Schwarzenegger addresses Russians and Putin

The Austrian-born American actor posted a lengthy video on social media to “tell the truth” to Russians and urge Russian leaders to stop the war in Ukraine.

Austrian-American actor and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger addressed the Russian people to “tell them the truth about the war in Ukraine” in a video posted Thursday on social media, in which he denounces “propaganda and misinformation ” of the Kremlin.

“I know that your government told you that it was a war to denazify Ukraine. Denazify Ukraine? That’s not true”, asserts the former governor of California who repeats having only “affection and respect for the people of Russia” in this long video of more than nine minutes and subtitled in Russian.

Also addressing Russian soldiers, Arnold Schwarzenegger tells the story of his father, a soldier for Nazi Germany during World War II, who had been “galvanized by the lies of his government”. He thus evokes how his father returned from Leningrad as a man “broken physically and mentally”, not only because of the shrapnel received, but also because of the guilt he felt.

“I don’t want you to end up broken like my father,” he argues, “this is not the war to defend Russia that your grandfathers or your great-grandfathers waged.”

“You can stop this war”

The star of terminator also launches a message to “those in power in the Kremlin”, asking them “why would they sacrifice these young men for their own ambitions”. By midday on Thursday, the video had already been viewed several million times.

To Vladimir Putin, he launches: “You started this war. You carry out this war. You can stop this war”.

Arnold Schwarzenegger ends his address with a message of support for Russian citizens who have demonstrated against the war in the streets of the country.

“The world has seen your bravery. We know that you have suffered the consequences of your courage (…). You are my new heroes and you have the strength of Yuri Petrovich Vlassov”, he said in reference to the Soviet champion of weightlifting that he says he encountered in his youth.