Actor Steven Seagal Visits Moscow Terror Attack Victims

Former American action movie star Steven Seagal, now a Russian citizen and enthusiastic supporter of dictator Vladimir Putin, paid a visit on Thursday to three recovering victims of the Crocus City Hall terrorist attack at the Pirogov National Medical Center in Moscow.

The Russian Ministry of Health posted photos of Seagal, 71, saluting the three injured victims for their “courage and perseverance” at the hospital.

“What happened was a terrible tragedy that should not have happened. And I think that Russia will serve as an example and let the world understand that you can’t just do this to any people and go unpunished,” Seagal reportedly said.

“I thank the doctors for the prompt work they are doing, I am glad to see that the patients are feeling well and are recovering,” he said.

The Ministry of Health said four victims of the terrorist attack are recuperating at the Pirogov National Medical Center, but only mentioned Seagal visiting three of them.

Seagal vocally supported Putin’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. He became a Russian citizen in 2016 and was quickly banned from entering Ukraine, although since the invasion he has been able to visit parts of the country that were occupied by Russian forces. He was named a “humanitarian envoy” for the Russian Foreign Ministry in 2018.

Seagal joined a pro-Kremlin party called “Just Russia Patriots for Truth” in 2021, some of whose leaders are former members of the pro-Russian separatist militias that have been fighting against the Ukrainian government for years.

Seagal has referred to Putin as his “brother” and “one of the greatest world leaders, if not the greatest world leader, alive today.” Putin returned the favor in February 2023 by awarding Seagal the Russian Order of Friendship.

Ukraine’s Kyiv Post on Thursday mocked Putin for leaving it to Seagal to visit the injured terrorist victims:

While a photograph published last week showed Putin apparently lighting a candle for the victims in a Moscow church, he has otherwise shown no intention of visiting the scene of the massacre or meeting with any of the wounded and injured survivors or relatives of those who were killed.

When asked if the Russian leader planned any such meetings, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov merely said: “If any contacts are necessary, we will inform you accordingly.”

Peskov also said that Putin did not currently plan to visit the Crocus City concert hall, while rescue workers continue to search beneath the rubble for bodies. He said: “In these days it would be completely inappropriate to carry out any fact-finding trips because this would simply interfere with the work of the rescuers.”

Although the Islamic State has taken credit for the Crocus attack, Putin and other top Russian officials continue to insist Ukraine and the United States played some role in planning, facilitating, or conducting the terrorist action, which killed 140 people and injured 360 more at last count.

A view shows the burnt-out Crocus City Hall concert venue in Krasnogorsk, outside Moscow, on March 26, 2024. (NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / AFP)

Russia’s Investigative Committee claimed on Thursday that it has obtained “verifiable information that the perpetrators of the terrorist attack received significant amounts of money and cryptocurrency, which were used in preparing the crime, from Ukraine.”

“The detained terrorists’ connection with Ukrainian nationalists has been obtained from examining their electronic devices and analyzing financial transactions,” the committee said.

The committee also claimed that at least one “financier” of the attack has been “identified and detained.”

Washington and Kyiv continue to deny the accusations from Moscow, occasionally in very colorful terms.

“My uncle used to say that the best manure salesmen often carry their samples in their mouths. Russian officials seem to be pretty good manure salesmen,” White House spokesman John Kirby said on Thursday.

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