Sean Penn gives one of his Oscars to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Virgin Radio

9 Nov 2022, 10:30

Sean Penn and Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Credit: Rex

Sean Penn has given one of his Oscars to the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy as a “symbol of faith” amid the country's continued conflict with Russia.

The actor won an Oscar in 2004 and again 2009 and has given one of his statuettes to the president on his third visit to the countryduring the war with Russia.

While handing Zelenskyy the award, Penn told the president: “If I know this is here with you, then I’ll feel better and stronger for the fight.”

During their last meeting, the actor was also presented with the Order of Merit of the III degree by Zelenskyy, who also thanked him for his “significant contribution” to his country’s war effort.

He was also honoured by having his name engraved on a stone on the Walk of the Brave, which celebrates “brave people who have stood with Ukraine from the very beginning” and includes many world leaders who have aided the country during the conflict.

Zelenskyy posted a series of photos on his Instagram of himself and Penn with the caption: “American actor and film director Sean Penn @seanpenn came to Ukraine for the third time during the full-scale war already.

“This time our meeting was special. Sean brought his Oscar statuette as a symbol of faith in the victory of our country. It will be in Ukraine until the end of the war.

“It was with great pleasure that I presented Sean Penn with the Order of Merit of the III degree. Thank you for such sincere support and significant contribution to the popularization of Ukraine in the world.”

This comes as Penn is set to be honoured with the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award by the Television Academy for his “decades of activism”. He will be recognised for his efforts at the organisation’s 26th ceremony next week (16th November).