North Korea has Dennis Rodman. Russia has Steven Seagal.
The “Under Siege” actor was awarded a Friendship Medal after constantly supporting President Vladimir Putin even during the invasion of Ukraine. Seagal accused the US government of spending “billions of dollars on disinformation, lies” in the media to “try to discredit, demoralize and destroy Russia’s new morality” during an event held by the International Movement of Russians in Moscow (via The Independent).
“Over half of the people in America actually love Russia and love Russians and know they’re being lied to,” Seagal said. “My father was pure Russian and I grew up in a pure Russian household because my mother was completely immersed in Russian culture and she had no parents. So I grew up with Russian culture.”
The Michigan native continued, “I grew up loving Russia and loved everything I learned about it from a very early age. And to me, I’m one million percent Russophile and one million percent Russian.”
Seagal was appointed the Russian Foreign Ministry’s special representative for Russian-American humanitarian relations in 2018. The medal of the Order of Friendship this year was to celebrate Seagal’s “great contribution to the development of international cultural and humanitarian cooperation,” as Putin said.
In 2020, Seagal recorded a birthday message for Putin saying, “Today is President Putin’s birthday. I just think we’re living in very, very trying times now. He’s one of the greatest world leaders and one of the greatest presidents in the world. And I really hope and pray that he gets the support and love and respect that he needs. And that all the tribulations that are going on now will soon be over and we will live in a world of peace.”
“For anyone to think that Vladimir Putin had anything to do with fixing the election, or even that the Russians have that kind of technology, is stupid,” Seagal also said. “And this kind of propaganda is really a diversion … so people in the United States don’t really want to see what’s going on.”
Seagal was previously banned from Ukraine and was considered a threat to national security.