Academy Award winner Sean Penn was forced to flee the Ukrainian war zone at the beginning of the week, when Russian forces amped up their attack on the local population.
Penn posted a photo of himself dragging his luggage down the side of a road as a line of cars remained at a bumper-to-bumper standstill.
“Myself & two colleagues walked miles to the Polish border after abandoning our car on the side of the road. Almost all the cars in this photo carry women & children only, most without any sign of luggage, and a car their only possession of value,” he captioned the pic.
The Mystic River star had been in the country to capture Putin’s invasion for a VICE documentary he was filming about the crisis.
“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,” he tweeted.
“Ukraine is the tip of the spear for the democratic embrace of dreams,” Penn continued. “If we allow it to fight alone, our soul as America is lost.”
The director has been following the conflict since tensions between the two countries rose last year, and visited with Ukrainian forces in November. Penn returned last week, attending press conferences in Kyiv, and a meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky, before heading to the front lines.
“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,” Zelensky praised on Facebook.
“[He] demonstrates the courage that many others, especially western politicians lack,” the post continued. “The more such people, true friends of Ukraine, who support the fight for freedom, the sooner it will be possible to stop the massive attack on Russia.”
Penn has reportedly made it safely out of Ukraine.