Steven Seagal has played a controversial gig with his blues band at a biker’s concert in the breakaway region of Crimea, supporting pro-Russian separatists.
The action star took to the stage which was emblazoned with a flag supporting the Donetsk People’s Republic, which has been declared independent by rebels wishing to break away from Ukraine.
Seagal was recently struck from the bill of a blues festival in Estonia for pledging his support for Russian premier Vladimir Putin’s actions in the region.
Read more: Steven Seagal barred from music festival over Putin support
It’s said that fans waved Russian and DNR flags during his performance, after which he was handed a t-shirt featuring Putin’s face, which he promptly held up to the crowd.
However, Seagal reportedly said that he had travelled to the region to perform because music has the power to unite people.
Seagal has been friends with Putin since visiting Russia last year. The pair are said to have bonded over a shared love of martial arts.
“I would like to think I know him well. But I know him well enough to know that he is one of the greatest world leaders, if not the greatest world leader alive,” he said at the time.
More recently, the Moscow Times quotes the actor as saying that Putin’s ‘desire to protect the Russian-speaking people of Crimea, his assets, and the Russian Black Sea military base in Sevastopol… is very reasonable’.
The organisers of the Estonian festival Augustibluus begged to differ.
Raul Ukareda said: “We hope that Estonian public will primarily view Seagal as an actor and musician.
“But, as it turned out, everyone sees him only as a politician and Putin loyalist.”
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Photos: Svenska Dagbladet/PA