Vladimir Putin bestows friendship award on actor Steven Seagal

Action star Steven Seagal, who holds Russian citizenship, is awarded the Order of Friendship, recognizing those who contribute to bettering international relations.

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(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 13, 2013 Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and American action movie actor Steven Seagal visit a newly-built sports complex of Sambo-70 prominent wrestling school in Moscow. - Russian President Vladimir Putin has bestowed an award on pro-Kremlin US actor Steven Seagal for helping strengthen international cooperation, the government said on February 27, 2023.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Steven Seagal visit a newly built wrestling complex in Moscow in 2013. In 2018, Seagal was named a Russian Foreign Ministry humanitarian envoy to the U.S. and Japan.

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MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday bestowed a state decoration on Steven Seagal, the American action-movie actor who also holds Russian citizenship.

The awarding of the Order of Friendship was announced on the Russian government’s internet portal. The order recognizes people who Russia considers to have contributed to bettering international relations.

Seagal, 70, was a vocal supporter of Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and last year visited the Russian-held Ukrainian town of Olenivka where dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war were reportedly killed in an attack for which Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other.

In a 2022 interview, Seagal said that Ukraine poses an existential threat to Russia.

Seagal was named in 2018 as a Russian Foreign Ministry humanitarian envoy to the United States and Japan.

Seagal, a martial arts practitioner, has worked in Japan and starred in such films as “Under Siege” and “Above the Law.”

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