american actor ben stiller He assured this Tuesday that he has collected “shocking stories” of refugees in Ukraine, after a visit as UN ambassador.
The star of movies like “Zoolander” went to the war-torn country as an ambassador for the UN refugee agency (UNHCR).
“The shocking stories of the people who suffered in the first days of this war … were very disturbing,” Stiller explained in a telephone conversation, while traveling from Ukraine to Poland.
The 56-year-old actor and director visited Irpin, a kyiv suburb particularly hard hit in the early days of the Russian invasion.
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“It’s impossible not to be affected when you see the physical destruction of these neighborhoods,” Stiller said.
“There was a very young boy who talked about all of it as if it were a horror movie (…), all these missiles that fell, not knowing if he had to stay or run,” added the actor.
“It is very hard to listen to a young person explain these things, you realize that the effects of war are not always visible,” he added.
Stiller said that he had met with the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky in kyiv on Monday.
“You are my hero,” says the actor who told the Ukrainian leader.
“What he has achieved, the way he has brought the country together, is really inspiring,” he added.
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“Yesterday I was in an almost dilapidated house, in a woman’s kitchen. She bought us some strawberries and she blurted out this incredibly strong phrase: ‘we have to think about how to get ahead’. You can’t help but think about what you would do if your house was half in ruins,” commented the actor.
Stiller has served as UN ambassador in Guatemala, Lebanon and Jordan.
“The work that UNHCR and NGOs do is very important. This war has caused 12 million people to be displaced, and even if the war ends, the problems it has created will continue for years,” he said.