Sean Penn Is in Ukraine Filming Documentary on Russian Invasion
By Miguel A. Melendez
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Sean Penn is currently in Ukraine filming a documentary about Russia's invasion.
The 61-year-old actor appeared during Thursday's news conference at the Presidential Office in Kyiv, the nation's capital, and sat in the front row as senior government officials spoke about the attack. A spokesperson for VICE tells ET, "All we can add at this time is that the doc is a Vice Studios production in association with VICE World News and Endeavor Content."
In a statement by a rep provided to ET on behalf of Penn, the actor says "already a brutal mistake of lives taken and hearts broken, and if he doesn't relent, I believe Mr. Putin will have made a most horrible mistake for all of humankind."
"President Zelensky and the Ukrainian people have risen as historic symbols of courage and principle," the statement continued. "Ukraine is the tip of the spear for the democratic embrace of dreams. If we allow it to fight alone, our soul as America is lost."
According to multiple reports, Penn visited the country as far back as November 2021 to prepare for the documentary. What's more, the Ukrainian government is also hailing the Oscar-winning actor for his "bravery" amid the conflict.
"Sean Penn is demonstrating bravery that many others have been lacking, in particular some Western politicians," read a statement released by the Office of the President via the Ukrainian embassy to Newsweek. "The more people like that — true friends of Ukraine, who support the fight for freedom — the quicker we can stop this heinous invasion by Russia.”
The statement added, "The director specially came to Kyiv to record all the events that are currently happening in Ukraine and to tell the world the truth about Russia’s invasion of our country. Sean Penn is among those who support Ukraine in Ukraine today. Our country is grateful to him for such a show of courage and honesty."
Amid the attack, former Dancing With the Stars pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who grew up in Ukraine when it was part of the Soviet Union, took to social media Thursday and spoke out from the capital as the invasion unfolded. He's currently a judge for the upcoming season of Ukraine's World of Dance.
"I'm packed. I'm ready. My hotel has a bomb shelter," he said. "We can go there now, but a few of us decided to maybe wait until we hear the sirens and then I’ll be down there."