Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky recently accepted fellow actor Sean Penn’s Oscar while war rages on in his country. The left-wing Hollywood star, who has a history of cozying up to dictators, including Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, was seen giving one of his Oscar awards to Zelensky.
“This is for you,” Penn said to Zelensky while handing over his Oscar, according to a report by Daily Mail. “I feel terrible. It’s just a symbolic, silly thing, but if I know this is here with you, then I’ll feel better and stronger for the fight.”
“When you win, bring it back to Malibu,” the Milk star added. “I’ll feel much better knowing there’s a piece of me here.”
Zelensky was later seen placing the Oscar award on a mantelpiece in his presidential office. And in return, the Ukrainian president gave Penn an Order of Merit, stating, “It’s not from me, its from Ukraine.”
Penn and Zelensky were then seen walking together through the streets of Kyiv. They eventually stopped to stare at a plaque in the ground, which read, “Sean Penn 24.02.2022.”
The Mystic River star was on the ground in Ukraine on February 24, after the Russia-Ukraine crisis sparked. Penn attended a press briefing in Kyiv and met with Zelensky’s adviser Alexander Rodnyansky, according to photos posted to official social media accounts.
On a slightly more positive note today in spite of the political and military situation: Exciting, fun and captivating conversation over dinner with @SeanPenn, who came to #Kyiv at this critical moment. #StandWithUkraine pic.twitter.com/GLwoDlrFcg
— Alexander Rodnyansky (@arodnyansky) February 23, 2022
At the time, Penn was also in Ukraine recording a documentary about the Russian invasion. The actor also likened the crisis to a fight for democracy.
The Dead Man Walking star later urged the United States to join in on Ukraine’s war against Russia, claiming that “our soul as America is lost” if the U.S. doesn’t get involved in the fight.
Penn is not the only Hollywood star to have traveled to Ukraine in the wake of its war against Russia.
Over the summer, comedian Ben Stiller hobnobbed with Zelensky in Kyiv, where the Zoolander star told the Ukrainian president, “You’re my hero!”