Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher have raised over $21 million for Ukraine

Mila Kunis and husband Ashton Kutcher have started a GoFundMe for the people of Ukraine with a goal of $30 million. While speaking with Maria Shriver in #ConversationsAboveTheNoise, they’d raised $21 million. It’s a good use of their platform to raise as much money as possible. The money will go to humanitarian and refugee efforts, which is sorely needed. Both Ashton and Mila have proven themselves proficient at fundraising and I’m glad they set the goal as high as they did. I wouldn’t be surprised if they exceeded it.

Of course, this is quite personal for Mila, who is Ukrainian. Her family fled to the US at seven because of anti-Semitism, among other reasons, in the Soviet Union. A lot of people know that Mila speaks Russian. Mila often refers to herself as Russian because, she explained, when she told people she was from Ukraine prior, no one knew where that was. So, it was easier to just say she was Russian. But she is Ukrainian and this crisis has evoked a series of emotions – heartbreak, pride and a sense of dread of what happens is Russia’s successful.

Mila Kunis says Ukrainians’ response to Russia’s invasion has left her “awestricken” and “proud” to be from the region, fueling her decision to start a $30 million fundraiser. Still, she wants Americans to remember that Russia’s people aren’t the enemy.

In a sitdown with Maria Shriver for her #ConversationsAboveTheNoise digital series, Kunis opened up about her feelings around the ongoing war in Ukraine and the $30 million GoFundMe campaign she’s launched with husband Ashton Kutcher to support refugee and humanitarian aid efforts.

The star said the Ukrainian response to the conflict sparked a new sense of pride she hadn’t previously had after growing up in America. Arriving in the U.S. in 1991 around the age of seven or eight meant that she grew up having a much stronger connection to her identity as an American.

“It’s been irrelevant to me that I come from Ukraine. It never mattered,” she said. “So much so that I’ve always said I’m Russian. I’ve always been, ‘I’m from Russia’ for a multitude of reasons. One of them being, when I came to the States, and I would tell people I’m from Ukraine, the first question I’d get was ‘Where is Ukraine?’ And then I’d have to explain Ukraine and where it is on the map.”

“Everything changed” when Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. “I can’t express or explain what came over me, but all of a sudden, I genuinely was like, ‘Oh, my God, I feel like a part of my heart just got ripped out.’ It was the weirdest feeling,” she said. “It doesn’t take away from who I am as a person, but it just adds an entire different layer.”

Part of this “sense of pride” comes from having friends from Ukraine whose family members have chosen to remain in the country. They go to sleep in bomb shelters at night, Kunis says, and during the day, they take “whatever they have to protect themselves in the city, and they go to their office to continue working.”

“I’m not pleasantly surprised, but I’m awestricken by this group of people. They’re fighting with their own makeshift weapons,” Kunis said. “It is inspiring.”

Kunis also addressed criticisms around how the response to Ukraine has differed from reactions to other conflicts. For her, the thing that makes Ukraine’s crisis different is the nuclear element.

“I honestly think that what sets this apart from the horrible events that happened in Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen — in any of these other countries where things like this have happened — is that in this case, its nuclear power,” she explained. “There’s a lot of other issues involved that aren’t just about Ukraine, but about its neighboring town.”

That’s part of why she and Kutcher took so much time launching the fundraiser. “I kept saying I think whatever we do, you have to be able to pivot because this is not … a civil war. It’s not a religious-based war. It’s not somewhere that we have pattern recognition on,” she said. “We don’t know what the end goal is, in this case. I don’t believe that the end goal personally is, ‘Oh, we just want Ukraine.’”

So far, the duo has raised more than $21 million of their $30 million ask, with Kunis confident they’ll reach their goal in light of another match commitment. The campaign funds will go to Flexport and Airbnb to help them deliver supplies and provide housing to refugees fleeing Ukraine.

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

During her discussion with Maria Shriver, Mila made a point to separate Putin’s attack on Ukraine from the Russian people, which I think is an important point to keep in mind. Mila put it really well, stating, “Not to get technical, but all the propaganda a problem. The infrastructure is a problem. The political powers that be are the problem. It’s not the people. The people didn’t vote for [Vladimir] Putin.” I was talking to someone the other day and said to blame Putin’s attack on all Russians would be like blaming Trump’s horrible actions on me. I didn’t vote for Trump and I never supported him. Unfortunately, Trump was at least elected in a legal election. There is no way to vote Putin out of office. So I’m glad that Mila took the time to remind everyone that there is a specific enemy and many people are being hurt by him, including his countrymen.

