Academy Award-winning actor Sean Penn, who was in Ukraine to film a documentary on Russia’s conflict with the neighbouring country, recently opened up about his experience witnessing the situation of people amid the crisis — especially while joining the fleeing Ukrainians on the exodus across the Polish border.
In a televised interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Sean said that he and his team members had “the luxury of being able to abandon a rented vehicle on the side of the road” but that “a startling thing” to him was just how many women and children were attempting to make their way across the border, The Hollywood Reporter reported.
He mentioned some were travelling in groups, others alone, with men “dropping them off and returning because we know that from 18 to 60, men are not to leave” in order to aid in the country’s resistance against Russia.
Sean also spoke about meeting Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and how his courage has impressed him.
“I don’t know if he knew that he was born for this, but it was clear I was in the presence of something. And again, I think reflected of so many Ukrainians, that was new to the modern world in terms of courage and dignity, and love that comes out of the man and the way he has unified that country,” he said.
The conflict began escalating after Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24 announced the military operation in Ukraine and warned other countries that any attempt to interfere with the Russian action would lead to “consequences they have never seen”, and since then thousands of Ukrainians, both civilians and troops, have been killed.