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Ben Stiller met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Monday as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to commemorate World Refugee Day.
Stiller visited occupied settlements in the war-torn country’s Kyiv region and spoke with occupation survivors in Irpin before meeting Zelenskyy.
“It’s one thing to see this destruction on TV or on social media. It’s another thing to see it all with your own eyes. It’s much more shocking,” Stiller said.
“What you saw in Irpin is really appalling. But it’s even worse to imagine what is happening in the settlements that are still under temporary occupation in the east,” Zelenskyy replied.
At one point in the meeting, Stiller told Zelenskyy, “you are my hero.”
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Stiller was joined by UNHCR Representative in Ukraine Karolina Lindholm Billing during the visit to the president’s office.
During their meeting, Zelenskyy “highlighted the violation of the rights of Ukrainians forcibly deported to Russia, including children.”
The group also discussed the needs of people displaced from their homes, including people in Poland.
“It was an honor to meet President @ZelenskyyUa on #WorldRefugeeDay as part of my visit with UNHCR @Refugees to stand in solidarity with people forced to flee in Ukraine and around the world, and bring more attention to the situation humanitarian,” Stiller tweeted to his millions of fans.
“I meet people who have been affected by war and hear how it has changed their lives,” he said in a separate video for UNHCR.
“War and violence devastate people all over the world. No one chooses to flee their home. Seeking safety is a right. And it must be respected for every person.”
Stiller has supported UNHCR projects for years as a “refugee rights advocate” and became a Goodwill Ambassador in 2018.
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