PETALING JAYA, Aug 10 — Former action star Steven Seagal has turned up in the unlikeliest of places — eastern Ukraine.
Russian television network Zvezda on Tuesday published a video showing the 70-year-old actor at the remains of a prison in Olenivka, where over 50 Ukrainian prisoners of war were killed.
The prison, located in a region under Russian control, was destroyed on July 29 amid the Russian-Ukraine war.
The 49-second clip shows Seagal posing amid the wreckage of the shelled-out building, coupled with voiceover narration in Russian.
According to The Military Times, Segal appeared to be offering his insights on what might have caused the prison’s destruction.
“It definitely looks like a rocket. If you look at the burning and other details, of course it’s not a bomb,” Seagal reportedly said.
“Not to mention the fact that Russia really has a lot of artifacts from HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System).”
Seagal also claimed that Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy had ordered the attack to silence a very specific “Nazi” held at the prison.
“The interesting thing is that one of the killed Nazis is a Nazi who just started talking a lot about Zelenskyy, and that Zelenskyy is responsible for the orders about torture and other atrocities that violate not only the Geneva War Convention, but are also crimes against humanity,” the actor reportedly said.
Seagal was reportedly at the prison site in his capacity as Russia’s Special Representative for Russia-US Cultural Links, Cultural and Historical Heritage — a voluntary role he has held since 2018.
The actor has long been a supporter of Russian president Vladimir Putin, and is currently a dual US and Russian citizen.
The Olenivka prison has been a source of fierce debate, with both the Russian and Ukrainian governments assigning blame to each other.
Russia’s Defence Ministry claimed that Ukraine had used a HIMARS, an American-made rocket system, to strike the prison to deter defections, The New York Times reported.
According to The Guardian, Ukrainian government officials claim the attack was carried out by the Wagner Group, a private military group said to be backed by the Russian government.