“Terminator” Star Arnold Schwarzenegger called on Vladimir Putin on Thursday to end Ukraine’s “senseless” war and praised Russians protesting against the conflict as his “new heroes”.
“Ukraine did not start this war,” the former California governor said in a touching message to the Russian people and Russian troops posted on his Twitter account.
I love the Russian people. That’s why I have to tell you the truth. Please see and share. pic.twitter.com/6gyVRhgpFV
– Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) March 17, 2022
“I’m talking today because there are things in the world that are hidden from you, horrible things that you should know,” he said in a powerful nine-minute video.
Former Austrian-born bodybuilding champion, his film “Red Heat” It was the first American film shot in Moscow’s Red Square, about his love for the Russian people and his idol, the Russian weightlifter Yuri Vlasov, when he was 14 years old.
“The strength and heart of the Russian people has always inspired me,” he said. “That’s why I hope you’ll let me tell you the truth about the war in Ukraine.”
“I know your government has told you that this is a war to ‘denationalize’ Ukraine,” he said. “This is not true. Those in power in the Kremlin started this war. This is not a war for the Russian people.”
According to Schwarzenegger, “the world has turned against Russia for its actions in Ukraine; the entire city block has flattened Russian artillery and bombs, including a children’s hospital and a maternity hospital.”
“Because of its brutality, Russia is now isolated from the nation of nations,” he said.
In a call to Russian troops, Schwarzenegger recalled the wounds his father had suffered while fighting for the Nazis in Russia during World War II.
“He was physically and mentally broken and his whole life was in pain,” he said. “To the Russian troops who are listening to this show … I don’t want to be broken like my father.”
“This is not a war fought by your grandparents or your great-grandfathers to defend Russia,” he said. “This is an illegal war. Your life, your limbs, your future have been sacrificed for a senseless war doomed by the whole world.”
Addressing Putin directly, Schwarzenegger said, “You started this war. You are leading this war. You can stop this war.”
He closed the message with praise for threatening to arrest Russians in protest of the war.
“The world has seen your courage,” he said. “You are my new heroes.”
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and has been published from a union feed.)