Arnold Schwarzenegger, a former actor who has become a politician, is using his popularity in Russia to aid the fight against misinformation about the Ukrainian conflict. The former governor of California released a nine-minute video in which he delivered an emotional appeal for the Russian people to reject Kremlin disinformation about Ukraine. Now that it’s been viewed 35 million times on Twitter, and distributed through Telegram, one of Russia’s most popular messaging services, Schwarzenegger’s message continues to spread across social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube.
In the video, Arnold Schwarzenegger states his admiration for Russia and its people, which began when he was a youngster as a result of his adoration for Russian bodybuilder Yury Petrovich Vlasov. He then recounts several personal experiences with Russians, reminding them that Red Heat, his 1988 film set in Moscow’s Red Square, was the first Hollywood production to be filmed there. Schwarzenegger addresses the audience directly, without any words of condemnation. He then goes into detail about the realities of war.
Schwarzenegger has never been shy about expressing his political views. In fact, the actor has often used his platform to speak out on various issues – including war.
“I’m 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,” he explains and continues, “Ukraine did not start this war, neither did nationalists or Nazis,” and also remember that Volodymyr Zelensky, is Jewish. “This is not the Russian people’s war.”
The message explains the other atrocities that are occurring in Ukraine, which were written by Schwarzenegger and his team and fact-checked by retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. The bombing of children’s and maternity hospitals, as well as the flood of refugees fleeing Ukraine, are mentioned as video documentaries from Ukraine plays.
The actor also compares the Russian troops to his own father, a veteran who fought with the Nazi army during World War II and returned home “physically and mentally broken.”
“I don’t want you to be broken like my father. This is not a war to defend Russia like your grandfathers and your great-grandfathers fought. This is an illegal war. Your lives, your limbs, and your futures are being sacrificed for a senseless war, condemned by the entire world.”
You can watch Schwarzenegger’s full video message below.
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