While the action star’s fortunes have faded somewhat in this hemisphere, in Russia, Seagal is still a huge star. Of late, he has befriended wealthy Russian oligarchs who have convinced him to support Putin’s aggression against Ukraine.
In an interview on the set of a movie he was filming in Romania, Seagal told Russian media that he backs Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “desire to protect the Russian-speaking people of Crimea, his assets, and the Russian Black Sea military base in Sevastopol…is very reasonable.”
Seagal called the current U.S. policy in the region “idiotic.”
Putin and the American actor reportedly bonded over Putin’s love of martial arts. Seagal told the Times that he will assist the Russian leader in a Soviet-style initiative promoting physical fitness in Russia called “Ready for Labor and Defense.”
When asked if he would ever consider relocating to Russia, Seagal said that “sometime” he may apply for Russian citizenship.
The one-time box office champion has seen his ability to fill stateside movie theaters slump in recent years. The ponytailed actor has carved out a niche for himself as a conservative provocateur, penning columns for “Birther” conspiracy hub World Net Daily and making appearances on behalf of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has been charged by the federal government with unfairly targeting Hispanics and immigrants in the name of enforcing immigration laws.
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 9 million unique readers per month and serves more than 30 million pageviews.