The Kremlin has released a new list of personal sanctions banning 25 Americans from entering Russia, Bloomberg reports. The list, released today, includes Sean Penn and Ben Stiller, who have both been vocal in their support for Ukraine during the ongoing conflict. Penn is an activist who heads his own non-profit while Stiller serves as a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees; both have recently visited Ukraine amidst the ongoing conflict.
The official statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation reads:
“In response to the ever-expanding personal sanctions by the Biden Administration against Russian citizens, against another group of persons from among members of the U.S. Congress, high-ranking officials, representatives of the business and expert communities, as well as cultural figures (25 people), a ban on entry into the Russian Federation on a permanent basis. The following is a list of names of American citizens who are included in the Russian ‘stop list,’ based on the principle of reciprocity.”
Others on the list include US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, Mike Rounds of South Dakota, Rick Scott of Florida, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, along with leaders in government, academics, and business. Previous sanctions have included American President Joe Biden, members of his family, and prominent lawmakers and business leaders. The United States has also banned Russian officials and business leaders.
During his time visiting the war-torn country this June, Stiller met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (whom he called his “hero”) and displaced Ukranians, and visited occupied settlements in Kyiv. At the time, he released an Instagram video, saying:
“I’m meeting people who have been impacted by the war and hearing how it’s changed their lives. War and violence are devastating people all over the world. Nobody chooses to flee their homes. Seeking safety is a right and it needs to be upheld for every person.”
Penn’s Upcoming Documentary with Vice Studios
Penn visited Ukraine in February for a documentary centered around the ongoing invasion. The upcoming documentary is a Vice Studios production and will be produced collaboratively with Endeavor Content and Vice World News. Penn has stated that he was in contact with Zelensky before the war broke out. That same month, the Mystic River actor released a statement that urged the United States to take action:
“Already a brutal mistake of lives taken and hearts broken, and if he doesn’t relent, I believe Mr. Putin will have made a most horrible mistake for all of humankind. President Zelensky and the Ukrainian people have risen as historic symbols of courage and principle. Ukraine is the tip of the spear for the democratic embrace of dreams. If we allow it to fight alone, our soul as America is lost.”
Penn has never been shy about voicing his views on politics: he previously visited Iraq to protest a military strike being planned by the Bush administration and visited Iran to secure the release of two Americans freed by Iran.
Penn is the founder of the non-profit CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort), which is currently aiding Ukrainian refugees inhabiting Poland.