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Fans baffled to see Sean Penn at Russian invasion press conference in Ukraine

Fans were left baffled after Sean Penn was seen at a press briefing at the Presidential Office in Kiev amid the Russian invasion.

Penn was photographed in Ukraine at a press briefing by the Ukrainian government in Kiev on Thursday (24 February) as Russia began a full-scale attack on its neighbour.

As photographs of the Oscar winner in Ukraine circulated on social media, fans shared their surprise.

“Uhh, Sean Penn is in Ukraine right now,” wrote one person. Another added: “Ukraine needs a lot of things right now. Sean Penn […] is not among them.”

“What???” questioned one confused person.

(Getty Images)

“Man wtf Sean Penn old a** doing in Ukraine,” joked another user.

The I Am Sam actor is on the ground in Ukraine filming a documentary about Russia’s invasion, Vice Studios have confirmed to Variety.

Penn previously visited the country in November 2021 to begin preparing for his documentary.

As per Newsweek, his visits were documented by the Ukrainian joint forces operation press service, which posted photos of the meetings on social media at the time.

The 61-year-old arrived in Kiev earlier this week. According to the publication, he met with deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk, as well as members of the military and local journalists.

The office of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy issued a statement in praise of Penn.

A translation of the statement commends the actor for coming to Kiev “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 statement continued: “Sean Penn is demonstrating bravery that many others have been lacking, in particular some Western politicians. The more people like that – true friends of Ukraine, who support the fight for freedom – the quicker we can stop this heinous invasion by Russia.”

Penn previously directed the 2020 documentary Citizen Penn, about the process of founding his non-profit organisation Core (Community Organised Relief Effort) in the wake of the Haiti earthquake in 2010.

Core also deployed teams to help with Covid-19 testing and vaccinations during the pandemic.

Ukraine’s health minister has said 57 people have been killed as a result of the Russian invasion, with 169 more wounded.

You can follow The Independent’s live blog on Russia-Ukraine here.

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