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Action Star Seagal Backs Putin, Plays Down Sochi Threat

Published: January 31, 2014 (Issue # 1795)



  • Seagal urged U.S. President Barack Obama to pursue closer ties with Russia.
    Photo: Kremlin.ru

Action hero Steven Seagal has played down security fears ahead of the Sochi Olympics, equating the threat of terrorism with that of going out to buy a bag of sugar and getting hit by a car.

With the Olympic Games little more than a week away, the action star who counts President Vladimir Putin among his acquaintances appeared on Fox News' Huckerbee show, telling the host that the chances of a terrorist attack were "extremely remote."

"They've got amazing assets in place with great liaison over the world. President Putin is doing the very, very best he can...so it's going to be pretty tough for anybody to pull it off," he said.

The country's Alfa counterterrorism units, whom Seagal said he knew "very, very well," were singled out for particular praise, with the actor calling them "some of the best anti-terrorist crack commandos in the world."

Related: Seagals New Russian Role

"By virtue of the fact that they have so much experience, you couldn't have a better group of guys out there searching for [terrorists], getting rid of them, or getting them neutralized," Seagal said in the interview, which aired Jan. 26.

Seagal also urged U.S. President Barack Obama who enjoys a notoriously frosty relationship with President Putin to pursue closer ties with Russia, saying "they should be our great allies."

"They are a very powerful country with spectacular natural resources and a wonderful leadership...one of the only ways we are going to survive without getting swallowed by other superpowers or being adversely affected is to be best friends with Russia," he said.

Seagal has traveled to Russia several times in the past few years, spending time with fellow martial arts lover President Putin and also traveling to Chechnya to meet the region's notorious leader, Ramzan Kadyrov.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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