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Sean Penn says he has walked ‘miles’ to Polish border after abandoning car in Ukraine


Sean Penn has recounted walking “miles” to the Polish border to flee Ukraine.

The actor, who is filming a Vice Studios documentary about Russia’s invasion of the country, said he abandoned his car after seeing long queues of traffic as Ukrainian residents fled for safety.

Posting on Twitter on Monday (28 February), Penn, 61, shared a picture of himself dragging a battered suitcase, with the caption: “Myself & two colleagues walked miles to the Polish border after abandoning our car on the side of the road.

“Almost all the cars in this photo carry women & children only, most without any sign of luggage, and a car their only possession of value.”

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

The following day the actor released a statement condemning Russian president Vladimir Putin for making a “horrible mistake for all of humankind”.

“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,” Penn said.

The I Am Sam actor had been on the ground filming a documentary, and had previously visited the country in November 2021 to begin preparing for the film.

Penn met with deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk, as well as members of the military and local journalists.

The office of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky issued a statement in praise of Penn’s “bravery”.

“Sean Penn is demonstrating bravery that many others have been lacking, in particular some Western politicians,” reads a translation of the statement.

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.

You can follow along with updates at The Independent’s Russia-Ukraine live blog here.

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