Arnold Schwarzenegger released an emotional video Thursday addressed to the people of Russia. The 74-year-old actor and former California governor largely focused on stating the basic facts of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, complete with subtitles, in an attempt to punch through Russian state propaganda. In the nine-minute video, Arnold began, “I’m speaking to you today because there are things that are going on in the world that have been kept from you, terrible things that you should know about. Let me tell you the truth about the war in Ukraine.”
… Schwarzenegger details how the fighting was instigated by Russia in February, explaining that the invasion has been declared illegal by 141 countries, that many civilian buildings (such as a maternity hospital) have been bombed, that there’s now a massive refugee crisis, and that thousands of Russian soldiers have died.
… In a rarity for the Austrian-born actor, Schwarzenegger also candidly invoked his father’s dark history as Nazi sergeant when tackling the Russian government’s false claims that its troops are engaged in a “denazification” of Ukraine: “When my father arrived in Leningrad, he was all pumped up on the lies of his government. When he left Leningrad, he was broken — physically and mentally. He lived the rest of his life in pain — pain from a broken back, pain from the shrapnel that always reminded him of those terrible years, and pain from the guilt that he felt. To the Russian soldiers listening to this broadcast: You already know much of the truth that I’m speaking. You’ve seen it in your own eyes. I don’t want you to be broken like my father.”