The man known as the “governator” posted a nine-minute video on social media where he praised the anti-war protesters in Russia, telling them, “you are my new heroes.”
Schwarzenegger reminisced about meeting his idol, Russian weightlifter Yuri Petrovich Vlasov, before attempting to lift the spirits of the Russian people, whose “strength” and “heart” have “always inspired me,” he said.
He then explained the real reason for the video:
“That is why I hope that you will let me tell you the truth about the war in Ukraine and what is happening there. No one likes to hear something critical of their government, I understand that. But as a longtime friend of the Russian people, I hope that you will hear what I have to say,” Schwarzenegger said.
Schwarzenegger then explained how fighting for the wrong side can have lasting repercussions, using the example of his father, Gustav Schwarzenegger, who he said had to live with shame and guilt of fighting for the Nazis in World War II.
“He lived the rest of his life in pain,” Schwarzenegger said. “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.”
Schwarzenegger said he doesn’t want the Russian soldiers fighting Vladimir Putin’s battle to end up “broken” like his father.
“So every bullet you shoot, you shoot a brother or a sister,” he said. “Every bomb or every shell that falls is falling not on an enemy but on a school or hospital or a home.”
Schwarzenegger also told the Russians watching the video message that “your lives, your limbs, and your futures are being sacrificed for a senseless war condemned by the entire world.”
You can see the video message below.
Schwarzenegger’s message was highly praised by Twitter users, including one State Department employee.