Steven Seagal’s love affair with Russia is no secret, and that goes right along with his love of eating carrots next to dictators. Fame can take people weird places, but with Seagal, it’s now taken him long past his bromance with Vladimir Putin — as seen above in 2013 while visiting a KGB-training facility that includes martial arts — to throwing his own weight behind a martial arts studio in Moscow to purportedly train Russian soldiers.
Newsweek detailed the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Typhoon All-Russian Aikido Center, which will help prepare prospective military recruits because I guess they need to do aikido on the battlefield? No telling, but Newsweek relays Seagal’s TASS-reported declaration: “The young athletes that I saw today have a very great potential. We need to open more such centers in order to develop it. It is important that the development of aikido proceed at a faster pace.”
Now Ukraine is getting in with some roasting about Seagal’s much-dragged running style. An actual tweet from Ukraine’s Defense Ministry:
“It’s been reported that russia has recruited Steven Seagal to teach martial arts to its soldiers,” the ministry tweeted. “Rumor has it that the Seagal-style running technique will be included in the training. russian soldiers will now be able to run away from their positions with weird hand motions.”
Earlier this year, Seagal also participated in some hefty propaganda aired on Russian State TV and even appeared to be (although authentication never definitively arrived) possibly filming from occupied Ukraine while a Russian TV host, Vladimir Solovyov, reported that Seagal had “personally examined” rocket fragments while filming a documentary.
Compared to that mess, lending his presence to a martial arts school in Russia is almost tame. And it’s no wonder that Joe Rogan fell for a fake story about Seagal physically fighting in Ukraine with the Russian army. Hard to tell fact from reality with this one.