Hollywood actors Ben Stiller and Sean Penn, who recently met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, are among twenty-five Americans who have been sanctioned by Russia.
Stiller and Penn have both expressed their support for Ukraine in the Russian invasion.
Both actors have been supporters of Ukraine in the conflict and have met President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a high-profile show of support.
Sean Penn is an activist involved in relief work, among other causes, and Ben Stiller is a goodwill ambassador for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Stiller has been a vocal supporter of Zelenskyy, and he returned to Ukraine in June to meet the Ukrainian leader. Penn also visited Bucha and Irpin near Kyiv, the sites of alleged atrocities against civilians by Russian forces, publicly receiving thanks from Zelenskyy for his support.
The new list of people banned by Moscow includes senators, academics, and business leaders, with Russia responding to US sanctions against Russians stemming from its invasion of Ukraine.
Hollywood stars sanctioned due to US sanctions on Russians
Earlier this year after the Russian invasion, the US sanctioned several Russians, including some government officials and prominent business people.
The Russian foreign ministry said in a statement that the new names were added in response to the “ever-expanding” US sanctions “against Russian citizens.”
The ministry added that the sanctioned Hollywood stars and the whole group of Americans, including business leaders and academics, would be permanently banned from entering Russia, and Russian assets would be frozen. Russian citizens would be prohibited from doing business with them.
The US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo was on the new sanctions list, as were many American senators, including Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, Mike Rounds of South Dakota, and Rick Scott of Florida among others.
“The hostile actions of US authorities, which continue to follow a Russophobic course, destroying bilateral ties and escalating confrontation between Russia and the United States, will continue to be resolutely rebuffed,” the ministry said.
In March, President Joe Biden and members of his family were also sanctioned by Russia in its previous rounds of sanctions against Americans.