Ben Stiller responds to being sanctioned by Russia with pro-Ukraine tweet

Actor Sean Penn among other Americans permanently banned from visiting Russia

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US actor Ben Stiller tweeted his public support for Ukraine on Tuesday, seemingly in response to being sanctioned by Russia.

Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Monday that the Zoolander star had been permanently banned from entering the country.

But the announcement did not seem to upset Stiller, who posted a picture of a coffee mug with the phrase “I love Lviv” inscribed on it and accompanied with the caption, “Good morning”.

Stiller, a UN global ambassador, visited the Ukrainian city of Lviv in June after meeting refugees in Poland earlier in the day. He also visited the city of Irpin in Ukraine,

“Millions have been forced to flee their homes with over 90 per cent being women and children. I’m here to learn, to share stories that illustrate the human impact of war and to amplify calls for solidarity,” he said in an Instagram post at the time.

On the same trip, he met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, whom Stiller called his hero.

“What you've done and the way you've rallied the country and the world, it's really inspiring,” he told Mr Zelenskyy in Kyiv.

Actor Sean Penn was also a target of Russia's latest round of sanctions, the country's foreign ministry said.

Penn, a two-time Oscar winner, was filming a documentary in Ukraine about the war in February when he and millions of others were forced to flee to Poland by foot. He has since become a vocal supporter of Mr Zelenskyy.

Penn has yet to publicly comment on being sanctioned by Moscow.

The latest list also includes US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and six US senators.

Other Americans previously sanctioned by Moscow include President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and actor Morgan Freeman.

This came in response to Washington's sanctioning of Russian President Vladimir Putin, his daughters and others close to him as well as a number of oligarchs over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, which the Kremlin has called a “special military operation”.

Updated: September 06, 2022, 8:18 PM