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Michael Keaton and Brian Cox deliver messages of support for Ukraine at SAG Awards

Leading Hollywood stars Brian Cox and Michael Keaton delivered messages of support for Ukraine at the Screen Actors Guild awards on Sunday (27 February).

The 28th SAG Awards were handed out at a live ceremony in Santa Monica, California, as the guild honoured performers in 15 categories across film and television.

Several actors took the opportunity to stand with Ukraine, as the eastern European country continued to fight against a Russian invasion ordered by president Vladimir Putin on 24 February.

Keaton and Cox used their stage time to express solidarity with Ukraine, tipping their hats to the country’s president Volodymyr Zelensky for leading the fight against Russia from the frontline.

While accepting the award for best ensemble performance in a drama series for Succession, Cox condemned the war as “truly, truly awful” and highlighted its impact on fellow actors and performers in Russia, urging Hollywood to “stand together” with them.

He said: “The thing that really distressed me is what’s happening in Russia, to my fellow actors and actresses and performers and writers and critics. They are told, under pain of high treason, they cannot say a word about Ukraine. I think that is awful. I think we should all stand together also for those people.”

Meanwhile, Dopesick actor Keaton, who accepted the award for outstanding performance in a television movie or limited series, lauded Ukraine’s president and “fellow actor” Zelensky for “fighting the fight”.

Last week, Russian president Vladimir Putin announced what he called a “special military operation” in Ukraine, after which explosions were reported shortly after in the country.

The Russian military, just days later, began to enter the outskirts of several Ukrainian cities, including capital Kyiv, Kharkiv, Kramatorsk, and Mariupol.

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The UN on Monday said there were at least 240 civilian casualties in Ukraine.

Putin has also placed Russia’s nuclear deterrent forces on high alert, even as the announcement was made that they were ready for talks with the Ukrainian delegation on the border of Belarus on Monday.

During Sunday night’s award ceremony, multiple actors were spotted wearing pins of the Ukrainian flag.

Actors Jon Bernthal and Tyler Perry expressed their solidarity with Ukraine by wearing pins of the blue-and-yellow Ukrainian flag at the SAG Awards 202


The show opened with SAG president Fran Drescher “extending prayers” for Ukraine in her speech.

Multiple celebrities have reacted to the crisis since it began last week.

Singer Miley Cyrus described the situation in Ukraine as “heart-breaking” in a Twitter statement on Friday (25 February).

Meanwhile, 90210 actor AnnaLynne McCord’s spoken-word style poem, addressing Putin, was widely derided online.

John Cena also drew criticism from social media users after he appeared to use Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to promote his HBO series Peacemaker.

You can follow live updates on the Russia-Ukraine crisis here.

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