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With Russian President Vladimir Putin early Thursday launching a military operation in Ukraine, and U.S. President Joe Biden denouncing the “unprovoked and unjustified” attack, many people around the world discussed the escalation of the crisis, including top names in the media and entertainment industries.
In a televised address, Putin accused the U.S. and its allies of ignoring Russia’s demand to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO and offer Moscow security guarantees. At that time, big explosions were heard in Kyiv and other parts of Ukraine. Biden warned that the world would “hold Russia accountable.”
In the days that have followed, Hollywood figures such as Angelina Jolie, Mark Ruffalo, Ryan Reynolds, David Lynch and Hayden Panettiere have used social media to vocalize their support of Ukrainians.
Reynolds took to Twitter to encourage people to donate to the UN Refugee Agency as he and wife Blake Lively match gifts dollar for dollar up to $1 million to help support displaced Ukrainian refugees. “In 48 hours, countless Ukrainians were forced to flee their homes to neighboring countries. They need protection,” he tweeted.
Director David Lynch condemned Putin in a lengthy statement during his Feb. 25 Morning Weather Report. “Mr. Putin, we are as human beings charged as to how we treat our fellow man and there is a law of nature, a hard and fast law for which there are no loopholes and no escaping it, and this law is what you sow you shall reap,” he said in the recorded video. “Right now Mr. Putin you are sowing death and destruction. It’s all on you. The Ukrainians didn’t attack your country. You went in and attacked their country. All this death and destruction is going to come back and visit you, and in this big picture we are involved in, there is an infinite amount of time, life after life after life, for you to reap what you are sowing.”
Angelina Jolie shared a video to her Instagram supporting the same organization as Reynolds, USA for UNHCR, and its work, alongside an earlier statement focusing on those being displaced.
“Like many of you, I’m praying for the people in Ukraine. My focus along with my @refugees colleagues is that everything possible is done to ensure the protection and basic human rights of those displaced, and refugees in the region,” Angelina Jolie wrote in an Instagram post. “We have already seen reports of casualties and people starting to flee their homes to seek safety. It is too soon to know what will happen, but the significance of this moment – for the people of Ukraine, and for the international rule of law — cannot be overstated.”
Actress Hayden Panettiere, whose former partner is from Ukraine, took to Instagram, calling Putin’s actions “an absolute disgrace.”
“I have personally witnessed the strength of the Ukrainian people who fought so hard for their independence and have continued to passionately defend their country over the years,” she said. “This horrific moment in history sends a terrifying message: the message that in this day and age, in year 2022, it’s okay to violate the rights of free people and allow autocrats like Putin to take whatever they please. I’m praying for my family and friends there and everyone who’s fighting. I wish you had more support and I wish I was there fighting with you! For now, I ask for those of us who can’t be there to stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and show your support for #democracy.”
Ruffalo said he was sending love and prayers “to all innocent people of Ukraine and Russia and Europe who are caught up in this sad and corrosive moment of asymmetrical violence and destruction, especially the young people” on Twitter. The actor added, “You have done nothing to deserve this perversion and obscene spectacle.”
Actress Priyanka Chopra called the situation in Ukraine “terrifying,” particularly “for the innocent lives living in this war zone.” She continued in her Instagram post, “It’s difficult to comprehend how in the modern world this could escalate to such a catastrophic point, but this is a consequential moment that will reverberate around the world.”
Singer Annie Lennox shared a lengthy message about the invasion’s impact to Instagram, writing about the shared “shock and devastation” but encouraging people to support organizations assisting refugees. “It really hurts to think of families being displaced and having to flee with only rucksacks on their backs. It is monstrous and barbaric that entire populations of ordinary people are being violated in this way,” she wrote in her post. “The best we can do is to at least donate to organisations who can mobilise and support.”
Miley Cyrus reflected on her time in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv while filming the video for “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart,” stating that she stands in solidarity with the nation. “There are local reports that at least 40 Ukrainians have been killed already, and this conflict can lead to many more deaths, another refugee crisis with so many forced to flee their homes and more,” Cyrus said on Twitter. “I am standing in solidarity with everyone in Ukraine who is affected by this attack and with our global community who is calling for an immediate end to this violence.”
Former The View host Meghan McCain shared a “Free Ukraine” image on her Instagram while stating she’s disgusted with “the abject Putin propaganda coming out of so many people within the GOP and conservative media.”
“If Ukraine falls, the signals sent globally will be cataclysmic – expect China to invade Taiwan next. A threat to democracy anywhere, is a threat to democracy everywhere. That is not war mongering, it’s the stark reality of our geopolitics,” McCain wrote. “Some of you should really be taking a hard look about what exactly you stand for and why you’re so hypnotized by Vladimir Putin. I won’t forget, history won’t forget where you were in this moment.”
Piers Morgan also tweeted about the developments. “Putin’s invaded Ukraine. This is an act of war by a bully-boy thug who doesn’t think the rest of the world has the guts or will to stop him,” he wrote. “Shameful.”
He followed that up with another post. “Putin’s doing this because he got away with it last time in Crimea,” Morgan argued. “And if he gets away with it again in Ukraine, he’ll keep invading other countries until he restores the Soviet Union. The world must unite to stop this ruthless dictator – before it’s too late.”
Read more reactions below.
In 48 hours, countless Ukrainians were forced to flee their homes to neighboring countries. They need protection. When you donate, we’ll match it up to $1,000,000, creating double the support.⬇️ https://t.co/xCFL1Lptuw https://t.co/CHp48E1KLQ
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) February 26, 2022
Sending love and good prayers to all innocent people of Ukraine and Russia and Europe who are caught up in this sad and corrosive moment of asymmetrical violence and destruction, especially the young people. You have done nothing to deserve this perversion and obscene spectacle.
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) February 24, 2022
— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) February 24, 2022
To my friends and family in Ukraine – my heart breaks that this conflict has escalated in such a devastating way. Please take great care and be as safe as you can. Sending thoughts to you and your loved ones during this chaotic and disruptive time. pic.twitter.com/UXyu0lOzNa
— JARED LETO (@JaredLeto) February 25, 2022
Praying for the people of the Ukraine 🇺🇦 Praying for all of Europe. Praying for our world.
— Reese Witherspoon (@ReeseW) February 24, 2022
I stand with Ukraine
— ashton kutcher (@aplusk) February 25, 2022
I shouldn’t have to say this, but this is the kind of moment where we should all come together and stand behind our president in the face of great evil.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) February 24, 2022
Every single thing that #JoeBiden predicted would happen between #Putin and #Ukraine the last few weeks has come true. Every single thing. So many traitors suggested Joe was being hysterical when he talked about the intelligence he was getting. And yet, here we are. #FuckYouFox
— bettemidler (@BetteMidler) February 25, 2022
Putin’s doing this because he got away with it last time in Crimea. And if he gets away with it again in Ukraine, he’ll keep invading other countries until he restores the Soviet Union. The world must unite to stop this ruthless dictator – before it’s too late. pic.twitter.com/qUxogpDJLi
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) February 24, 2022
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