Russia permanently bans Ben Stiller and Sean Penn over Ukraine support

Joe Harker

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Russia permanently bans Ben Stiller and Sean Penn over Ukraine support

Featured Image Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc./Alamy Stock Photo/Uncredited/AP/Shutterstock

Russia has slapped Hollywood stars Ben Stiller and Sean Penn with a permanent ban from entering the country.

The Russian foreign ministry confirmed the ban in a statement, which was stacked with a list of prominent US politicians who will now not ever be allowed to enter Russia.

Politicians, lobbyists and businesspeople made up the majority of the list, but also on there were Ben Stiller and Sean Penn.

Russia claimed the sanctions were retaliation for 'ever-expanding personal sanctions by the Biden Administration', though quite what the pair of actors has to do with that is anyone's guess.

Since the Russian invasion, there have been major sanctions applied to Vladimir Putin's regime and many major businesses have pulled out of Russia altogether, leading to some suspiciously familiar substitutes cropping up.

Ben Stiller visited Ukraine and met Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Credit: UPI/Alamy Stock Photo
Ben Stiller visited Ukraine and met Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Credit: UPI/Alamy Stock Photo

Stiller and Penn have both made the journey to Ukraine since Russia invaded over six months ago, with Stiller telling Ukraininan president Volodymyr Zelenskyy: "You're my hero."

Penn was actually in Ukraine when the invasion launched and has also met with Zelenskyy since then.

The actor was one of many who had to flee the country on foot, crossing the border into Poland along with Ukrainian refugees before returning to the war-torn nation months later to spend time with Zelenskyy.

They aren't the only famous faces to have been hit with a ban from entering Russia, as acting legend Morgan Freeman got hit with the same punishment earlier this year.

The 85-year-old was slapped with sanctions as back in 2017 he featured in a video which accused the country of meddling in US democracy, Rob Reiner directed the video and was also placed on the ban list.

Other famous figures who aren't on the banned list have been scuppering their plans to travel to Russia.

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman had been intending to go to Russia and appeal for the release of Brittney Griner, who was found guilty of drug possession after vape canisters containing traces of cannabis oil were found in her airport luggage.

However, he later revealed that he had scuppered the trip after US officials told him if he went to try and secure Griner's release, he would be getting in the way of their efforts to have her set free.

Sean Penn was in Ukraine filming a documentary when Putin launched his invasion. Credit: @zelenskiy_official/instagram
Sean Penn was in Ukraine filming a documentary when Putin launched his invasion. Credit: @zelenskiy_official/instagram

There are currently over 1,000 people on Russia's permanent ban list including Stiller and Penn, with US president Joe Biden and vice president Kamala Harris also not allowed in.

It seems as though the ban doesn't even stop with the living, as US senator John McCain was hit with the sanction earlier this year - despite being dead since 2018.

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information 

Topics: News, Russia, Ukraine, Vladimir Putin, Volodymyr Zelensky

Joe Harker
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