Russian state media is pushing back against former California governor and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger after he posted a nine-minute video on social media criticizing Russia's invasion of Ukraine late last week.
Last Thursday, Schwarzenegger posted the video to Twitter, YouTube, Telegram, and Instagram. In it, he expressed his "admiration" for Russia and its citizens but said he wanted to tell the truth about the origins of the war in Ukraine.
"I'm speaking to you today because there are things going on in the world that are being kept from you, terrible things that you should know about," Schwarzenegger sod. "Ukraine did not start this war, neither did nationalists or Nazis...this is not the Russian people's war."
I love the Russian people. That is why I have to tell you the truth. Please watch and share. pic.twitter.com/6gyVRhgpFV— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) March 17, 2022
TV host Vadim Gigin said on a Sunday night news program called Schwarzenegger, "the cover page of American imperialism and colonialism, not the caricature image of Uncle Sam, but this Schwarz, in a Hollywood production."
"He, in California, will tell us, who live here, the truth? That is their approach towards us," Gigin said
Other prominent Russian media members have also criticized Schwarzenegger, including Russian powerlifter champion Maryana Naumova and writer Zakhar Prilepin.
Naumova claimed Schwarzenegger was "living in an alternative, imaginary reality," and Prilepin called "Arnie" a "predator and an enemy."
Schwarzenegger's video, which was subtitled in Russian, has been impactful. Schwarzenegger is hugely popular in Russia, and according to The Associated Press and Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be a fan as well. Putin follows only 22 people on Twitter, including Schwarzenegger.