Steven Seagal Goes Full Russian, Begins Training Future Soldiers in Moscow
American-born martial artist, former action star, and avid Vladimir Putin supporter Steven Seagal is helping young Russians prepare for joining the armed forces by opening an aikido dojo in the capital city of Moscow.
Seagal, who received Russian citizenship from Putin himself in 2016, has been the chief instructor of aikido in the Russian Federation since 2018. These days, the seventh-dan black belt is teaching his craft to future soldiers, as Russia’s war in Ukraine grinds on.
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“The young people I saw today have a very big potential. We need to open more such centers to develop that potential. It is important that the development of aikido progresses at a faster pace,” the former action star told TASS news agency.
Seagal has long been open about his friendship with and support for Putin, even describing him as a “brother,” and “one of the greatest world leaders, if not the greatest leader alive today.” He also publicly defended Putin when Russia invaded Crimea, and said that “(Putin’s) desire to protect the Russian-speaking people of Crimea, his assets, and the Russian Black Sea military base in Sevastopol … is very reasonable.”
For his loyalty, Putin appointed Seagal Russia’s special envoy to the United States and recently awarded him with the Order of Friendship. The latter is considered a high honor for allies of Russia, it was given to Seagal for his “great contribution to the development of international cultural and humanitarian cooperation.”
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