During a recent visit to Kyiv, actor Sean Penn presented one of his two Oscar statuettes to Volodymyr Zelensky, with Ukraine’s president later identifying him as a ‘symbol of faith’ in the country’s ongoing struggle against the invading Russian forces. “It’s just a stupid symbolic thing,” Penn said during the president’s initial protests as the two sat at a ceremonial table. He later added, “When you win, take it back to Malibu.” (It wasn’t immediately clear whether Penn had given Zelensky his Best Actor award for 2003. the mystical river or 2008 Milk.) Footage of the meeting shared by Zelensky’s office also showed him presenting Penn with an Order of Merit honor for his “significant contribution” to Ukraine’s war effort. Tuesday’s visit was Penn’s third to Ukraine since the invasion began. Before the war, he had worked on a documentary about Ukrainian political endeavors and was in Ukraine on February 24 when Russia launched its assault. Warned by former national security adviser Robert O’Brien to “get the hell out of here,” as he put it, Penn and his crew were forced to cross the Polish border on foot. The 62-year-old has since been sanctioned by Russia in response to his high-profile shows of support for Ukraine.
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