Sunday, August 10, 2014

Ukraine: Actor/Musician Steven Segal Performs in Crimea Organized by "Night Wolves"

According to The UK-based The Guardian, US action movie actor Steven Seagal, 62, performed on-stage at a pro-Russia-sponsored motorcycle gang in the Crimean city of Sevastopol this weekend.

Seagal and his blues band played on Saturday (August 9) at a motorcycle gang-sponsored held in the city of Sevastopol, home to Russia's Black Sea fleet.

The star has come under fire for supporting Russia's March 2014 annexation of the peninsula from Ukraine, a view that saw him bounced from the lineup at an Estonian blues festival this summer.

At the corner of the stage hung the black, blue and red flag of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" (DNR), declared independent by pro-Russia rebels fighting to break away from Ukraine. Fans waved Russian and DNR flags as Seagal performed.

The US and EU have imposed sanctions on Russia over its annexation of Crimea and for allegedly providing weapons and support to the rebels in eastern Ukraine.

COMMENT: It has often been said that "the substance of a person's integrity and stature are often measured by the company they keep." In this regard, no quote is truer.

Tragically, most aging performers use their stardom to promote worthy projects, yet perhaps Seagal's brain has sustained to many jarring for him to discern right from wrong.

Most aging performers know when their "run in the spotlight" has ended.  Steven Seagal may never quite figure that out.

In a March 2014 with a Russian newspaper, Seagal was quoted as saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin desire to protect Russians in Crimea was completely reasonable.

Seagal said he considers Putin, with whom he has promoted martial arts in Russia, "a friend and one who I'd like to consider as a brother." Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters last year that the Russian president and Seagal have been friends for a long time and meet regularly.

Russian media also reported Seagal put on a Putin T-shirt given to him by the concert's organizer. In television footage broadcast on a channel owned by Russia's Defense Ministry, Seagal can be heard telling his hosts about his Russian ancestors.

In the March newspaper interview, Seagal said he did not rule out eventually seeking Russian citizenship in addition to his US citizenship.

With a bit of good luck, perhaps Mr. Seagal will experience a "Senior Moment" and renounce his US citizenship and retain his Russian heritage.