March 20, 2023

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Ben Stiller meets with President Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine

Ben Stiller meets with President Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine
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Humanitarian Actor and Envoy Ben Stiller in Ukraine met with refugees and officials including President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday as part of his visit to the region on World Refugee Day.

“It’s a great honor for me,” Stiller told Zelensky during a meeting in Kyiv. “It’s really cool. You’re my hero.”

Stiller, ‘Zoolander’ star and goodwill ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency, too US Ambassador Bridget Brink met in Lviv and visited the cities of Irbin and Makarov near Kyiv.

Stiller marveled at fellow actor Zelensky, who played Ukraine’s president on TV before becoming the country’s real-life leader, about “the way he mobilized the country – the world.”

He added, “I left my wonderful acting career for this.”

Zelensky replied, “I’m not as cool as you!”

Stiller visited earlier with the Ukrainian refugees In Poland, which has taken in more than a million Ukrainians forced to flee their homes because of the war. He said his goal there is solidarity with refugees there and around the world, and to draw more attention to the humanitarian situation in Ukraine.

“People have shared stories of how the war changed their lives — how they lost everything and are so worried about their future,” Stiller said in a statement.

He continued: “Protecting people who have been forced to flee is a collective global responsibility. We have to remember that this can happen to anyone, anywhere.”

Stiller is not the only famous person to visit Ukraine. Angelina Jolie made a surprise visit in April to Lviv – which has been relatively spared heavy fighting and bombing in other parts of the country – where she met children and refugees and was seen by locals in cafes. (While millions were forced to leave Ukraine’s borders by the war, millions more were internally displaced.)

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Angelina Jolie makes a surprise trip to Ukraine to visit children and refugees

Jolie, the UN Special Envoy for Refugees, was there on a personal basis rather than on an official visit to the UN. Stiller’s trip was organized by the United Nations refugee agency.

The war in Ukraine pushed global displacement to record levels,tragic teacherIn that time, more than 100 million people have been forced to flee their homes — more than 1 percent of the population, the agency said.

She added that the invasion caused the fastest forced displacement crisis since World War II. In addition to other emergencies in Afghanistan, Africa and elsewhere, the agency said, the invasion “pushed the number above a dramatic milestone.”

Jennifer Hassan and Sammy Westfall contributed to this report.