“You’re my hero,” Ben Stiller told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy today on a visit to Kyiv. “You gave up a great acting career for this,” the Severance filmmaker joked with the former Servant of the People star.
“Not so great as you,” Zelenskyy responded with perfect comic timing to laughing UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Stiller.
Showing up in Ukraine on World Refugee Day, Stiller is the latest in a procession of high-profile guests to the country since Vladimir Putin and Russia’s bloody invasion launched on February 24. Contributing billions in financial and weaponry support as well as leading NATO’s overall efforts, President Joe Biden has not yet shown up in Kyiv yet.
POTUS today said that is “not likely” he will go to Ukraine while in Europe later this week.
Speaking with reporters briefly on a wide range of topics this morning, Biden added that he did not want to “cause more difficulty for Ukrainians” by swooping into Kyiv as other leaders and celebrities have over the past months. Still, having visited with Ukrainian refugees on a trip to Poland in March, Biden could be planning a surprise touch down in Kyiv as he travels in Germany and Spain in the coming days.
On the other hand, before meeting Zelenskyy on Monday, Stiller walked among the ruins of Irpin and talked to survivors of the Russian attacks. “It’s one thing to see this destruction on TV or on social networks. Another thing is to see it all with your own eyes,” said the actor to Zelenskyy later in the duo’s sit-down. “That’s a lot more shocking.”
“What you saw in Irpin is definitely dreadful,” the battle garbed Ukrainian leader told Stiller. “But it is even worse to just imagine what is happening in the settlements that are still under temporary occupation in the east.”
Earlier, Stiller filmed a brief video for social media unveiling his trip, as you can see below:
— Ben Stiller (@BenStiller) June 20, 2022