Actor and director Ben Stiller met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv on Monday to mark World Refugee Day.
Stiller, who was visiting Ukraine as a goodwill ambassador of the United Nations Excessive Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), gushed about Zelenskyy upon assembly, telling the president, “You’re superb.”
Stiller’s go to to the nation comes because the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to pressure tens of millions of individuals to flee the struggle and turn into displaced internationally.
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The pair shook fingers in introduction and Zelenskyy informed the Zoolander actor that he and the opposite authorities officers within the room (together with Ukrainian International Minister Dmytro Kuleba) knew Stiller “very nicely.”
“It’s an awesome honour for me,” Stiller, 56, informed Zelenskyy, 44.
“It’s actually fantastic,” Stiller continued, telling the Ukrainian chief, “You’re my hero.”
The pair briefly mentioned Zelenskyy’s personal appearing profession. Up till his landslide election win in 2019, Zelenskyy was an actor and slapstick comedian. He had even performed a Ukrainian president in a well-liked TV collection.
“You stop an awesome appearing profession for this,” Stiller mused.
“Not so nice as yours,” Zelenskyy replied.
“However what you’ve accomplished and the best way you rallied the nation and the world, it’s actually inspiring,” Stiller continued to go with.
Later, Stiller, Zelenskyy and a number of other different Ukrainian officers sat down to debate the Russian invasion and its impression on the nation’s folks.
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“It’s not fascinating to discuss the struggle day-after-day,” Zelenskyy defined. “However for us, it’s crucial.”
The Ukrainian president stated ending the struggle turns into particularly tough when “folks overlook to discuss it.”
Russia launched its invasion of the nation almost 4 months in the past on Feb. 24.
Zelenskyy thanked Stiller for persevering with to convey new consideration to the struggle.
“I really feel it’s laborious to grasp what’s truly occurring right here if you happen to haven’t been right here,” Stiller stated.
“The extent of destruction … You see it on TV, you see it on social media,” stated Stiller. “It’s one thing else to truly see it and really feel it.”
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The actor informed Zelenskyy that he had simply visited Irpin, a metropolis near Kyiv in northern Ukraine.
In keeping with a press launch from the president’s workplace, Stiller visited Irpin to talk to individuals who have survived the occupation.
The UNHCR additionally launched a press release, claiming the journey to Irpin will “allow Mr. Stiller to speak the necessity for continued and elevated help to the humanitarian response in Ukraine.”
The UNHCR assertion claimed Stiller visited Makariv as nicely, with the intention to go to households whose houses have been destroyed.
“What you noticed in Irpin is unquestionably dreadful,” Zelenskyy confirmed. “However it’s even worse to only think about what is going on within the settlements which are nonetheless underneath non permanent occupation within the east.”
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Following his assembly with Zelenskyy, Stiller tweeted about World Refugee Day. The actor wrote it was an “honour” to satisfy the president “to face in solidarity with folks compelled to flee in Ukraine and worldwide, and convey extra consideration to the humanitarian state of affairs.”
Whereas in Ukraine, Stiller additionally met the brand new U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Brink. On Twitter, Brink wrote that Stiller’s go to “brings much-needed consideration to humanitarian wants in the course of the largest and quickest humanitarian disaster in current reminiscence.”
Earlier this week, Stiller additionally visited Poland. There, he met with refugees who have been compelled to flee to the neighbouring nation. In keeping with the UNHCR, Stiller met a mom and her three kids who fled Kharkiv two months in the past.
“Shortly after she and her kids fled, her father was killed again residence in Kharkiv after a bomb fell on her guardian’s house constructing,” the assertion claims. “The household need to return residence to Ukraine however the neighbourhood the place they’re from has been devastated by the struggle.”
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Stiller isn’t the one movie star to go to Ukraine. In April, Angelina Jolie visited the nation to satisfy kids effected by the struggle. Sean Penn additionally visited Ukraine to make a documentary concerning the Russian invasion.
Since Russia’s invasion in February, greater than 12 million Ukrainian residents have fled their houses, in line with the United Nations. Greater than 5 million Ukrainian refugees have been recorded in Europe, whereas one other seven million individuals are believed to be displaced nonetheless throughout the nation.
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