Three years after Donald Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to investigate military aid against Joe Biden’s son, a key White House whistleblower has been implicated in the case helped Arnold Schwarzenegger to deliver his now-viral message about the Ukraine war to Russia.
“The strength and heart of the Russian people have always inspired me,” the actor and former California governor says in the video, which contradicts Russian disinformation about the invasion and describes Mr. Schwarzenegger’s personal affection for Russia. “So I hope I can tell you the truth about the war in Ukraine and what is happening there.”
The clip, which has since been viewed more than 28 million times, was fact-checked by former National Security Council Ukraine expert Alexander Vindman, one of the key witnesses in Donald Trump’s first impeachment.
The 2019 trial focused on Donald Trump’s talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, whom he tacitly asked to investigate Joe Biden’s son as a “favor” in exchange for receiving military aid.
During the investigation, Mr. Vindman, who was born in Kyiv when it was still part of the Soviet Union, testified twice about the call.
In 2019, Mr. Trump secretly almost kept a low profile $400 million in aid to Ukraine, where it would be used primarily in defense against Russia’s ongoing insurgency in eastern Ukraine. The former president has also withheld a high-profile White House meeting with President Zelenskyy and barred senior US officials from attending his inauguration.
Aid was later released and the impeachment was unsuccessful, with Mr Trump being acquitted by Republican allies in the Senate.
In the video that helped Mr Vindman fact-check, Mr Schwarzenegger argues that the Russian people do not support the war that targets civilians and kills innocent people.
“I’m speaking to you today because there are things going on in the world that are being kept from you, terrible things that you should know about,” says Mr. Schwarzenegger. “Ukraine didn’t start this war, nor did nationalists or Nazis… This is not the Russian people’s war.”
Mr Vindman praised the clip, which has since continued Trend in Russian media and worldwide.
“It would be great to see other superstars following Arnold Schwarzenegger,” he wrote on Twitter Thursday.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/arnold-schwarzenegger-alexander-vindman-russia-b2039396.html Arnold Schwarzenegger’s video message to Russia was fact-checked by Alexander Vindman