Ukraine Supporters Actors Sean Penn and Ben Stiller Banned From Entering Russia

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Hollywood actors Sean Penn and Ben Stiller join the several high profile individuals that are permanently prohibited from entering Russia. The list added 25 new names, which include U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Mark Kelly, Kyrsten Sinema, Kevin Cramer, Mike Rounds, Rick Scott, Morgan Freeman, and Pat Toomey. A number of business leaders, scholars, and politicians are also on the list.

Sanctions against Russia have been imposed by the Biden administration. The individuals on the list are said to have made statements against the ongoing Russian war against Ukraine. According to Russia’s foreign ministry, these sanctions “follow a Russophobic course” and that it does no good for the relationship between the United States and Russia. He said that it “destroys bilateral ties” and increases tension between the two countries. 

Penn and Stiller have been vocal in advocating their support for Ukraine, having posted about the war on their own Twitter accounts. In a tweet last April, Penn posted a call to world leaders to stop the war, using the hashtag #ArmUkraineNow. 

Academy Award Winner, Sean Penn, previously went to Ukraine to film a documentary for Vice Media. During his stay, Russia started to invade the country. Having no choice, he was forced to join the Ukrainians who were fleeing for their lives. Penn said that he believes that Russia’s president “will have made a horrible mistake for all humankind” if he doesn’t stop the war. 

Penn was also able to meet President Zelensky when he returned to Ukraine last June. The President of Ukraine, in turn, showed appreciation for Penn’s continuous advocacy to support the people of Ukraine.

In his role as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Ben Stiller went to several Ukraine settlements, talked to those affected by the war, and asked them “how it’s changed their lives.” He was also able to meet President Zelensky on World Refugee Day, after visiting with Ukrainian refugees in Poland. In a meeting with Zelensky in Kyiv in June, Stiller, the star of several films, including ”Zoolander,” “Meet the Parents,” and “Dodgeball,” told Zelensky: “You’re my hero.” 

In a video, Stiller left a message for everyone to remember: “Nobody chooses to flee their homes. Seeking safety is a right and it needs to be upheld for every person.”

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