Steven Seagal, a Hollywood actor turned vocal Kremlin supporter, is visiting eastern Ukraine to film a documentary aimed at “changing the perception” of the war there, the leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) announced Tuesday.
“Steven said that 98% of people who are talking about the conflict in media have never been here [in Donbas]. That’s why the world doesn’t know the truth. He wants to change the perception of this war,” DNR leader Denis Pushilin wrote on his Telegram channel under a photo with Seagal.
In the widely publicized visit, Seagal, who was granted Russian citizenship in 2016, visited the site of the July attack on the Olenivka prison that killed at least 50 Ukrainian prisoners of war.
Pro-Kremlin television host Vladimir Solovyov said Seagal “personally examined the evidence — including the pieces of American rockets — that confirm Kyiv’s links to the mass murder of their own soldiers.”
Kyiv and Moscow have traded blame over the Olenivka prison attack, with Ukraine accusing Russia of targeting the Olenivka prison to cover up torture and executions of Ukrainian prisoners of war, many of whom had surrendered after the defense of Mariupol.
The International Committee of the Red Cross, which had been overseeing the safety of the PoWs at Olenivka, hs still not been granted access to the site.
The UN has said it will launch a fact-finding mission at the prison but that both Russia and Ukraine would need to agree to it first.
Seagal also met with Ukrainian prisoners of war, including servicemen from the Azov Battallion who surrendered at Mariupol's Azovstal steelworks, Solovyov said.
“He [Seagal] spoke with members of Ukrainian armed groups and asked them uncomfortable questions,” Solovyov said.
The same day, an official Russian delegation headed by State Duma deputy Leonid Slutsky also visited the site of the Olenivka attack.
On his visit, Slutsky was accompanied by “foreign journalists and international experts” who were given the opportunity “to talk with witnesses, including survivors of the rocket attack,” Slutsky said on his Telegram.
The “international experts team” that accompanied Slutsky reportedly consisted of representatives of France, Italy, Germany, Serbia, Nicaragua and North Korea.
“It is quite a representative mission. We hope that their objective conclusions will help the world to see the hypocrisy, lies and crimes of the Ukrofascist government in Kyiv,” Slutsky said.