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Sean Penn is on the ground in Ukraine for a documentary with Vice Studios about Russia’s ongoing invasion of the country, a studio rep confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. The doc is a Vice Studios production in association with Vice World News and Endeavor Content.
The Office of the President of Ukraine released a statement on Facebook on Thursday about Penn’s presence in Ukraine and praised the actor for his work. “The director specially came to Kyiv to record all the events that are currently happening in Ukraine and to tell the world the truth about Russia’s invasion of our country. Sean Penn is among those who support Ukraine in Ukraine today. Our country is grateful to him for such a show of courage and honesty,” reads the translated statement.
The statement notes that the actor previously visited the country in November 2021 in “preparation” for the documentary. It also reveals that today Penn visited the Office of the President, attended a press briefing, and also spoke with journalists and the military.
“Sean Penn demonstrates the courage that many others, including Western politicians, lack. The more such people in our country now, true friends of Ukraine, who support the struggle for freedom, the sooner it will be possible to stop Russia’s treacherous attack,” the statement continues.
Penn later sent a message to THR that condemned the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin while supporting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and encouraging Americans to get involved.
“Already a brutal mistake of lives taken and hearts broken, and if he doesn’t relent, I believe Mr. Putin will have made a most horrible mistake for all of humankind,” Penn said. “President Zelensky and the Ukrainian people have risen as historic symbols of courage and principle. Ukraine is the tip of the spear for the democratic embrace of dreams. If we allow it to fight alone, our soul as America is lost.”
Penn has been known to enter into conflict and disaster zones. The Oscar winner’s efforts in Haiti following the aftermath of the earthquake that devastated the country in 2010 were at the center of the 2020 Discovery+ documentary Citizen Penn. After Hurricane Katrina, in 2005, Penn also traveled to New Orleans to aid in search and rescue efforts.
The actor’s nonprofit Community Organized Relief Effort, or CORE, which was founded in response to the earthquake in Haiti, also assisted with the COVID-19 response in the United States.
Feb. 25, 10:56 p.m. Updated with Penn’s message.
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