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Francis Ford Coppola Implores Russia to End Invasion: Putin ‘Is a Calculating Person,’ but ‘Not Insane’

Coppola also called for Russia to play a larger role in fighting climate change while accepting an ICG Publicists Guild award.

Francis Ford Coppola speaks at his Walk of Fame Star Ceremony in Hollywood, CA, on Monday March 21, 2022 (photo:Alex J. Berliner/ABImages) via AP Images

Francis Ford Coppola speaks at his Walk of Fame Star Ceremony in Hollywood, CA, on Monday March 21, 2022 (photo:Alex J. Berliner/ABImages) via AP Images


Francis Ford Coppola is in Los Angeles this weekend for a series of honors, including receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a tribute during Sunday’s Oscars broadcast timed to the 50th anniversary of “The Godfather.” On Friday, he received a lifetime achievement award at the International Cinematographers Guild’s Publicist Awards, and like many speeches this awards season, he wasted little time before sharing his thoughts on the crisis in Ukraine, as Variety reported.

The “Apocalypse Now” director said he has met the leaders of both Russia and Ukraine, and believes that if Vladimir Putin takes an unbiased look at the military disadvantage Russia has against NATO, he will ultimately end the invasion.

“I confess I met Putin, and I met Zelenskyy, who is really a show business guy, his whole government, all of them are actors,” Coppola said. “And I know of what I speak when I say, if one word would just be said, one word with the force of meaning: Stop. It would [be] stop, because believe me, anyone who knows this, the difference between NATO and the Russian forces is 25 times greater. And, Putin is not an insane, deranged person. He is a calculating person and if someone said stop and meant that, he would stop.”

Coppola spends a lot of time thinking about the future these days, as he is currently preparing to shoot his longtime passion project “Megalopolis,” which deals with themes about constructing a utopian society. He ended his speech on an optimistic note, saying that he believes it is possible for the world’s most powerful nations to work together and solve humanity’s biggest problems.

“If they don’t take the word stop as being definitive, which it would be, I say then use another Russian word: tokamak,” Coppola continued during his speech. “What is tokamak [Russian devices that produce thermonuclear power]? Tokamak is, in one word, the solution to this desperate climate situation, which Russian scientists and American scientists could achieve without a doubt. So what I want to offer is that there is a solution. There’s a wonderful human solution to what this absurd world is going through now. And if it’s not stop, which would work, then I say tokamak, which those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, understand that that could evade this climate disaster more easily than any other thing I can think of because it would give us energy with no price, no pollution. So I know, none of this is relevant, but I’m saying it to you because you’re the publicists, and this is the word of hope in the future.”

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