Shortly after Russia began its invasion of Ukraine last week, news broke that actor Sean Penn was already in the country filming a documentary. For the record, Penn had been planning the documentary for months as it became clear that a crisis was brewing in the country, and the consensus solidified as Vladimir Putin began his shocking invasion that galvanized much of the world against Russia.
Amid the bold and continued efforts of the Ukrainian people to ward off Russian soldiers, the country is now a war zone and dangerous for civilians. The actor recently tweeted an update that he and his team were forced to walk to Poland while documenting the mass exodus of Ukrainians:
“Myself and two colleagues drove miles to the Polish border after dumping our car on the side of the road,” Penn tweeted. “Almost all the cars in this photo are carrying only women and children, most with no sign of luggage, and a car is their only valuable asset.”
Me and two colleagues drove miles to the Polish border after leaving our car on the side of the road. Almost all of the cars in this photo carry only women and children, most with no sign of luggage, and one car their only valuable. pic.twitter.com/XSwCDgYVSH
— Sean Penn (@SeanPenn) February 28, 2022
Just two days earlier, Penn was still in the country and condemned Putin for the invasion in a series of tweets and challenged Washington to protect Ukraine’s sovereignty:
“Already a brutal mistake of lives taken and hearts broken, and if he does not relent, I believe Mr. Putin will have made a most horrific mistake for all of humanity,” Penn said. tweeted. “President Zelensky and the people of Ukraine have established themselves as historical symbols of courage and principle. Ukraine is spearheading the democratic embrace of dreams. If we allow him to fight alone, our soul as America is lost.
Ukraine is spearheading the democratic embrace of dreams. If we allow him to fight alone, our soul as America is lost. (2/2)
— Sean Penn (@SeanPenn) February 26, 2022
While a Hollywood actor arriving in the middle of a humanitarian crisis isn’t always ideal, the Ukrainian government is grateful to Penn for documenting the events on the ground:
“The director came to Kyiv especially to record all the events currently unfolding in Ukraine and to tell the world the truth about Russia’s invasion of our country,” Ukrainian government officials said in a statement. “Sean Penn is one of those supporting Ukraine in Ukraine today. Our country is grateful to him for such a display of courage and honesty.
(Going through Sean Penn on Twitter)