What Celebrities Are in Ukraine and Who is Helping Raise Funds at Home?

Millions of people around the globe are watching a devastating situation unfold in Ukraine after Russian troops invaded its neighboring country several days ago. Many people, including celebrities, who have family near the front lines are asking for prayers and support.

Here’s more on which stars are in Ukraine now including one who says he was arrested, and what celebs are collecting funds as the fighting continues.

Peta Murgatroyd and Maks Chmerkovskiy speaking and answering questions during a visit to Build
Peta Murgatroyd and Maksim Chmerkovskiy speaking and answering questions during a visit to Build | Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Sean Penn and Maks Chmerkovskiy are currently in Ukraine

Most people have heard by now that Academy Award-winning actor Sean Penn is currently in Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv filming the events for a documentary.

He shared a statement with People expressing his thoughts on what’s happening and what Ukrainians are enduring. “[It is] already a brutal mistake of lives taken and hearts broken, and if [Russian president Vladimir Putin] doesn’t relent, I believe Mr. Putin will have made a most horrible mistake for all of humankind,” Penn said. “President [Volodymyr] Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people have risen as historic symbols of courage and principle. Ukraine is the tip of the spear for the democratic embrace of dreams. If we allow it to fight alone, our soul as America is lost.”

Sean Penn speaking at Flag Day press conference in Cannes, France
Sean Penn speaking at Flag Day press conference in Cannes, France | Kate Green/Getty Images

Dancing with the Stars pro Peta Murgatroyd revealed that her husband fellow dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy is currently in his native country as well and has been trying to get out since the fighting started. Page Six noted that Chmerkovskiy has been posting updates and on Feb. 28, said he was arrested but everything is OK now.

“[There’s] a lot of fighting everywhere. Streets are crazy,” he explained, adding: “At one point I got arrested … But all good, promise,” he said in a video. “That was probably the least traumatizing moment in this whole thing as far as Ukraine is concerned, but for me, it was a reality check.”

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds match donations up to $1 million

Celebs here at home have been lending their support amid what’s happening abroad. The invasion is causing a humanitarian crisis as many residents in Ukraine are forced to flee their homes.

Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively have been tweeting about donating money and vowed that he and his wife were matching gifts “$1-for-$1 up to $1,000,000” to those displaced.

Reaction from other stars and royals

Big Sky actor Katheryn Winnick, who is of Ukrainian descent, has been urging people everywhere to “speak up” and “speak out” against Russia’s attack on the country.

Ashton Kutcher, whose wife Mila Kunis was born in the Ukrainian city of Chernivtsi, tweeted: “I stand with Ukraine.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle also made it known that they stand with Ukraine posting a message on their Archewell Foundation website that read: “Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and all of us at Archewell stand with the people of Ukraine against this breach of international and humanitarian law and encourage the global community and its leaders to do the same.”

Prince William and Kate Middleton shared a message of support as well via their social media accounts writing: “In October 2020 we had the privilege to meet President Zelenskyy and the First Lady to learn of their hope and optimism for Ukraine’s future. Today we stand with the President and all of Ukraine’s people as they bravely fight for that future W & C.”

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