Steven Seagal, a Russian citizen and actor in Hollywood, is recognized by a decree signed by Vladimir Putin.

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Steven Seagal, a Hollywood actor and martial artist who is also a citizen of Russia, has been awarded the Order of Friendship, according to a proclamation signed on Monday by Russian President Vladimir Putin.



According to a report on the Russian government’s news agency, Seagal received the Order of Friendship. Seagal is well-known for his roles in several action movies over the past three decades.

Russia honors those it believes have improved relations between nations with this order. The decree named Seagal as its newest recipient and stated that it was bestowed in recognition of his humanitarian and cultural contributions on a global scale.

Having publicly backed Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, Seagal visited the Russian-controlled Ukrainian town of Olenivka last year. There, scores of Ukrainian POWs are said to have died in an attack for which both Russia and Ukraine have laid blame.


Ukraine imposed a five-year travel restriction on Seagal in 2017 due to concerns about national security.

In 2018, Seagal was appointed as the Russian Foreign Ministry’s humanitarian representative to the US and Japan.

The embassy announced the appointment on Facebook by writing, “Steven Seagal was appointed as the Russian Foreign Ministry’s special representative for Russian-US humanitarian connections.” The goal is to promote humanitarian connections between Russia and the United States, including collaboration in the arts, public programs, youth exchanges, and other areas.

Before obtaining citizenship, Seagal made frequent trips to Russia. A rumored friend of Putin, Seagal accompanied the Russian leader to a number of martial arts competitions. Putin issued Seagal a Russian passport in November 2016.


A spokesperson for Putin at the time, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters that Seagal “has been insistent for a long time in asking to be granted Russian citizenship,” adding that “he is known for his warm feelings to our country, he never made a secret of it, and he’s also a well-known actor, which gave grounds to make him a Russian citizen.”