Arnold Schwarzenegger Addresses Russian Soldiers, Lauds Protesters, Tells Putin To “Stop This War”

“There are things that are going on in the world that are being kept from you. Terrible things that you should know about,” actor and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger addressed to Russians and Russians soldiers serving in Ukraine in a 9-minute video that was posted today.

In the video, Schwarzenegger told his own history with Russia, beginning with his teenage hero, weightlifter Yuri Petrovich Vlasov, and how the strength and the heart of the Russian people have always inspired him. From there, he implored the Russian people to let him “tell them the truth about the war in Ukraine and what is happening there.”

This pertains to disinformation spread by the Russian government via state-controlled media about the war in Ukraine. To ensure control over the narrative within Russia, Moscow blocked access to some social media platforms and several websites and has clamped down on free speech by introducing legislation that criminalizes spreading so-called “false news” about the war and the military.

Schwarzenegger enumerated the lies and propaganda that Russian soldiers are being told and emphasized that “those in power in the Kremlin started this war. This is not the Russian people’s war.” The thousands of Russian soldiers that have died, he said, “have been caught between Ukrainians fighting for their homeland, and the Russian leadership fight for conquest.”

The Austrian-born actor also talked about his father who went to Leningrad to fight for Germany in the Second World War. And how he arrived at the war, pumped up on the lies of his government, and went home a broken man, and lived the rest of his life in pain.

Towards the end of the video, Schwarzenegger speaks directly to Vladimir Putin: “To President Putin, I say: You started this war. You are leading this war. You can stop this war.”

The former governor is known to have criticized Putin before, he even infamously called out former US President Donald Trump for being “embarrassing,” standing next to Putin like “a little fanboy” at the Helsinki Summit in 2018.

Schwarzenegger ended his message by lauding the tens of thousands of Russians who have been protesting the war out in the streets of their country, braving arrest, detention and beatings by the authorities: “You are my new heroes.”

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