During the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the Russian government has permanently banned hundreds of US citizens.
2 of which are actors, Sean Penn and Ben Stiller.
Keep scrolling to find out why…
Back in February, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
In a pre-dawn televised address on 24 February, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin ordered a “special military operation” in the country.
Putin claimed during his address that the operation was in response to threats from Ukraine.
He claimed that Russia had been made to feel they could not be “safe, develop and exist,” the BBC reported at the time.
In his speech, Putin also issued a stark warning against interfering to other countries.
He said that any attempts to interfere on the operation will lead to “consequences they have never seen.”
Shortly after Putin’s early morning televised address, explosions were reportedly heard in several of Ukraines major cities such as Kharkiv, Kramatorsk, Mariupol, as well as the capital Kyiv.
Airports and military bases are said to have been the first to be hit as troops entered into Ukraine.
Following Putin’s televised address, many Ukrainian citizens prepared to flee and queues began to form at gas stations, pharmacies, banks, and grocery stores.
While others made preparations to fight back against the invasion.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky urged citizens to stay at home as martial law was introduced.
In a post on Twitter, Zelensky wrote: “Russia treacherously attacked our state in the morning, as Nazi Germany did in #2WW years. As of today, our countries are on different sides of world history. has embarked on a path of evil, but is defending itself & won’t give up its freedom no matter what Moscow thinks.”
From the start of the invasion, Zelenskyy, who has received praise from around the world, said that he is “going to defend our nation.”
Zelenskyy has stayed in Ukraine to fight against the invasion despite receiving threats to his life.
Many neighboring countries opened their borders to fleeing Ukrainian citizens.
Including likes of Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and Moldova.
Some of those fleeing the country are said to have had to wait for days to cross at border points.
With a surge of people trying to leaving the country, extreme queues began forming that stretched for miles.
Countries around the world, including the US, UK, European Union, and Asian nations, placed sanctions on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.
Even Switzerland, a country that has historically remained neutral in global wars, announced its support for Ukraine.
Many global businesses also halted trading and shut stores in Russia in protest of their invasion.
Among them are the likes of McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Amazon.
Sadly, after almost 7 months, airstrikes and fighting on the ground in Ukraine remain.
And tragically innocent civilians are continuing to lose their lives everyday.
Since the war began, people around the world have been doing what they can to help.
Including some high-profile celebrities, who have traveled to the war-torn country to show their support for Ukraine.
Obviously, this move hasn’t gone down well with the Russian Government…
So much so, on September 5, the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry made an announcement on their website, revealing they have permanently banned another twenty-five US citizens from entering the country.
Hundreds have already been banned since the war began.
Their statement reads: “In response to the ever-expanding personal sanctions on Russian citizens by Joe Biden’s administration, a permanent ban to enter the Russian Federation has been imposed on another group of US Congress members, high-ranking officials, members of the business, and expert community and cultural figures.”
2 of those cultural figures are actors Sean Penn and Ben Stiller.
Since the invasion began, Stiller and Penn have publicly shown their support for Ukraine.
Back in June, Stiller met up with Volodymyr Zelenskyy and visited the areas overtaken by Russians. The actor is also an ambassador for the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees.
Stiller posted the visit on Instagram and said: “I’m meeting people who’ve been impacted by the war and hearing how it’s changed their lives. War and violence are devastating people all over the world. Nobody chooses to flee their home. Seeking safety is a right and it needs to be upheld for every person.”
Penn also visited Ukraine in February when the invasion first began, to discuss making a documentary about the war.
Shortly after his visit, a statement was released by the Ukraine government…
It read: “The director specifically 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.
It continued: “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.”