North Korea has Dennis Rodman. Russia has Steven Seagal.
The ‘Under Siege’ actor was awarded an Order of Friendship medal after continuously supporting President Vladimir Putin, even amid the invasion of Ukraine. Seagal accused the US government of spending ‘billions of dollars on disinformation, lies’ in the media to ‘try to discredit, demoralize and destroy Russia’s budding morale’ at an event organized by the International Movement Russians in Moscow (via The Independent).
“More than half the people in America actually love Russia and love Russians and know they’re being lied to,” Seagal said. “My father was purely Russian and I was brought up in a purely Russian family, because my mother was completely immersed in Russian culture and she had no parents. So I grew up with Russian culture.
The Michigan native continued, “I grew up loving Russia and loving everything I learned about it from a young age. And for me, I’m a million percent Russophile and a million percent Russian.
Seagal was appointed as the Russian Foreign Ministry’s special representative for Russian-American humanitarian relations in 2018. The Order of Friendship medal this year was to celebrate Seagal’s “great contribution to the development of cultural and humanitarian cooperation international,” as Putin said.
In 2020, Seagal recorded a birthday message for Putin, saying, “Today is President Putin’s birthday. I just think we live in very, very trying times now. He is one of the greatest world leaders and one of the greatest presidents in the world. And I really hope and pray that he gets the support and love and respect he needs. And that all the tribulations now taking place will soon be over and we will live in a world of peace.
“For anyone to think that Vladimir Putin has anything to do with election manipulation, or even that the Russians have this type of technology, is stupid,” Seagal also said. “And that kind of propaganda is really a diversion…so that people in the United States of America don’t really see what’s going on.”
Seagal was previously banned from Ukraine and considered a national security threat.