- Conor Kennedy joined soldiers in Ukraine
- He would take all the same risks over again
- Academy Award winner Jessica Chastain visits Ukraine
- ‘There were many nights when we had to go to sleep without eating’
- On official business
- Celebrities who have visited Ukraine
- Ben Stiller
- Visits to important places in the conflict
- ‘Inspiring’ Ben Stiller
- Without Blood
- Angelina was high risk for ovarian and breast cancer
- A job Angelina Jolie loves
- Sean Penn
- A second visit
- Supporting a nation with his film
- Bono and the Edge
- U2 classics and other songs to rally the people
- Fighting for freedom
- Jose Andres
- Plea to ‘come together’
- In the face of danger
- Liev Schreiber
- Visiting Ukrainians in bomb shelters
- A man intent on helping the people
Conor Kennedy joined soldiers in Ukraine
Conor Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy’s grandson and an ex-boyfriend of singer Taylor Swift, went away to Ukraine earlier this year to join the International Legion and fight for the freedom of Ukraine. Kennedy said he was “willing to die” there, but kept his real name under wraps until he eventually left the fighting and returned home.
Photo: @jconorkennedy/ Instagram
He would take all the same risks over again
On his Instagram, Kennedy told his followers the story of how he enlisted at the embassy with no prior military experience but liked being a soldier, more than he had expected. He wrote, “I know I’m lucky I made it back, but I would also take all the risks we took over again.”
Photo: @jconorkennedy/ Instagram
Academy Award winner Jessica Chastain visits Ukraine
In early August, Oscar-winning actress Jessica Chastain made a surprising trip. The actress was pictured embracing the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky and their photo was shared on his Telegram account, along with a message of appreciation.
‘There were many nights when we had to go to sleep without eating’
According to Variety, the president wrote, “American actress Jessica Chastain is in Ukraine today. For us, such visits of famous people are extremely valuable. Thanks to this, the world will hear, know and understand the truth about what is happening in our country even more. Thanks for the support!”
On official business
Chastain, who wowed everyone with her talents for her performance in ‘The Eyes of Tammy Faye’, visited a children’s hospital. Then, she met the president and the head of the presidential administration with an ‘important humanitarian event being planned’, according to Variety. She is not the first celebrity who has publicly displayed her support for Ukraine and visited the country at war.
Celebrities who have visited Ukraine
In June, the country’s department of defence thanked other stars who have also visited the country ‘despite the danger’. They thanked them not only for the visit and being an inspiration but also for spreading the word about the struggle of the Ukrainian people.
Photo: Twitter / @DefenceU
Ben Stiller, AKA ‘Zoolander,’ make a visit to the war-affected country in June. The occasion was World Refugee day. The actor left his wife and two children at home to meet families that have been impacted by the war.
Visits to important places in the conflict
Ben Stiller has been supporting the UN Refugee Agency since early 2016. He has been a Goodwill Ambassador since July 2018 and visited refugees in Germany, Jordan, Guatemala and Lebanon over the years. In 2022, he got to meet his ‘hero’, Zelensky.
‘Inspiring’ Ben Stiller
According to CBS news, when Stiller met the president of Ukraine in Irpin – a site of heavy fighting in the early days of the Russian invasion – he said, “You’re my hero.” Ben Stiller continued by saying, “What you’ve done and the way you’ve rallied the country and for the world, it’s really inspiring.”
But these weren’t the only celebrities to have travelled to war-struck Ukraine. Hollywood legend and actress Angelina Jolie visited the central railway station in Lviv in April. She was welcoming the internally displaced Ukrainians arriving on an evacuation train from Pokrovsk, a city in Donetsk Oblast.
Angelina was high risk for ovarian and breast cancer
According to The Guardian, the mother-of-six listened to the children and visited a boarding school. The regional governor of Lviv said that Jolie ‘was very moved’ by the children’s stories. Afterwards she promised the children she would visit again.
A job Angelina Jolie loves
Jolie has been a UNHCR special envoy for refugees since 2012, having previously visited Yemen and over 50 field missions as a Goodwill Ambassador. She was appointed to the role and represents the UNCHR on a diplomatic level, trying to find solutions for people forced to flee their homes.
Another celebrity who has famously visited the country since the invasion began (and even before that!) was Sean Penn. The actor is making the details of his stay in Ukraine widely known with a documentary about the war.
A second visit
The two-time Academy Award winner went to Ukraine as soon as the invasion began to get a first-hand feel of the invasion. He even had to flee on foot into Poland as the fighting intensified. Penn returned in June, receiving a warm welcome from Zelensky who shook his hand and said, “Nice to meet you again. You’re welcome.”
Supporting a nation with his film
According to the New York, Zelensky posted a message of gratitude for Penn’s documentary on his Telegram channel. It said, “The whole world will soon be able to see the whole truth about the war thanks to his film. Sean thank you for the support of our state and our people!”
Bono and the Edge
Another surprise visit to war-torn Ukraine came from Bono and The Edge who performed a concert in a bomb shelter in May. The impromptu performance was designed as a show of solidarity with the people of Ukraine and, according to U2’s Twitter account, “that’s what they came to do.” (Photo of the duo together in 2017)
U2 classics and other songs to rally the people
Ben E. King’s ‘Stand By Me’ was one of the songs the duo performed. They were also joined on stage by the Ukrainian singer Taras Topolia and members of the pop-rock band Antytilia. The local band members are currently serving as soldiers in the war. In King’s ‘Stand By Me,’ they replaced the lyrics with ‘Stand By Ukraine’.
Fighting for freedom
During the event, the U2 stars performed classics such as ‘Vertigo’ and ‘With or Without You’. They were quoted by Entertainment Weekly as saying: “The brave people of Ukraine are fighting for their freedom, and for ours, in the face of unspeakable violence and an unjust invasion.”
Celebrity chef Jose Andres also picked up his belongings and made his way to the Ukrainian border when the invasion began. He has travelled back and forth to the country and surrounding areas in order to provide meals for those caught up in the war zone.
Plea to ‘come together’
Jose Andres has been a lifeline for many on the front, having now served more than 130 million plates of food to hungry and displaced Ukrainians. He said to CBS News: “Life is not a movie itself. Life is real pain, is real suffering. And what we have to do is to spend every single second trying to relieve people from those hard moments they are going through.”
Photo: Instagram @chefjoseandres
In the face of danger
In fact, one of the World Central Kitchen restaurants providing aid in Kharkiv was hit by a Russian missile. Four staff members were wounded but thankfully everyone survived. The Spanish-born chef continues his effort to serve food to those who need it most – against all the odds.
The actor’s maternal grandfather was of Ukrainian and Polish descent, making the nation’s tragedy close to his heart. The ‘X-Men’ star has done some intensive humanitarian work in the country and made a surprise visit to support those suffering.
Visiting Ukrainians in bomb shelters
Schreiber visited those who were finding safety in the bomb shelters of Lviv. As most people were trying to get out of the city and the country, Schreiber went in. He spoke on Instagram about one particular man, Mark, who stayed behind to get his family to safety.
Photo: Instagram / @Liev Schreiber
A man intent on helping the people
Schreiber co-founded BlueCheck, “a network that identifies, vets and funds grassroots organizations providing assistance for Ukrainians.” He has worked tirelessly to provide relief for those who need it most and shows an admiration towards the Ukrainian people for their strength. As he told Reuters, “it’s overwhelming how resilient the Ukrainian people are.”