Steven Seagal performs gig for pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine

The Hollywood actor pledged his support to Russian president Vladmir Putin

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The Independent Culture

Steven Seagal is facing a backlash after performing for pro-Russian separatists at a gig in Crimea this weekend.

The US action movie star, 62, took to the stage in Black Sea port city Sevastopol on Saturday to pledge support for his friend, Russian president Vladmir Putin.

The concert, organised by Russian nationalist motorcycle gang the Night Wolves, took place in the former Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Russia in March.

Reports suggest that Seagal held up a shirt with Putin’s face on it and thanked the crowd, in front of the black, blue and red Donetsk People’s Republic flag.

Seagal described Putin as “one of the great living world leaders” and said he would “like to consider him as a brother” earlier this year, The Moscow Times reported. The men are believed to share a passion for martial arts.


As fierce fighting continues in eastern Ukraine, Seagal’s political stance saw him banned from playing at an Estonian blues festival this summer.

He insists that Putin’s “desire to protect the Russian-speaking people of Crimea” is “very reasonable” and has mentioned possibly seeking Russian citizenship at some point in the future.

Other high profile names to strike up friendships with controversial politicians include basketball's Dennis Rodman, who has visited North Korea numerous times to meet with Kim Jong-un.