Hollywood star Sean Penn walks to Poland after abandoning his car in war-torn Ukraine
Oscar-winning actor and filmmaker Sean Penn reached the Polish border with Ukraine on foot last night after abandoning his car in a huge tailback made up of refugees fleeing the war zone.
At 22.00 he posted on Twitter from his iPhone: "Myself & two colleagues walked miles to the Polish border after abandoning our car on the side of the road."
Penn had travelled to Ukraine on the first day of the Russian invasion to meet Ukrainian officials as part of a film he is making to tell Western audiences about the war.
The double-Oscar-winning actor published a photo of himself pulling a suitcase alongside a long line of cars.
"Almost all the cars in this photo carry women & children only, most without any sign of luggage, and a car their only possession of value," he wrote.
At present, it is not known to which border crossing Penn and his colleagues arrived at.
On February 25, he attended a press conference with Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Irina Vereshchuk and Advisor to the Head of the Presidential Chancellery Mikhail Podolak wearing sunglasses and a beige bomber jacket.
The presidential press spokesman expressed gratitude for Penn’s presence in Ukraine.
He said at the time: "Sean Penn demonstrates the courage that many others, including Western politicians, lack. The more there are such people in our country now, true friends of Ukraine, who support the struggle for freedom, the sooner it will be possible to stop Russia's treacherous attack."
After the press conference, Penn released his own statement about the war saying: “If we allow it [Ukraine] to fight alone, our soul as America is lost.
“President Zelensky and the Ukrainian people have risen as historic symbols of courage and principle.”
He added: “Ukraine is the tip of the spear for the democratic embrace of dreams.”
Penn has been filming a documentary about the escalating tension in Ukraine since last year.
In November, he met with soldiers in the Azov region, where he was surprised by the high percentage of women in the Ukrainian army and that they took part in combat missions and commanded combat units directly on the line of contact with the enemy.
Penn has long been known for his humanitarian work. In 2005, he was involved in helping the victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and in 2010 he responded to the earthquakes that struck Haiti.
In his long career he has made more than 50 films, earning two Oscars, the first for Mystic River in 2003 and then for playing gay activist Harvey Milk in Milk in 2008.