After spending the last few months working on a propaganda documentary promoting Russia’s war in Ukraine, Jeff Monson admitted he would rather not be sent to the frontlines.
Speaking to Russian news source Metaratings, the former UFC title challenger revealed that he does not want to get called up as part of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent conscription drive.
“I hope I don’t get drafted,” Monson said. “I think everyone hopes that he will not be called up. I want Russia to win this confrontation as quickly as possible.”
Monson, who was granted Russian citizenship by Putin in 2018, has long been a useful propaganda tool for the Kremlin and its occupied states in eastern Ukraine. When widespread protests took place across Russia in 2017, Russian state television opted to distract viewers from potential dissent by shifting the focus to a combat sports gym in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine where Monson hosted an MMA masterclass to a group of small children while lamenting on how the people of Luhansk were the “victims of the government of 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. Then in September, Monson announced that he was working on a documentary about the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, which was recently annexed by the Russian Federation.
Despite admitting his hopes to avoid being conscripted, Monson added that he would be willing to fight to defend his “home.”
“I love this country. It has done a lot for me,” Monson said. “This is my home, the home of my children, my wife. If we all live here and say: “No”, then who will protect the country? But if they call me, I will go.”