a Serbian citizen in 2016.
In October 2022, Seagal even received land from the authorities in the prestigious Rublevka area near Moscow. The land was given to Gorki Holding Co., in which Seagal has a 26 percent stake, and which intends to establish an International Martial Arts Center on the site.
His company got the land without a tender, and Moscow authorities said they made the decision because the company will create jobs as part of the construction of the plant.
Seagal has long been a vocal supporter of Putin and Russia, particularly since the country’s war effort against Ukraine began a year ago. He even called Putin “one of the greatest world leaders, if not the greatest world leader, alive today.”
But Seagal’s support for Russian military action in Ukraine has not gone uncontested by international condemnation.
In October 2022, he was one of six people recommended sanctions for his support of Russia and approval of Putin’s “aggressive occupation policy.”
The recommendation was made in a letter to Foreign Minister Antony Blinken and European Union High Representative Josep Borrell. It was transmitted by the Commission on Security and Cooperation for Europe and signed by its co-chair Steve Cohen, Congressman Joe Wilson and politicians from Estonia, Ukraine, the European Parliament and Poland.
Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Goncharenko also co-signed the letter and said at the time that “sanctions should be imposed on anyone serving the Putin regime, not just Steven Seagal.
“Putin has such a favorite thing – former politicians, famous actors, musicians – that he can incorporate into his propaganda. He gives a lot of money and asks in return to promote his stories or to bring these famous people to high positions in the state. own companies in Russia,” he said news week.