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What did Arnold Schwarzenegger say about the Russian invasion of Ukraine?

The world-famous actor posted a tweet to encourage Russians to find out about what is really happening in Ukraine outside of state-run media.

Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger leaves Niki Lauda's funeral ceremony at St Stephen's cathedral in Vienna, Austria May 29, 2019.
Antonio BronicReuters

Arnold Schwarzenegger has spoken out about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, urging his followers to share "the truth" of what was really happening in the war.


Russia does not have a free press and recently passed a law to punish 'fake news' with up to 15 years in prison. The clarification for what this includes is extremely broad, meaning news agencies discussing the war in a negative light for Russia face punishment. Russians are also not allowed to protest unless sanctioned by the state, even on their own. A famous image of the war has been a protestor holding up a blank card being bundled away by police.

Social media is also being restricted in the country. How big of a wave Arnie's video will make is unknown, but he joins a chorus of celebrities who have come out against the war in Ukraine.

What did he say in the video?

"There are things in the world being kept from you, terrible things you should know about," he begins. The video is in English with Russian subtitles.

The most powerful section of the clip is when Schwarzenegger discusses his family past. At 14, he went to the World Weightlifting Championships in Vienna, where he was inspired by Russian weightlifter Yuri Petrovich Vlasov. He put a picture of Vlasov above his bed.

"My father told to me to take down that picture and to find a German or Austrian hero... We argued back and forth. He didn't like Russians because of his experience in the Second World War. I did not take that picture down, because it didn't matter what flag Yuri Vlasov carried."

"I met Yuri Vlasov again in Moscow. He was so kind. Since I was 14-years old I've had nothing but affection and respect for the people of Russia. The strength and the heart of the Russian people have always inspired me. That is why I hope that you will let me tell you the truth about the war in Ukraine and what is happening there", he said.

"To the soldiers who are listening to this, remember that 11 million Russians have family connections to Ukraine – so every bullet you shoot, you shoot a brother or a sister. … And to President Putin, I say: You started this war. You are leading this war. You can stop this war."

"To all of the Russians who have been protesting in the streets against the invasion of Ukraine: the world has seen your bravery. We know you have suffered the consequences of your courage. You have been arrested, you have been jailed and you have been beaten. You are my new heroes... You have the true heart of Russia."