Actor Steven Seagal inaugurated an aikido center in Russia: he will train young people to fight in Ukraine

File photo: Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with actor Steven Seagal in the Kremlin (Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik via AP) (Alexei Druzhinin/)

Steven SeagalThe 70-year-old aikido specialist was one of the stars of American action movies in the 1980s and 1990s. And as his career declined, the Lansing, Michigan-born actor left progressively getting closer to Russian President Vladimir Putin. In 2016 he received a Russian passport from the head of the Kremlin, although he retained his US citizenship. Since then lives in Russia.

And this week it became known that opened a martial arts center in Moscow. news agency images rate show Seagal participating in the opening of the All-Russian Aikido Typhoon Center last Saturday. The local press noted that the actor was the guest of honor at the event and even cut the ceremonial red ribbon for the inauguration.

According to rate, Seagal also dedicated a few words to the guests and the students. “The young athletes I have seen today have great potential. We need to open more centers of this type to develop it. It is important that the development of aikido proceed at a faster pace“, said.

In 2021 Steven Seagal joined a nationalist party in Russia (REUTERS / Evgenia Novozhenina)
In 2021 Steven Seagal joined a nationalist party in Russia (REUTERS / Evgenia Novozhenina) (EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA /)

A martial arts demonstration was performed at the event as Seagal watched as he sat on a red carpet among several guests. “I am very happy to be able to present this center today and that aikido is developed here. These arts can make this world a better place,” he stated.

Although Seagal did not comment explicitly on the matter, rate said the Typhoon Center will train young martial arts students to prepare them “for service in the Russian Armed Forces.”. He pointed out that the site is not yet open to the public but explained that there will be a “sports and patriotic club”.

On the other hand, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense echoed this news and published a mocking comment on social networks. “It has been reported that Russia has recruited Steven Seagal to teach its soldiers martial arts. Seagal-style running technique is rumored to be included in the training. Russian soldiers will now be able to flee their positions with strange hand movements,” says the ironic message on the ministry’s official Twitter account.

ukraine comment on steven seagal
The reaction of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine on the aikido center opened by Seagal

Vladimir Putin decorated Steven Seagal on February 27, a Hollywood star who has recently become defender of the Russian government and its offensive in Ukraine. The president signed a decree granting the “Order of Friendship” to the actor, who recognized “his great contribution to the development of international cultural and humanitarian cooperation,” according to a Kremlin document.

Last August Seagal traveled to eastern Ukraine to meet with the head of the pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk, Denis Pushilin, and express his support for him. He also visited the Olenivka prison near Donetsk, where dozens of Ukrainian prisoners were killed in an explosion last summer.

And on the occasion of Putin’s 70th birthday, in October, Seagal recorded a video supporting the Russian president, whom he described as “one of the greatest leaders in the world.” And he stressed: “I really hope and pray that he receives the support, love and respect that he needs. And may all the current tribulations end soon, and we live in a world at peace.”

(With information from AP)

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