Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger urged Russians in an emotional video message to overcome the Russian government’s disinformation on the war in Ukraine.
Schwarzenegger addressed Russian citizens and soldiers in a nine-minute video posted on March 17 in an attempt to push through the “propaganda and the disinformation that you are being told” by the Russian government.
“Ukraine did not start this war. Neither did nationalists or Nazis. Those in power in the Kremlin started this war,” Schwarzenegger said.
Schwarzenegger said that Putin’s claim to “de-Nazify” Ukraine was untrue, pointing out that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was Jewish whose relatives were murdered by Nazis.
At the beginning of the video, Schwarzenegger spoke of his love for the Russian people and noted that Russian weightlifting champion Yuri Petrovich Vlasov was his childhood hero.
Then, Schwarzenegger told the story of his Austrian father who fought for Nazi Germany during the Second World War and addressed Russian soldiers, “I don’t want you to be broken like my father.”
“Your lives, your limbs, and your futures are being sacrificed for a senseless war, condemned by the entire world,” Schwarzenegger said.
Schwarzenegger called on Putin to “stop this war now.”
Schwarzenegger ended the video by praising the Russians who have been publicly protesting against the war.
“The world has seen your bravery. We know that you have suffered the consequences of your courage. You have been arrested. You have been jailed and you’ve been beaten. You are my new heroes. You have the strength of Yury Petrovich Vlasov. You have the true heart of Russia,” Schwarzenegger said.
The video, which has subtitles in English and Russian and includes footage showing the war, has reached 17 million views on Twitter.
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