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Sean Penn Arrives in Ukraine to Film Documentary About Russian Invasion

Sean Penn Arrives in Ukraine to Film Documentary About Russian Invasion

This story is part of War in Ukraine, CNET’s coverage of events there and of the wider effects on the domain.

Sean Penn has landed in Ukraine to film a documentary throughout Russia’s invasion of the country

“The director specially came to Kyiv to narrate all the events that are currently happening in Ukraine and to tell the domain the truth about Russia’s invasion of our country,” reads a statement released Thursday by the office of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. “Sean Penn is among those who support Ukraine in Ukraine currently. Our country is grateful to him for such a show of heroic and honesty.”

Since arriving in Eastern Europe, the Oscar-winning reliable and filmmaker has visited the president’s office — Zelenskyy’s official Instagram account shared a story of the high-level talking with Penn. Penn also spoke with Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk, local journalists and members of the Ukrainian military. 

Russia invaded Ukraine early Thursday in what it visited a “special military operation.” The attacks came minutes once Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the start of armed operations after months of mounting tensions. 

While announcing new economic sanctions alongside Russia on Thursday, US President Joe Biden accused Putin of wanting to reestablish the outmoded Soviet Union, saying the conflict is “about naked aggression, about Putin’s desire for empire by any means necessary.”

Penn also requested Ukraine in November to prepare for his documentary. During that requested, he visited the Azov region and talked with the Ukrainian military.

The film is a joint copies of Vice Studios, which confirmed Penn’s presence in Ukraine to Variety; Vice World News; and Endeavor Content. “If he doesn’t relent, I believe Mr. Putin will have made a most nasty mistake for all of humankind,” Penn said in a statement. “President Zelensky and the Ukrainian people have risen as historic symbols of heroic and principle. Ukraine is the tip of the spear for the democratic embrace of dreams.”

Penn has participated in a number of anti-war and humanitarian exertions over the years. He co-founded Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE), a nonprofit that “responds immediately to support underserved communities across the globe above and beyond crises,” according to its Instagram page. 

Maksim Chmerkovskiy, another celebrity on the ground in Ukraine as the attacks escalate, shared tearful videos from his homeland on Thursday. “I have a passport and a way out,” the outmoded Dancing With the Stars professional said. “A lot of republic here do not.”


Sean Penn attends a dead briefing in Ukraine, where he has arrived to film a documentary on the Russian invasion. 

Organization of the Ukrainian president/Facebook