Ben Stiller met with Ukraine President Zelensky as a UNHCR ambassador

For all the random facts I know about celebrities, I am shamefully unaware who’s a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador. That’s something I admire, so you’d think I would know more about it. I did not realize Ben Stiller was a Goodwill Ambassador, but he is and made a visit for World Refugee Day. Ben traveled to a Ukrainian refugee center in Poland, followed by a meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine. Ben walked with a UNHRC representative through Irpin, which has sustained terrible damage, and spoke to residents of that area who survived the invasion. He was visibly moved both by President Zelensky’s leadership and the devastation these people have endured. In a video posted to Twitter, Ben spoke of how much being there affected him. He noted that we think it looks bad on TV, but we have no idea how bad it really is.

Ben Stiller met with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Monday.

The Hollywood actor and director visited Ukraine as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador and met with Zelensky after touring occupied settlements in the Kyiv region, the Ukraine leader’s official website said in a press release.

In a video that appeared on Twitter, Stiller and Zelensky warmly greeted one another before they sat down to discuss the plight of refugees in the war-torn country displaced by an invasion by Russia and its military. “You’re my hero!” a beaming Zoolander star said at one point as his visit marked World Refugee Day.

“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. That’s a lot more shocking,” Stiller told Zelensky. “What you saw in Irpin is definitely dreadful. But it is even worse to just imagine what is happening in the settlements that are still under temporary occupation in the east,” Zelensky said in response.

Zelensky and Stiller discussed support for temporarily displaced persons in Ukraine, as well as those in Poland, with whom Stiller had visited on Sunday. Zelensky also emphasized the violation of the rights of Ukrainians forcibly deported to Russia, including children.

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

The fact that they referenced Ben as “a beaming Zoolander star” when they quoted him calling Pres. Zelensky his hero, forced me to hear him saying that in Zoolander’s voice. Like, even a Focker reference would have given that comment more weight. Although I wouldn’t criticize Ben if he had been so starstruck he went into character upon meeting Pres. Zelensky. The value of Ben’s visit and the attention he’s bringing to these people is amazing. And incredibly important. While we’ve seen heartening stories of people finding refuge in other countries, there are still many left in Ukraine, homeless or living without power or sustainable environs. In the video, posted below, Pres. Zelensky talked about the importance of reminding people about the war. He said he recognizes that it’s not going to be discussed every day, but having people like Ben (and Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, and Sean Penn) come and bring attention to their plight helps with their resistance efforts.

I know they take every precaution possible, but it must be somewhat dangerous to travel into a warzone. There are a bunch of people using the fact that actors are in the streets as an example that they’re overhyping the devastation of the war. First of all, how do you overhype a war’s devastation? It’s war for Pete’s sake! Secondly, it’s easy to discount bravery from behind a keyboard there, tough guy. I think what these Goodwill Ambassadors are doing is incredible. Maybe it’s at little risk or maybe much risk, it doesn’t matter. And I hope it reminds Pres. Zelensky and the Ukrainian people that we haven’t forgotten about them.

You can donate to UNHCR Refugee fund here.


Photo credit: InStar Images, Twitter and Instagram

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8 Responses to “Ben Stiller met with Ukraine President Zelensky as a UNHCR ambassador”

  1. K says:

    I pray every night for an end to this war. My fear is that this is just the beginning though. Unless something happens to Putin to change his mind. I highly doubt that. It says something about our times that a man like Zelensky stands out so much above just about every other world leader. My admiration knows no bounds for the Ukrainian people and their leaders.

    • Akko says:

      100% what you wrote. I lost interest in many things after the Russian invasion, it just doesn’t seem worthwhile when thinking of what Ukrainians and their friends in Ukraine are going through. Newfound respect to Ben Stiller and other celebrities bringing attention, and hopefully more aid.

  2. Flowerlake says:

    There was a Eurovision event yesterday with Eurovision participants and winners from Ukraine but also from other countries for Ukraine.

    Zelensky also left a message near the beginning of it.
    You can see the event here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4h0woLuKvlU

    They also show a lot about the country and its coountributions to the world during the event.

  3. Enny says:

    He didn’t just stay in the relative safety of the refugee areas of Poland. He actually entered a war zone and walked around to survey the devastation, and met with a leader who has survived countless assassination attempts. That not only called attention to the situation, but also took a great deal of bravery.

  4. Twin Falls says:

    I don’t know what else there is to be done globally and the longer this goes on the more I fear for Ukrainians. The devastation and destruction, people being forcibly deported. It’s so horrific I can’t truly comprehend it.

    • Flowerlake says:

      Yesterday on that Eurovision event, someone said it’s good every time one of us mentions Ukraine.
      So, this article by Hecate and the people replying here are already helping.

      If you can’t donate for any reason, you can watch youtube content by people who send the ad revenue to causes in Ukraine.

      This is an example, and you learn some interesting history too.
      (I knew this Youtuber from their history content already and it was great to see them doing this)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gF3NKIMplVw

      And the history of Olga of Kiev is like Game of Thrones, but with an actual smart person, so it’s definitely not boring to watch this 🙂

      • Twin Falls says:

        Thank you. I had no idea about YouTube ad revenue being sent there. I will definitely check them out starting with the link you provided.

      • Flowerlake says:

        @Twin Falls, You’re welcome 🙂

        Youtubers were using their ad revenue to send to other causes before, so I looked for it for causes related to Ukraine too.

        This video was one that I wanted to watch anyway, but then they did it with the ad revenue for this vid too 🙂

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