Jessica Chastain and other celebrities who have visited war-torn Ukraine

Academy Award winner Jessica Chastain visits Ukraine
Hear, know and understand the truth
On official business
Celebrities who have visited Ukraine
Ben Stiller
Goodwill Ambassador for UN refugee agency
‘Inspiring’ Ben Stiller
Angelina Jolie
There for the children
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
World Central Kitchen
In the face of danger
Liev Schreiber
Visiting Ukrainians in bomb shelters
A man intent on helping the people
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.

Hear, know and understand the truth

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!"

The war in Ukraine has now been raging for over 5 months.

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

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.

Goodwill Ambassador for UN refugee agency

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.

Photo: UNHCR

‘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."

Photo: UNHCR

Angelina Jolie

Ben Stiller and Jessica Chastain weren't the only ones to travel to wartime 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.

There for the children

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.

Sean Penn

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."

Jose Andres

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.

World Central Kitchen

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.

Liev Schreiber

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."

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