“I Have To Tell You The Truth”
“Every bullet that you shoot, you shoot a brother or sister. Every bomb or every shell that falls is falling not on an enemy but on a school or a hospital or a house.”
Russian censors are attempting to erect a digital Iron Curtain to prevent the truth about the Ukraine war from reaching inside their country. But they may not be able to stop the Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger. The former bodybuilder, Hollywood icon, and California governor is extraordinarily popular among Russians. On Thursday, he released a nine-minute video clip presenting a personal plea directed to the Russian people, their soldiers inside Ukraine, and their leader Vladimir Putin.
Schwarzenegger began with a heartfelt statement: “I love the Russian people. That is why I have to tell you the truth.”
Russian subtitles and heartbreaking images of the catastrophic damage inflicted by Putin’s war machine accompanied Schwarzenegger’s earnest voice.
Schwarzenegger attempted to connect with Russian soldiers by talking about his father Gustav, a sergeant in the Nazi army that besieged St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad). He returned from the war a “broken man” full of pain from a wound he sustained during the fighting and the guilt he felt for having taken part in the siege. Schwarzenegger reminded the Russian soldiers that millions of their countrymen have family members living inside Ukraine: “Every bullet that you shoot, you shoot a brother or sister. Every bomb or every shell that falls is falling not on an enemy but on a school or a hospital or a house.”
The former California governor then directed a blunt message to Russian President Vladimir Putin: “You started this war. You are leading this war. You can stop this war.”
Schwarzenegger concluded with a message to the “brave” Russian protesters who have demonstrated against their government’s invasion of Ukraine: “You are my new heroes…You are the true heart of Russia.”
Millions of people throughout the world are watching the clip. Even more importantly, it has received over 700,000 views on Telegram, an app still widely viewed inside Russia. I encourage all my FB friends, students, and professional colleagues to view the full video on YouTube.
Author · Instructor