Actors Sean Penn and Ben Stiller are among 25 US citizens banned from visiting Russia, the Kremlin announced on Monday. In a statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry banned 25 high-ranking officials, businessmen and actors from entering Russia “permanently”. The move comes in retaliation for US President Joe Biden’s sanctions against Moscow, the press release added, writes Politico.
US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo is also on the sanctions list, as is her deputy, Matthew Axelrod, and two senators, Arizona Democrat Mark Kelly and North Dakota Republican Kevin Cramer.
Both actors have traveled to Ukraine and met with President Volodymyr Zelensky since the invasion, with Stiller telling the Ukrainian leader in June: “You’re my hero.”
Two-time Oscar winner Penn was in Ukraine working on a documentary when Russia invaded on February 24. He was forced to flee on foot, joining the millions of Ukrainians crossing into Poland in the early days of the war. Then it turned out that he had contracted Covid-19 on his return.
Jessica Chastain, this year’s Oscar winner, also recently stopped by her colleague Zelensky to show her support.