Hollywood legend Arnold Schwarzenegger has released a powerful nine-minute video addressing the Russian people and Vladimir Putin.
“The strength and the heart of the Russian people have always inspired me,” said the 74-year-old Terminator actor said.
“That is why I hope that you will let me tell you the truth about the war in Ukraine and what is happening there.
"No one likes to hear something critical of their government, I understand that.
"But as a longtime friend of the Russian people, I hope that you will hear what I have to say.”
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 then spoke directly to the Russian president: "To President Putin, I say: You started this war. You are leading this war. You can stop this war."
The action hero turned politician went on to shoot down claims made by the Kremlin, who have tried to justify the Ukrainian invasion as their way to 'de-nazify Ukraine'.
He wanted to educate the Russian people, who have less access to information after the Kremlin blocked external news, media, and internet from the country.
Schwarzenegger explained to Russian viewers that the war has been provoked by their country and has been declared illegal by 141 nations at the UN.
Wow. This message from Arnold Schwarzenegger to the Russian people is incredible.— Nick Knudsen 🇺🇸🇺🇦 (@NickKnudsenUS) March 17, 2022
I’m re-sharing it with Russian hashtags so it can hopefully find some people in-country. Please share.#ЯпротивВойны#нетвойне#янемолчу#нетвойнесУкраиной#Противійни
In what may be surprising words for the Russian people, the legendary actor also detailed how many civilian buildings have been bombed and how thousands of Russian soldiers have died.
Schwarzenegger then went on to describe those protesting the war in Russia as his 'new heroes'.
“To all of the Russians who have been protesting in the streets against the invasion of Ukraine: The world has seen your bravery,” he said.
“We know you have suffered the consequences of your courage. You have been arrested, you have been jailed and you have been beaten.
We are not just witnessing a brutal, violent Kremlin-led attack on the Ukrainian people, we are witnessing a war of the truth vs. tyranny. As @Schwarzenegger explains, we do not blame the people of Russia, and we need you to know what your government is hiding from you. https://t.co/QK8zhwsOnR— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) March 17, 2022
"You are my new heroes. … You have the true heart of Russia.”
Schwarzenegger then went on to candidly tell his father's history and the horrific impact it had on him.
“[My father] was injured at Leningrad and the Nazi army he was part of did vicious harm to the great city and to its brave people,” Schwarzenegger said.
“When my father arrived in Leningrad, he was all pumped up on the lies of his government. When he left Leningrad, he was broken – physically and mentally.
Schwarzenegger, who has a huge following in Russia, talks directly to the Russian people, the Russian soldiers and to Putin directly, urging an end to the war — including a personal story comparing the soldiers to his father, who was lied to by his government to fight as a Nazi: https://t.co/yCPkjG88au— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) March 17, 2022
“He lived the rest of his life in pain. Pain from a broken back, pain from the shrapnel that always reminded him of those terrible years. And pain from the guilt that he felt.
"To the Russian soldiers listening to this broadcast, you already know much of the truth that I’m speaking. You’ve seen it in your own eyes. I don’t want you to be broken like my father.”
The action hero’s message was met with praise from both fans and followers and is now spreading rapidly on Twitter, where it has been retweeted more than 175,000 times.
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information.
Featured Image Credit: Arnold Schwarzenegger/Russian Government/Alamy
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