DUBAI: Hollywood movie star and former governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has drawn mixed reactions after releasing a video message urging Russians to stop the war in Ukraine.
“As a long-term friend of the Russian people, I hope that you will hear what I have to say,” Schwarzenegger said in the video that has since gone viral.
“Ukraine did not start this war. Neither did nationalists or Nazis. Those in power in the Kremlin started this war. This is not the Russian people’s war.”
The “Terminator” star appealed to the Russian people to learn the truth about the war and to be aware of disinformation coming from the Russian government. He pointed out how the war is affecting Russians who have family ties to Ukraine, the Russian economy, and Russian soldiers who have been lied to.
He even addressed Russian President Vladimir Putin asking him to stop the war.
Schwarzenegger posted the video on several platforms including Telegram, which is one of the few platforms still functional in Russia.
Many people online praised Schwarzenegger for taking a stance and using his popularity to speak to the Russian people. In Russia, however, the video was met with criticism.
TV host Vadim Gigin said on “Sunday Evening With Vladimir Solovievon,” a state TV show: “That face is the cover page of American imperialism and colonialism.”
He went on to attack the actor, questioning how he could tell the Russian people the “truth” while living in California himself.
Zakhar Prilepin, a writer and political party leader in Russia, appeared on the show too, where he said that the US is “pumping Ukraine full of weapons to massacre the Russians,” and called Schwarzenegger a “predator and an enemy.”
It was not just the media that attacked Schwarzenegger. Russian world powerlifting champion Marina Naumova, who has met the former bodybuilder personally, said that his “appeal is based on some other, invented reality.”
The video was tweeted by Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has been met with mostly critical responses with users, pointing out the lies being spewed by Russian authorities.
Since then, NATO has tweeted a video listing Kremlin lies and asking Russia to: “Stop the lies, stop the war.”