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Steven Seagal says he’s "1 million percent Russian" after award from Putin

Steven Seagal has described himself as “1 million percent Russian,” weeks after it was revealed that President Vladimir Putin gave him an Order of Friendship medal for his work in supporting the nation.

Seagal, who is described as the special representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry for Russian-American humanitarian relations, made his comments while attending a founding event for the International Movement of Russians in Moscow on Monday.

The group was established to unite Russophiles from different countries in their goal to push a more positive narrative and help lift European Union sanctions against Russia, which have been tightened amid the country’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

Speaking at the event, Michigan-born Seagal, 70, said of his bringing up: “My father was pure Russian, and I was raised in a pure Russian household, because my mother was completely immersed in the Russian culture and she did not have parents .”

“So I grew up with Russian culture,” he continued. “I grew up loving Russia and loving all of what I learned about it from a very early age. And for me, I am 1 million percent Russophile and and 1 million percent Russian.”

The actor and martial artist also went on to accuse his native US of spending “billions of dollars on disinformation, lies” in a campaign, he said, to “try to discredit, demoralize and destroy the emerging morale of Russia. It is Russian hate doctrine.”

He added that “over half of the people in America actually love Russia and love Russians and know that they’re being lied to.”

Seagal’s comments come weeks after it was announced by the Russian government that he had received an Order of Friendship medal for his “great contribution to the development of international cultural and humanitarian cooperation.”

Established by former President Boris Yeltsin in 1994, the award recognizes the work of Russians and foreign nationals aimed at the betterment of life for Russian people.

Other notable recipients of the Russia’s Order of Friendship medal have included former International Olympic Committee Boss, Jacques Rogge, and Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank and former managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

The cousin of the late Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Michael of Kent, returned his Order of Friendship medal after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

It’s not the first time Seagal has received special accolades from the Russian state and even Putin himself.

Putin handed the actor his official Russian passport after he became a citizen in 2016. Seagal is an American citizen by birthright and was also made a citizen of Serbia in 2016.

In October 2022, Seagal was even given land by authorities in the prestigious Rublevka area near Moscow. The land was awarded to Gorki Holding Co., which Seagal has a 26 percent stake in and it intends to build an International Center for Martial Arts on the site.

His company received the land without bidding, and Moscow authorities said they made the decision because the company will create jobs as part of the facility’s construction.

Seagal has long been a vocal supporter of Putin and Russia, especially since the country’s war efforts began a year ago against Ukraine. He even called Putin “one of the greatest world leaders, if not the greatest world leader, alive today.”

But Seagal’s support of Russia’s military actions in Ukraine hasn’t come without international condemnation.

In October 2022, he was one of six people recommended to be put under sanctions for his support of Russia and his approval of Putin’s “aggressive occupation policy.”

The recommendation was made in a letter addressed to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the High Representative of the European Union, Josep Borrell. It was sent by the Commission on Security and Cooperation for Europe and signed by its co-chair Steve Cohen, fellow member Congressman Joe Wilson and politicians from Estonia, Ukraine, the European Parliament and Poland.

Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Goncharenko also co-signed the letter and said at the time that “sanctions should be imposed on everyone who serves the Putin regime, not just Steven Seagal.

“Putin has such a favorite pastime—former politicians, famous actors, musicians—to involve in his propaganda. He gives a lot of money, and for this, he asks to promote his narratives or put these famous people in high positions in state- owned companies in Russia,” he told Newsweek.

Steven Seagal has described himself as “1 million percent Russian,” weeks after it was revealed that President Vladimir Putin gave him an Order of Friendship medal for his work in supporting the nation.

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