Putin decorates US actor Seagal with 'friendship' award
Russian President Vladimir Putin has bestowed a prestigious award on US actor Steven Seagal for his work on strengthening international "cooperation," according to an official decree released Monday.
In the decades since the height of his Hollywood fame, Seagal has been an outspoken supporter of Putin, who granted the 70-year-old film star citizenship several years ago.
Moscow said Seagal had been given the Order of Friendship for his "major contribution to the development of international cultural and humanitarian cooperation."
Last August, Seagal visited the eastern Ukraine region of Donetsk, including the destroyed Olenivka detention centre where dozens of Ukrainian prisoners were reported to have died.
Ukraine and Moscow traded blame for an attack on the facility last July.
In 2018, the Russian foreign ministry appointed Seagal a special representative for Russian-US humanitarian ties.
He was granted Russian citizenship in 2016, when Putin personally handed a Russian passport to the actor during a televised meeting.
Rex Tillerson, the former US Secretary of State and CEO of ExxonMobil, as well as current FIFA president Gianni Infantino are among notable foreigners to have also received the award.