Arnold Schwarzenegger tells Russia's Vladimir Putin: 'You can stop this war'

Actor, body builder and former governor of California calls himself 'long-time friend of the Russian people'

Arnold Schwarzenegger describes his early fascination with Russian bodybuilder Yuri Vlasov and the many trips he has made to the country over the years. Getty Images / AFP

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Arnold Schwarzenegger released a nine-minute video on Friday in which he expressed his love for the Russian people while telling their president, Vladimir Putin, to stop the war in Ukraine.

The actor, body builder and former governor of the US state of California begins his video by speaking of how he has been a "long-time friend of the Russian people", describing his early fascination with bodybuilder Yuri Vlasov and the many trips he has made to the country over the years.

He then goes on to debunk the "disinformation" that has been spread about the war, including that Ukraine started the conflict and that Moscow ordered the invasion to "denazify" the country.

"Those in power in the Kremlin started this war," he says. "This is not the Russian people's war."

Schwarzenegger describes how the world "has turned against Russia" due to its actions in Ukraine.

Hundreds of civilians have died in the conflict so far and at least three million refugees have poured across the border into neighbouring countries.

"Because of its brutality, Russia is now isolated from the society of nations," says the former Terminator star, pointing to how the vast majority of nations in the UN General Assembly voted to censure Russia.

"The strongest economic sanctions ever taken have been imposed on your country" because of the actions of the Russian leadership," he says.

He also addresses Russian soldiers, reminding them that 11 million of their countrymen have family connections to Ukraine.

In closing, Schwarzenegger praised the actions of those protesting against the conflict inside Russia.

"You are my new heroes," he says. "You have the strength of Yuri Petrovich Vlasov. You have the true heart of Russia."

Updated: March 17, 2022, 3:09 PM