News and Analysis

Sean Penn Abandoned His Car, Walking Miles To The Polish Border To Escape Russian Invasion
CANNES, FRANCE - JULY 11: Sean Penn attends the "Flag Day" press conference during the 74th annual Cannes Film Festival on July 11, 2021 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Kate Green/Getty Images)
Kate Green/Getty Images

Actor Sean Penn said he abandoned his car in Ukraine and then walked miles with two of his colleagues to the Polish border as he joined hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians fleeing amid the chaos and destruction of the ongoing Russian invasion.

“Myself & two colleagues walked miles to the Polish border after abandoning our car on the side of the road. 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,” Penn said in a Monday tweet, sharing a photo of himself walking on the side of the road alongside a line of cars that stretched as far as the eye could see.

Penn’s observation that most of the vehicles on the road only contained women and children was the result of a recently-adopted policy forbidding males aged 18-60 — who could potentially take up arms against the Russian occupation forces — from leaving the country.

According to previous reports, Penn was in Ukraine to work on a documentary of the Russian invasion, meeting with a number of military officials and even Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

As The Daily Wire reported:

Actor and director Sean Penn is reportedly on the ground in Ukraine, working on a documentary about the Russian invasion that is still in progress.

Vice Studios, which is producing the project in conjunction with Vice World News and Endeavor Content, confirmed Penn’s involvement to Variety and that the Oscar-winning actor had been in attendance at a press briefing Thursday in Kyiv where several Ukrainian officials spoke about the ongoing crisis.

Zelensky shared a silent video of his meeting with Penn, adding the caption, “The more people know about the war in Ukraine, the more chances there are to stop Russia.”

As the Russian invasion began in earnest, Penn took to Twitter to express his feelings and to call on the United States to step up and offer assistance.

“Already a brutal mistake of lives taken and hearts broken, and if he doesn’t relent, I believe Mr. Putin will have made a most horrible mistake for all of humankind. President Zelensky and the Ukrainian people have risen as historic symbols of courage and principle,” Penn began, adding, “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.”

Penn also encouraged his followers who were interested in learning more to brush up on Ukraine’s more recent history, telling them to check out the documentary “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom.”

The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) describes the film as “a documentary on the unrest in Ukraine during 2013 and 2014, as student demonstrations supporting European integration grew into a violent revolution calling for the resignation of President Viktor F. Yanukovich.”