Arnold Schwarzenegger goes viral telling Russian people about 'illegal' war in Ukraine

18 March 2022, 14:23 | Updated: 18 March 2022, 16:31

Arnold Schwarzenegger goes viral telling Russian people about "illegal" war in Ukraine. Picture: Alamy

By Liam Gould

Arnold Schwarzenegger has gone viral with a video posted to his social media accounts addressing Russian people on the "harsh realities" of the Ukraine war.

The video posted to his social media channels has been viewed almost 25m times on Twitter.

Mr Schwarzenegger addressed the video to his "Russian friends" and "Russian soldiers serving in Ukraine" who have been "lied to" about the "harsh realities of war" in Ukraine.

In the nine-minute video, the former bodybuilder and later governor of California, spoke directly to the camera as he described the "humanitarian crisis" in Ukraine.

Mr Schwarzenegger opened the video by sharing a story of meeting his hero - Russian bodybuilder Yuri Vlasov - when he was a child and his "affection and respect for the people of Russia".

But, he went on to say that the Russian people have been "lied" to about the war in Ukraine and pleaded with Russian soldiers to "speak up."

"Every bomb or every shell that falls is not falling on an enemy, but on a school, or a hospital, or a home."

"This is not the war to defend Russia that your grandfathers or great-grandfathers fought. This is an illegal war."

He added: "I don't want you to be broken like my father", who fought for the Nazis during World War Two and later harboured "hatred" because of "government lies."

Read More: Tragic square of 100 empty prams for the Ukrainian children 'mercilessly killed' by Putin's war

This comes after officials have freed 130 people from the Mariupol theatre after it was bombed by Russian forces on Thursday. Over 1,300 people remain trapped, according to Ukraine's human rights chief.

The 74-year-old described the devastation of Russian attacks in Ukrainian cities.

"The world has turned against Russia because of its actions in Ukraine. Whole city blocks have been flattened by Russian artillery and bombs, including a children's hospital and a maternity hospital.

"Three million Ukrainian refugees, mainly women, children and the elderly, fled their country. It is a humanitarian crisis."

Arnold Schwarzenegger goes viral telling Russian people about "illegal" war in Ukraine. Picture: Twitter / @Schwarzenegger

The former bodybuilder also told the Russian people that their government has misled them on the actual "realities" of what was going on in Ukraine and around the world.

"Ukraine did not start this war...those in power at the Kremlin started this war.

"Because of its brutality, Russia has been isolated from the society of nations. You're also not being told the truth about the consequences of this war.

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He added: "I regret to tell you that thousands of Russian soldiers have been killed. They have been caught between Ukrainians fighting for their homeland, and the Russian leadership fighting for conquest."

Mr Schwarzenegger praised the people who were protesting in Russia against Russian president Vladimir Putin.

He said: "You have been beaten. You have been arrested. You are my new heroes.

"You can stop this war."

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