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Did Sean Penn Give His Oscar Statuette to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy?

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Hollywood actor Sean Penn showed support for Ukraine during a meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy by gifting him one of his two Oscar statuettes. He met Zelenskyy at the capital Kyiv amidst Russia’s military threat.

Anton Gerashchenko, advisor to the minister of internal affairs of Ukraine, shared a video of the meeting. In the video, Penn can be seen telling Zelenskyy, “This is for you. It’s just a symbolic silly thing, but if I know this is here then I’ll feel better and strong enough for the fights. When you win, bring it back to Malibu, because I’ll feel much better knowing there’s a piece of me here.”

The video shows, Zelenskyy proceeding to take Penn outside, after a series of handshakes, to honor Penn with an Order of Merit for his “sincere support and significant contribution to the popularization of Ukraine in the world.” The actor has his name featured in a commemorative plaque dedicated to him. 

Penn says, “There are three places in the world that all my pride will be — the place where my daughter was born, the place where my son was born and this. Thank you.”

Penn has been one of Hollywood’s most outspoken supporters of Ukraine during the ongoing military conflict. In February, the actor was on the ground in Ukraine filming a documentary for Vice Studios. The actor has met with President Zelenskyy on several occasions since.

If the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decided not to invite Zelenskyy to speak during the telecast of the 2022 awards event, the actor had previously warned to publicly “smelt” his Oscars. Although, Zelenskyy did not attend the Oscars this year, but a formal statement was made in favour of Ukraine during the ceremony.

Sean Penn has won two Academy Awards for best actor across his career, the first for 2003’s “Mystic River” and the second for 2008’s “Milk.”

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