I’m not surprised Mila would support her country by raising awareness and money. And I’m glad her husband is joining the effort. Just last Sunday, Larry Ellison kicked in with $5 million match. Ashton has a lot of influence with tech money. Some of you said last week, and it bears repeating, that it’s very important to donate to the right organizations currently. As Mila suggested, the organizations that receive the money, especially the sums she’s talking about, need the infrastructure to distribute it properly. I’m not advocating for Flexport or AirBnB, Ashton is an investor in both and CEO of Flexport. But if you are considering a donation, do a little research where your money is best placed. If you want to read up on Mila and Ashton’s GoFundMe, you can do so here.

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15 Responses to “Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher have raised over $21 million for Ukraine”

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  1. Chaine says:

    Good for them. And doesn’t Mila look amazing?! Late thirties and she could pass for a teenager.

  2. OtherAnna says:

    I have always had such a soft spot for Mila. We moved to the states around the same time. She was my IT girl since the Lisa Frank commercials. I completely get where she is coming from in her explenation. I stopped telling people I was Armenian when we first moved here, b/c it was weird to say: I was born in Azerbaijan, but I’m Armenina, but I speak russian b/c in Soviet Russia everyone spoke Russian. I have cousins who’s homes have been bombed from my mothers side that fled to Ukraine in 1992 after the Azeri massacre of Armenians, and cousins on my dad’s side who fled to Russia, who now believe all the propoganda that is being fed to them right now about how the war is crucial for their survival.

    • Bunny says:

      I wonder how many Russians believe the propaganda,band how many say they do for self-preservation? Speaking out is dangerous.

      I’ve only met a few Russians in my life, but all were genuinely kind and thoughtful people. I’ve met a larger number of Ukrainians, and again, wonderful, kind, intelligent people.

      Praying for your family. I know this is difficult for them and for you.

      • Katie says:

        The NPR show On the Media did a nice interview with the independent Russian Meduza magazine in last Friday’s show (in fact, all the segments were on the conflict and were really good). In it the editor at Meduza said that its harder to get people to not believe the propaganda right now. He said if you don’t believe the propaganda you have to face the fact that you are slaughtering your neighbors for no reason, which is just a really hard thing to face. I do a lot of reading/listening on cults and that rings true.

      • Orangeowl says:

        My friend’s son is in college here in the US and one of his roommates is from Russia. He and his family and entire circle, really, don’t believe the propaganda and are outraged about the war. I found that interesting and heartening. There was a recent This American Life episode that interviewed Russian high school students trying to school their teachers on the truth, too. The teachers were taken aback at how the kids were not on board with the Putin line at all. It also made me feel hopeful, even as their access to the truth has been severely curtailed. They also interviewed people on in Russia who were fully pro-Putin and on board with the propaganda or indifferent. Perception/beliefs are much more widely varied than I had expected given the power of their state media.

  3. Jules says:

    Nice. Not a fan of Kutcher, but their fundraising feels more genuine and less show-offy than other celebs.

    • Loco Moco says:

      I don’t think hungry, homeless and otherwise traumatized people care if their efforts are genuine or just for show. Either way, it is doing what it is designed to do and that is to help.

      • Jules says:

        Not the point. If helping is part of a PR campaign, that says more about the celeb and their true intentions, and we are here to gossip about celebs.

      • Loco Moco says:

        @Jules we can disagree about that. I know if I was hungry, I wouldn’t care about the intentions of the giver.

  4. lucy2 says:

    That’s awesome. I hope it really helps people.
    I’d like to also give a shout out for World Central Kitchen, which has been feeding people at the border.

    • goofpuff says:

      Yes WCK is an amazing organization.

    • tascha says:

      I’m unimpressed. The 2 of them are multi-millionaires; why on earth don’t they donate a few million dollars THEMSELVES, instead of relying on their mostly much poorer fans? That whole thing—-donate to a cause b/c CELEBRITIES want you to, as if the urgent, tragic cause itself isn’t quite enough to make one donate on their own—sickens me. If I’m wrong—that is, if these particular “celebrities” are donating, too, or intending to match the same amount they make from strangers, then that’s fine. But I have always hated these rich entertainers/ celebrities who ask for money from their fans, rather than donate directly themselves. I can hardly imagine greater arrogance.

  5. Stan says:

    This makes me really uncomfortable that celebrities are crowd funding for their own companies/investments. How is this different than Kristen Bell crowd funding to buy Ukrainians Hello Bello diapers or Ryan Reynolds crowd funding to buy Ukrainians gin? This is a slippery slope of ethics at play here.

  6. Nikki says:


  7. Yasmine says:

    Her comments were so disappointing. The reporter mentioned the double standard in reporting when refugees are racialized, and Mila counters with: but it’s different! That’s very dismissive and silencing for racialized people. Even her argument on Russia being different because of nuclear weapons is false. Israel has had nuclear weapons for decades, and that doesn’t seem to garner empathy and humanity for the Palestinians, Lebanese, Syrians, and others in the area who been invaded and bombed by Israel. SMH.