Jeff Monson—the former UFC title challenger who became a Russian politician and wartime propagandist—claims to be in the process of renouncing his U.S. citizenship.
“I am in the process of renouncing American citizenship,” Monson told Russian state media outlet Tassru. “In the spring I will only have a Russian passport. I do not agree with US policy, they interfere in the affairs of other countries, people suffer because of them. Yes, I have children in the USA, but I love Russia and the Russian people.”
“I like everything here, and I want only my Russian passport to remain,” Monson continued.
In 2018, Monson became the latest in a series of Western celebrities to be granted Russian citizenship by President Vladimir Putin, following in the footsteps of U.S. boxing legend Roy Jones Jr and D-list actor Steven Seagal. He quickly joined the political fray and became a useful propaganda tool for the Kremlin and its occupied states in eastern Ukraine.
In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Monson has continued to regurgitate Kremlin disinformation regarding Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine. In April, the All-Russia People’s Front—a political coalition started by Russian President Vladimir Putin—posted several videos featuring Monson parroting Kremlin talking points. These included claims that Russia was not interested in occupying Ukraine and that its only intention was to rid the country of fascism.
In September 2022, Monson announced that he was working on a documentary about the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, which was recently annexed by the Russian Federation.
“Everybody six months ago was saying, ‘Oh, Russia’s so bad, Russia’s invading Ukraine.’ “No, Russia came to save the people of Donbass. And people are like, ‘Where’s Donbass, where’s Donetsk?’ Nobody in the world, expect perhaps Russia, understood what was happening,” Monson said in a clip promotiing the documentary at the time
Monson later reiterated his decision to renounce his U.S. citizenship in an interview with RT, adding that part of his motivation to do so was because the US “provoked” the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.
“America started this war by instigating the coup in 2014,” Monson said in reference to Euromaidan before pushing a series of unverified conspiracy theories. “Since then, they have been supplying Ukraine with weapons to destabilize the country.
“Ukraine is going to become a colony of corporate America.”
About the author: Karim Zidan is an investigative reporter for Bloody Elbow focusing on the intersection of sports and politics. His is also a contributor to The New York Times and The Guardian. (full bio)
About the author