Sean Penn loans Ukrainian President Zelensky a lucky charm

Source: Hot Air

Take this as a little bit of fluff, because that is what it is. It’s a nice story, nonetheless. Actor and documentarian Sean Penn made a trip to Ukraine recently, his third trip to Ukraine, the second since Putin invaded the country in February. He visited President Zelensky Tuesday and loaned him a lucky charm to show his faith in a Ukrainian victory.

The lucky charm was one of Penn’s Oscars. Zelensky has a career history in show biz so it was a logical gesture, I suppose, if Penn wanted to make a grand gesture. To the rest of us, it’s a Hollywood-type of thing, but whatever. The sentiment seems sincere. Zelensky at first refused to take it but then Penn said, “When you win, bring it back to Malibu.” It’s just on loan, not a real gift.

Penn is the first celebrity or public official that I know of who visited Zelensky after Putin invaded Ukraine in February. Penn was in-country making a documentary about Ukraine when the invasion happened. It’s been a lovefest between the two ever since.

“Sean brought his Oscar statuette as a symbol of faith in the victory of our country,” Zelenskyy, who was formerly an actor, wrote on Instagram alongside a video of Penn bestowing the award. “It will be in Ukraine until the end of the war.”

Penn has won two best-actor Oscars—for 2003’s Mystic River and 2008’s Milk. “It’s a symbolic, silly thing, but if I know this is here with you, then I’ll feel better and strong enough for the fight,” he told Zelenskyy during their meeting. “When you win, bring it back to Malibu. Because I’ll feel much better knowing there’s a piece of me here.”

Zelensky presented Penn with the Ukrainian Order of Merit on behalf of the Ukrainian people. The two men also took a walk along the “Walk of the Brave” and Zelensky pointed out a plaque engraved to honor Penn’s visit to Ukraine in February.

During their meeting, Zelenskyy presented Penn with an award, the Ukrainian Order of Merit, which is given to citizens for outstanding achievements in economics, science, culture, or military or political activity. Established by former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma in 1996, the award’s past recipients include Ukrainian academics and writers, as well as Soviet-era military commanders.

The video released by the president’s office then showed Penn and Zelenskyy walking around Kyiv and arriving at Constitution Square, across from the Ukrainian parliament building and presidential palace, where there is a “Walk of the Brave” — a walkway lined with plaques honoring world leaders who have shown solidarity with Ukraine. The walkway, which was inaugurated in August, features a square plaque laid in the ground engraved with Penn’s name and the date Feb. 24, 2022, the start of the invasion.

Pointing to the plaque, Penn told Zelenskyy that there were three places in the world that were the source of his pride: “The place where my daughter was born, the place where my son was born and this. Thank you.”

Yeah, we get it. They have bonded. It is a good reminder, though, that lots of Americans support and admire Zelensky’s fierce loyalty to Ukraine and his determination to fight against Putin annexing parts of Ukraine by claiming the land as Russian territory. Some Americans are becoming alarmed at how much aid, both financial and military, the United States is giving Ukraine, the vast majority of its support. None of our NATO partners are giving anywhere near what the U.S. is providing. Some conservatives in the House are putting future financial support to Ukraine in doubt.

It was an interesting gesture of support by Penn that Zelensky appreciated. Penn’s respect and admiration for Zelensky seem real. Zelensky has certainly earned the respect of many Americans with his fight for freedom against an unprovoked Russian invasion.