'De-Nazify Ukraine? Not true': Arnold Schwarzenegger's powerful appeal. Watch
Hollywood legend Arnold Schwarzenegger has tweeted a powerful video appeal in the midst of civilians coming under attack in Ukraine every day with tens of thousands of people forced out of their homes, and many of them into the bomb shelters, according to Kyiv. "I love the Russian people. That is why I have to tell you the truth," the 74-year-old actor-politician is heard saying in the clip. While he has called out Russia's Vladimir Putin to end the "senseless war", he also says that the Kremlin has lied "not only to its people but also to its soldiers".
Schwarzenegger, the former California governor, also heaps praises on Russians protesting against the war at the risk of getting arrested and called them his "new heroes". To Putin, he said, “You started this war. You are leading this war. You can stop this war.”
"I'm speaking to you today because there are things going on in the world that are being kept from you, terrible things that you should know about... Ukraine did not start this war," the Hollywood superstar, and seven-time Mr Olympia, says in an emotional message for the people and soldiers of Russia.
"When I see babies being pulled out of rubble, I think that I am watching the horrors of the second world war, not the news of today," the "Terminator" star says. He also insists that people have been told lies for what has been called 'a special military operation by Russia' - "The strength and the heart of the Russian people have always inspired me. That is why I hope that you will let me tell you the truth about the war in Ukraine. I know that your government has told you that this is a war to 'de-Nazify' Ukraine. This is not true. Those in power in the Kremlin started this war."
He also recalled the wounds his father Gustav Schwarzenegger sustained while fighting for Nazis in Russia during the Second World War. “He was broken physically and mentally and lived the rest of his life in pain. To the Russian troops listening to this broadcast... I don't want you to be broken like my father,” the former California governor is heard saying. "This is not the war to defend Russia that your grandfathers or your great-grandfathers fought. This is an illegal war. Your lives, your limbs, your futures have been sacrificed for a senseless war condemned by the entire world."
Moscow's offensive in Ukraine is in its 23rd day with no hopes of the war ending anytime soon despite both countries meeting again for peace talks. Ukraine's capital city Kyiv continues to be hit by Russian shelling. According to the United Nations, over 2,000 civilians have died in the war so far and 3.2 million have fled to neighbouring countries. On Thursday, the Ukrainian government said that 3,810 people were evacuated through humanitarian corridors.
On Moscow facing global isolation, Schwarzenegger further underlined, "The world has turned against Russia because of its actions in Ukraine -- whole city blocks have been flattened by Russian artillery and bombs, including a children's hospital and a maternity hospital."
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