FACT CHECK: Has Steven Seagal Joined Russian Troops In Ukraine?
A post shared on Facebook claims American actor Steven Seagal was found with Russian soldiers in a part of Ukraine under Russia’s control.
The rumor appears to have stemmed from a fabricated tweet. There is no evidence suggesting Seagal has traveled to Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion of the country.
Seagal received Russian citizenship in 2016 and became the Russian Foreign Ministry’s special representative for humanitarian ties with the U.S. in 2018, BBC News reported. Seagal joined the “A Just Russia-Patriots-For Truth” political party, a pro-Kremlin political group, in Russia in 2021, according to The Guardian.
The March 1 Facebook post states, “Intelligence agencies around the world have discovered American actor Steven Seagal among Russian Special Forces on the outskirts of Gostomel Airfield near Kiev, which has been captured by Russian airborne troops.” The post does not cite the outlet the report allegedly came from or link to any news story.
The rumor appears to have stemmed from a fabricated image. Comedian Joe Rogan shared a screen grab on Instagram of what looked like a tweet from CNN claiming Seagal was spotted in Ukraine with Russian soldiers, the New Zealand Herald reported. CNN has not reported on its website or social media accounts that Seagal was seen in Ukraine recently.
Rogan later deleted his Instagram post, commenting in a subsequent one, “I deleted my earlier post about Steven Seagal being in Ukraine because it was parody, which isn’t surprising, but honestly it wouldn’t be surprising if it was true either.”(RELATED: Did The Associated Press Report ‘The Ghost Of Kyiv’ Was Shot Down?)
While the exact origin of the fabricated tweet is not clear, the image of Seagal in military attire is from the 2017 film “Cartels.” None of Seagal’s social media posts mention him being in Ukraine since the war was launched. Likewise, there are no major news outlets online reporting on Seagal’s alleged whereabouts. Seagal did comment March 7 that he was praying for a “positive, peaceful resolution” between the nation and Russia “where we can live and thrive together in peace,” Newsweek reported.