Russian President Vladimir Putin has conferred the state Order of Friendship upon American actor Steven Seagal, citing his "great contribution to the development of international cultural and humanitarian cooperation." This is not the first time Seagal has been recognized by Putin, having received Russian citizenship directly from the president in 2016. Since then, Seagal has made several visits to Russia and even served as a "special representative" of the Russian Foreign Ministry to the United States and Japan.
However, the decision to award Seagal with the Order of Friendship has sparked controversy, with some critics questioning the actor's qualifications for the honor. Seagal has been known to have close ties to Putin and has been an advocate for Russian policies, including the annexation of Crimea. Moreover, Seagal has faced numerous allegations of sexual harassment and assault, which have led some to question his suitability for a humanitarian award.
The conferral of the Order of Friendship on Steven Seagal highlights the complex relationship between the actor and the Russian government. While Seagal has been recognized for his work in promoting cultural and humanitarian cooperation, his ties to Putin and controversial past have raised questions about the legitimacy of the honor.
Putin gives Steven Seagal top award for ‘humanitarian work’ https://t.co/jeSCXMmnZi pic.twitter.com/y3C4fogVsN
— New York Post (@nypost) February 27, 2023
Steven Seagal's controversial comments and actions in support of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea have caused backlash from critics. Last summer, the former action hero visited the occupied Donbas region, where he expressed his support for Russia's actions. Seagal's comments have drawn criticism, particularly from those who view Russia's invasion of Ukraine as a violation of international law.
During an interview on Russian television, Seagal referred to Ukraine as an existential threat to Russia, further fueling tensions between the two countries. Critics have accused Seagal of being a propagandist for the Russian government and promoting a false narrative about the conflict in Ukraine.
In a less serious note, there is a well-known story about Seagal allegedly kicking the same stuntman out of a window 17 times during the filming of a movie. While this story is often repeated, it is not confirmed to be true, and it remains a subject of debate among fans and critics of Seagal's films.
Thinking about that time Steven Seagal kicked a guy out the same window like 17 different times 😂🤣 pic.twitter.com/8ti1RgcagC
— Emilio (@TheFilmMaestro) February 18, 2023
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