MOSCOW, Ru. – During an extravagant ceremony at the Kremlin on Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced he has appointed American actor and martial arts expert Steven Seagal to serve as Tsar of Crimea, the southern Ukrainian peninsula that was annexed by the Russian Federation in March of 2014.
Dubbed “Steven the Great” by Mr. Putin, the sixty-four year-old Under Siege star will take up residence at the Grand Livadia Palace in the coastal city of Yalta where he will hold power over nearly two million Crimeans. Featuring a breathtaking panoramic view of the Black Sea, the royal residence once served as a summer retreat for Nicholas II, the last tsar of Russia.
“This is a momentous day, not just for the people of Crimea, but for all Russians,” proclaimed Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev during an appearance on the state-run news network Russia Today. “Steven the Great is a legendary martial artist with an extensive background in firearms and marksmanship. Furthermore, he is more proficient and possesses far greater experience in hand-to-hand combat, counter-terrorism operations, and crime fighting than any man on earth excluding His Excellency President Putin.”
The prime minister later said Putin has the utmost confidence in Seagal’s ability to rule Crimea, calling the star of Hard to Kill a “firm but gentle leader” who is “well versed in the art of paternalism.” To drive the point home, Putin will hand over command of Russian forces in Crimea – including the Black Sea Fleet based in Sevastopol – to Mr. Seagal upon his arrival at Livadia Palace later this week.
Steven Seagal, who has appeared in a number of martial arts-style action films including Above the Law, On Deadly Ground, and Exit Wounds, was awarded Russian citizenship last Thursday by President Vladimir Putin, who issued a special decree honoring the actor.