Sean Penn, who was in Ukraine making a documentary about the Russian invasion, has safely left the country after walking miles to the Polish border alongside Ukrainian refugees.
The long journey, made entirely on foot, came at the end of Penn’s time in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, where he filmed a documentary about life in the country just as Russia invaded.
Like hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees, the 61-year-old left the country by walking to the Polish border. He carried a backpack and a piece of rolling luggage with him to the border.
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. pic.twitter.com/XSwCDgYVSH
— Sean Penn (@SeanPenn) February 28, 2022
Sean Penn leaves Ukraine, reaching Polish border on foot
Penn was already in Ukraine gathering information for his documentary when Russia launched a full-scale military invasion of the country on February 24.
The Oscar-winning actor attended a press briefing at the Presidential Office in Kyiv, Ukraine last Thursday, where Ukrainian officials heaped praise on the activist director, who had previously brought attention to a number of issues all over the world, including the endemic issues facing Haiti, in his documentaries.
The Office of the President issued a statement through the Ukrainian embassy saying “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.”
It goes on to state, “Sean Penn is demonstrating bravery that many others have been lacking, in particular some Western politicians. The more people like that — true friends of Ukraine, who support the fight for freedom — the quicker we can stop this heinous invasion by Russia.”
The UN stated on Tuesday that an estimated 830,000 Ukrainian refugees have fled to neighboring countries such as Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Moldova, yet there may be many more that have not yet been accounted for.
“Displacement in Ukraine is also growing but the military situation makes it difficult to estimate numbers and provide aid,” Filippo Grandi, the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees, tweeted last week.
Poland has taken in around 453,000 people, over half of the estimated total of Ukrainian refugees.
The UN has warned Russia that its invasion of Ukraine would have “devastating” humanitarian consequences. U.S. officials have estimated that the Russian invasion could produce between 1 million and 5 million refugees.
For its part, Greece has opened up 50,000 jobs in the tourism sector to Greek expatriates and refugees from Ukraine.
Greek Minister of Tourism Vassilis Kikilias, in a press release issued recently announced that there were over 50,000 job openings that were not covered by the domestic market last year, according to SchengenVisaInfo.com.
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