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Putin bestows friendship award on actor Steven Seagal

Seagal was a vocal supporter of Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with U.S. actor Steven Seagal in the Kremlin in Moscow, during a ceremony to award a Russian passport, Nov. 25, 2016.
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with U.S. actor Steven Seagal in the Kremlin in Moscow, during a ceremony to award a Russian passport, Nov. 25, 2016.Alexei Druzhinin (AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday bestowed a state decoration on Steven Seagal, the American action-movie actor who also holds Russian citizenship. The awarding of the Order of Friendship was announced on the Russian government’s internet portal. The order recognizes people who Russia considers to have contributed to bettering international relations.

Seagal was a vocal supporter of Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and last year visited the Russian-held Ukrainian town of Olenivka where dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war were reportedly killed in an attack for which Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other.

Seagal was named in 2018 as a Russian Foreign Ministry humanitarian envoy to the United States and Japan.

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