World Leaders Snub Putin but Hollywood Action Star Saves the Day

Sergei Bobylev/Kremlin via Reuters
Sergei Bobylev/Kremlin via Reuters

Most world leaders were a no-show at Vladimir Putin’s swearing-in ceremony Tuesday, but that’s okay, because the Russian leader had B-list action movie stars, a leather-loving pop star, and resident lawn gnome/Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov to cheer him on.

A total of six European Union countries sent envoys to attend the inauguration ceremony, including France, whose president recently floated the idea of sending troops to Ukraine. Hungary, Slovakia, Greece, Malta, and Cyprus were also represented at the Kremlin ceremony, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Most other countries opted to boycott the event, with Estonia’s foreign minister issuing a public reminder on X that Putin may be Russia’s leader but he is also “wanted for war crimes.”

War crimes allegations, of course, are no match for Under Siege’s ass-kicking Navy SEAL Casey Ryback, otherwise known as washed up action movie star Steven Seagal, an outspoken fan of the Russian president. Footage released by state-run media on Tuesday showed Seagal, in his trademark tunic and tinted glasses, greeting guests at Andreyevsky Hall in the Grand Kremlin Palace.

“He’s the greatest world leader, he’s the greatest,” Seagal told reporters. Asked what he would tell Americans about Putin’s record fifth term, he replied: “I’m very looking forward to it.”

“Among the invited guests, in keeping with tradition, are the heads of regions, Heroes of Russia, religious representatives, figures of science and culture, and Steven Seagal,” one Russian news report said in breaking down the guest list.

Uber-patriotic pop star Shaman, real name Yaroslav Dronov, was also spotted at the ceremony, looking freshly bleached in a suit and tie rather than his usual head-to-toe leather attire. Known for cringe hits like “I’m Russian” and “My Fight,” he marveled at the crowd supposedly “glowing with happiness” as a long line of blank-faced guests headed for the exits behind him.

Also in attendance was Sergei Roldugin, Putin’s cellist friend who was named in the Panama Papers as a Kremlin money man responsible for moving billions through a network of offshore bank accounts and companies. Roldugin was spotted rubbing elbows with fellow Putin ally Gennady Timchenko.

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Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov—who is said to be battling a terminal illness, according to recent reports—was also shown in a live broadcast struggling up the stairs and then categorically refusing to remove his own coat. The self-proclaimed foot soldier for Putin told a reporter he’d barely slept the night before because he was so excited to see Vladimir Vladimirovich sworn in for a fifth term.

“Everything’s great. We have nothing to worry about as long as we have such a leader,” he said, adding that Western sanctions had taught Russia to thrive instead of just surviving.

Everything must be great, truly. But don’t just take Kadyrov’s word for it, look at the comment section of YouTube, where Russian media has scraped the bottom of the barrel to find Putin praise from random commenters.

“GOD SAVE RUSSIA 4EVER!!!!!” says Jenny.

“How many pushups can Putin do?” asks Close_all_Tabs, helpfully answering, “Answer: all of them.”

See? See? Six more years of Putin. Everything’s great.

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