Despite US government warnings that Americans in Ukraine should flee the country, actor Sean Penn flew in with a documentary crew to film the Russian invasion.
Penn has been directing a film about the escalating crisis in the region for the past few months, and jetted into the country’s capital Kyiv, prior to Putin’s invasion.
Rather than get out of dodge, the “I Am Sam” actor was photographed wearing body armor and a helmet on front lines, and attended a government press briefing on Thursday.
He met with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, who praised the Academy Award winner on social media for his efforts. “The more people know about the war in the Ukraine, the higher the likelihood of stopping Russia!” He wrote.
“An American actor and filmmaker, Oscar winner Sean Penn arrived to Ukraine,” read a translation of Zelensky’s post. “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,” the Facebook post continued.
Zelensky detailed that Penn had visited him at his office, as well as spending time with military members and other journalists. He also managed to slide in a dig at the Biden administration.
“Sean Penn demonstrates the courage that many others, especially western politicians lack,” the Ukrainian president lauded. “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.”
The “Flag Day” director’s visit to an active warzone isn’t the first time he has put his life into danger in pursuit of his journalistic endeavors.
Penn documented the devastation in Haiti, following a 7.0 earthquake in 2010 that left the county in ruins, and clandestinely interviewed notorious drug lord El Chapo for Rolling Stone, after he escaped from prison in 2015.