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Russia-Ukraine War: Actor Artur Smolyaninov, who starred in one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s favorite films, has sharply criticized Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Artur Smolyaninov is widely known as the ‘Rambo of Russia’. According to media reports, he has now been labeled a ‘foreign agent’ by his country for his outspoken criticism of the Ukraine war. The Russian actor is now facing a criminal investigation.

Smolyaninov was the protagonist of the film “Devyatya Rota” (9th Company). It was a Russian feature film, which came out in 2005. He played the last soldier standing in the film during a battle in Afghanistan, which was occupied by Soviet forces for a decade. He was often described as the Rambo of Russia. Actor Sylvester Stallone, who has been an icon of American action films, has been called Rambo.

A lot has changed since then. Smolyaninov is in exile and in a recent interview said he is ready to fight on the side of Ukraine and kill Russian soldiers. According to CNN, he told the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta just last week, “I feel nothing but hatred for the people on the other side of the (Russian) frontline. If I were in the field in the war, no one would show mercy.

He said that I keep the option of fighting the war on the side of Ukraine open. When asked if he would shoot Russian soldiers, he said, “Of course! I’ll shoot them. I keep my options open to fight for Ukraine? That’s the only way for me.”
And if I had to go to this war, I would fight only for Ukraine.”

A few days later, the Russian Ministry of Justice notified the actor as a foreign agent and ordered an investigation into the criminal case against him.

Smolyaninov has been highly critical of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. They have recently recorded a Soviet-era song – Temnaya noch (Dark Night) – with rewritten lyrics.

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