Arnold Schwarzenegger is sending a direct message to Vladimir Putin and the people of Russia.
In a video over nine minutes long, the actor speaks about his personal connection and appreciation for Russia.
Addressing the nation’s citizens, he says, “I am speaking to you today because there are things going on in the world that are being kept from you, terrible things that you should know about.”
I love the Russian people. That is why I have to tell you the truth. Please watch and share. pic.twitter.com/6gyVRhgpFV
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) March 17, 2022
He recalled meeting one of his childhood heroes: Russian heavyweight lifter Yuri Patrovich Vlasov. Schwarzenegger’s own father was strongly against his admiration for the Russian due to his own prejudices from fighting in the Second World War.
“It didn’t matter to me what flag Yuri Vlasov carried,” said the actor, who would befriend Vlasov while working on his 1988 film “Red Heat” in the country. It broke ground as the first American film allowed to shoot on Russian land.
“The strength and the heart of the Russian people have always inspired me,” he praised. “That is why I hope you will let me tell the truth about the war in Ukraine and what is happening there.”
Schwarzenegger then detailed the state of the current conflict in Ukraine, including the United Nations vote for Russia to end its conflict along with all the sanctions the country is facing.
He addressed the Russian president directly near the end of his impassioned speech.
“To President Putin, I say: You started this war. You are leading this war. You can stop this war,” said the former governor.
For his final message, he directed words of encouragement to the Russian citizens who have protested the war within the country’s borders.
“The world has seen your bravery. We know that you have suffered the consequences of your courage,” added Schwarzenegger. “You have been arrested. You have been jailed. And you have been beaten. You are my new heroes.”