Steph Deschamps / February 28, 2023
Vladimir Putin decorated on Monday the American actor Steven Seagal, ex-Hollywood star who became in recent years an active defender of the Russian president and, lately, of his offensive against Ukraine.
The Russian President signed a decree awarding the “Order of Friendship” to the actor for “his great contribution to the development of international cultural and humanitarian cooperation,” said a document published on the official legal website of the Russian government.
A specialist in aikido, Steven Seagal, 70, was one of the stars of American action films in the 1980s and 1990s. As his career declined, the Lansing, Michigan native gradually grew closer to authoritarian leaders, including the head of the Kremlin. In 2016, he had received a Russian passport from Vladimir Putin, while retaining his American citizenship. Settled in Russia since then, he even joined a nationalist party in 2021.
Last August, he travelled to eastern Ukraine to meet with the leader of the pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk, Denis Pushilin, and offer them his support. He visited the Olenivka prison near Donetsk, where dozens of Ukrainian prisoners were killed in an explosion this summer.
For Vladimir Putin’s 70th birthday in October, Steven Seagal also recorded a video supporting the Russian president, whom he called “one of the greatest leaders in the world.
I really hope and pray that he gets the support, love and respect he needs. And that all the current tribulations will end soon, that we will live in a peaceful world,” the former actor had added.