Days after arriving in Ukraine to film a documentary about the unprovoked Russian invasion, Sean Penn released a statement on Friday praising the “courage and principle” of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the country’s citizens — and apparently calling for more direct intervention from other nations.
“Already a brutal mistake of lives taken and hearts broken, and If he doesn’t relent, I believe Mr. Putin will have made a most horrible mistake for all of humankind. President Zelensky and the Ukrainian people have risen as historic symbols of courage and principle,” Penn said in his statement.
“Ukraine is the tip of the spear for the democratic embrace of dreams. If we allow it to fight alone, our soul as America is lost,” the statement concluded.
The statement comes amid increasing support for Ukraine from Hollywood, including a statement by SAG-AFTRA earlier Friday.
Penn is in Ukraine filming the documentary for Vice Studios, the company confirmed to TheWrap on Thursday.
“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,” the Ukrainian Government said in a statement to Newsweek on Thursday. “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.”
Penn traveled to Ukraine last November, where he met with troops on the frontlines to prep the documentary, according to Business Insider.
The untitled documentary is a Vice Studios production in association with Vice World News and Endeavor Content.