As people try to flee Ukraine amid what its leaders call Russia’s “full-scale invasion” of the country, American actor and filmmaker Sean Penn traveled to the capital city. Penn came to Kyiv to record the events happening in Ukraine, the office of the president said in a statement.
Penn wants to show the world what is happening during the invasion, and the office of the president said the country is grateful for him to show courage and honesty, according to the translation of the statement, which was shared on Facebook.
The Oscar-winning actor visited the office of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and was at a press briefing with the head of state and vice prime minister. The office shared a photo of Penn at the briefing, sitting in the front row, wearing sun glasses.
Penn spoke to journalists and members of the military, according to the statement. He also visited Ukraine in November 2021 and spoke with the military in Priazov for his documentary.
The office of the president said Penn “demonstrates the courage that many others, especially western politicians, lack,” according to the statement, and that more support from people like Penn can help end the invasion.
Zelensky also shared an Instagram story of himself and Penn talking. CBS News has reached out to the office of the president and the American embassy in Ukraine for more information and is awaiting response.
Penn is reportedly filming the documentary for Vice Studios, according to Variety. CBS News has reached out to Vice for confirmation and is awaiting response.
Ukraine’s military was fighting to repel a “full-scale invasion” by Russia on at least three fronts, officials there said Thursday. Russian shelling began early Thursday morning local time, just moments after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced he had “decided to conduct a special military operation” aimed at the “demilitarization and denazification” of the neighboring country.
The invasion threatens to become Europe’s largest land war in more than 75 years, and Western leaders are vowing to make Putin pay.
President Joe Biden accused Putin of personally choosing to carry out “a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering.” The head of the European Union called it “barbaric,” and Japan, Australia and Canada are also among the nations that have issued statements condemning the attack.