Los Angeles: Actor Steven Seagal has called himself a “diplomat” during an appearance on Russian state media, defending his visit to a prisoner of war camp where Ukrainian inmates were last month burned to death. Having been a Russian citizen since 2016 and said Russian President Vladimir Putin is one of the world’s greatest leaders, the 1990s action star, said he went to the prison to view “evidence” of what had happened, reports aceshowbiz.com.
Steven also repeated Kremlin propaganda that Kyiv was to blame. “I know a little bit about those things. I can tell you, one billion per cent, it wasn’t a bomb that could blow from the ground floor up. You could see where a missile came in from the outside and blew everything up,” the star said. He continued, “As I have said, I am a diplomat and I pride myself on being a pretty good diplomat”.
The 70-year-old actor added that he is producing an “unbiased” documentary about the Ukraine war despite professing his hero-worship of Putin. On July 29, Olenivka Prison, in an area of the Donbas occupied by pro-Russian forces, was burned down with around 50 Ukrainian prisoners of war thought to have died. It included many veterans of the battle for Mariupol.
Russia says Ukraine ordered a strike on the jail and carried it out using US-supplied HIMARS missiles that have been wreaking havoc behind Putin’s frontline. It appears that Russia sent Seagal to carry out his own inspection to bolster the claim Martial Artist and ‘Buddhist’ Seagal, whose 1990s hits include ‘Hard to Kill’ and ‘Under Siege’ saw his film career disintegrate when he was accused by multiple female co-stars of sexual assault and faced allegations he mistreated stuntmen on set, reports aceshowbiz.com.
Following a brief spell in a soul band, he began cozying up to Russia around 2014, the last time Putin invaded Ukraine, as he called the attack “very reasonable.” He also branded Putin “one of the greatest world leaders,” before he became a Russian citizen two years later. In 2017, he was banned from entering Ukraine after he was deemed a “threat to national security” and in 2018, was made special envoy by Putin for Russia to improve ties with the US.