On Thursday, the actor and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) released a nine-minute video detailing several facts about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It was an attempt to communicate the reality of the war to Russian citizens who may be experiencing distorted facts through Kremlin sources.

The Terminator actor began his message on a positive and nostalgic note. He revealed that the Russian Olympic weightlifter Yuri Petrovich Vlasov inspired him to begin weight lifting after meeting him in person at the age of 14. Schwarzenegger said he argued with his father about having a picture of a Russian athlete in his bedroom. He used that childhood story to transition into a candid reflection on his father’s role as a Nazi sergeant in World War II.

“[My father] didn’t like Russians, because of his experience in the Second World War. You see, he was injured at Leningrad, where the Nazi army that he was a part of did vicious harm to the great city and to its brave people,” Schwarzenegger said. He spoke more about bodybuilding and filming his early film roles in Moscow to underscore his “affection and respect for the people of Russia.”

He then got into discussing the “truth” about the war in Ukraine, which he insisted was out of “heartfelt concern,” and not an attack on individual Russian people. “I know that your government has told you that this is a war to denazify Ukraine,” Schwarzenegger said. “Ukraine did not start this war. Neither did nationalists or Nazis. Those in power in the Kremlin started this war. This is not the Russian peoples’ war.”

Schwarzenegger then added more facts about the invasion, including that 141 countries in the UN called for Russia to cease, there have been brutal attacks on children’s hospitals and maternity hospitals, and that thousands of Russian soldiers as well have perished.

He spoke about his father again to connect to victims of propaganda. His father was “all pumped up on the lies of his government. And when he left Leningrad, he was broken, physically and mentally,” Schwarzenegger said. “He lived the rest of his life in pain. Pain from a broken back. Pain from the shrapnel that always reminded him of those terrible years. And pain from the guilt that he felt.”

His video message included a call to Russian soldiers. “To the Russian soldiers listening to this broadcast, you already know much of the truth that I have been speaking. You have seen it with your own eyes. I don’t want you to be broken like my father … Your lives, your limbs, your futures are being sacrificed by a senseless War condemned by the entire World.”

He condemned the Kremlin for sending young soldiers to die in the war, praised the “bravery” of Russian protestors, and called on all Russian people to combat misinformation in any way they can. You can watch his full remarks here.

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