Hollywood stars Sean Penn and Ben Stiller are on a list of 25 US citizens sanctioned by Russia in response to their public criticism of the war on Ukraine.
The Foreign Ministry included the actors on a new list consisting mainly of politicians, business officials and industrial executives whom it placed under sanctions and barred from entering Russia.
Stiller and Penn were strong supporters of Ukraine in the conflict and met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr
Zelenskyy in high-level demonstrations of support.
In a televised reunion in Kyiv in June, Stiller, star of Zoolander, Meet The Parents and Dodgeball, told Mr Zelenskyy: “You are my hero”.
Twice Oscar winner Penn was in Ukraine to record a documentary when Russia invaded on February 24. He was forced to flee on foot, joining the millions of Ukrainians who passed through Poland in the early days of the war.
He has been a strong supporter of Ukraine ever since, returning to the country in June to meet the Ukrainian leader.
Penn also visited Bucha and Irpin near Kyiv, the sites of alleged atrocities against civilians by Russian forces, and President Zelenskyy publicly thanked Penn for his support.
Russia denies targeting civilians in what it calls a “special military operation” to protect Russian-speaking Ukraine from persecution and defuse a Western threat to its security.
Kyiv and the West say these are baseless pretexts for a war of aggression.
The sanctions freeze all Russian assets held by those on the list, ban Russian citizens from doing business with
them, and ban them from traveling to Russia.
The list also included US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, four assistant secretaries of commerce and six US senators.
The West imposed an unprecedented barrage of economic and personal sanctions on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.
Moscow has retaliated with tit-for-tat sanctions against politicians, business leaders and cultural figures it says
are hostile to Russia.
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