President Zelensky receives a visit from ... Ben Stiller

(Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP, File)

President Volodymyr Zelensky received a visitor from Hollywood on Monday. Actor Ben Stiller crossed over into Ukraine from Poland to meet Zelensky and tell him that he is his hero. Or something. Stiller is a long-term Goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The UNHCR is the UN’s refugee agency. Stiller walked among the bombed-out buildings in the city of Irpin where Russian forces have bombed residential buildings.


Stiller’s travels were perfect for social media postings. First, he landed in Poland and visited refugees displaced because of the Russian war in Ukraine. The theme is that everyone has the right to seek safety.

On Saturday, Stiller stopped over in the large south-eastern Polish city of Rzeszow, close to the border, where he spoke to aid workers in a storage facility.

More than 3.5 million people are thought to have crossed over into Poland since the war began in February.

Stiller’s trip is aimed at helping share ‘stories of the human impact of war’ and to ‘amplify calls for solidarity’.

By Monday he was in Ukraine and ready to meet with Zelensky.


In a video posted to his Instagram account, Stiller said: ‘Hey, I’m Ben Stiller, and I’m here in Ukraine. I’m meeting people who’ve been impacted by the war and hearing how it’s changed their lives. Stiller arrived in Poland on Saturday before heading across the border to the Ukraine. More than 3.5 million Ukrainians have fled since the war began.

Stiller emphasized the plight of refugees seeking safety in a nod to World Refugee Day. When he met with Zelensky, the two men expressed mutual admiration for each other.

‘War and violence are devastating people all over the world. Nobody chooses to flee their home. Seeking safety is a right, and it needs to be upheld for every person.’

He later met with President Zelensky where the pair discussed the importance of the world remembering the on-going conflict with Russia.

‘Sir, really nice to meet you. Thanks for taking the time. You’re my hero,’ Stiller told Zelensky as he approached him and shook his hand.

The Hollywood star then complimented the President on his ‘great acting career’, to which Zelensky laughed, and replied: ‘Not as great as you’.

Stiller then told him that he was inspired by Zelensky, ‘for what you’ve done in this country and for the world’.


I’m not here to slam Stiller for taking the trip and milking it was exposure on social media. I just don’t know what the trip accomplished. Perhaps it was only to acknowledge World Refugee Day and fulfill his commitments to the U.N. It’s a dangerous trip to make and it’s good for public figures to show support for Ukrainians. But, Stiller’s visit doesn’t seem as substantial as earlier visits made by Sean Penn. Penn is doing a documentary on Ukraine and filmed as Russia began its invasion into the country. He was the first public figure and celebrity to meet with Zelensky and help get his message out to the world. Frankly, at this point, Stiller calling Zelensky a hero is something most free people already do. His courage and steadfastness as the leader of his country has been awe-inspiring.

Social media is a good tool to use to reach a large audience. Some of the pictures in the posts looked staged, Hollywood style.

Stiller took to Twitter and posting a photograph of himself speaking with two aid workers, said: ‘I’ve just arrived in Poland with UNHCR, to meet families whose lives have been torn apart by war and violence in Ukraine.

‘Millions have been forced to flee their homes with over 90% being women and children.

‘I’m here to learn, to share stories that illustrate the human impact of war and to amplify calls for solidarity.

‘I hope you’ll follow along and share your own messages of support, for people who have fled their homes in Ukraine and for people who have been forced to flee all over the world.

‘Everyone has the right to seek safety. Whoever, wherever, whenever.’


Joe Biden is on vacation in Delaware at his beach house and took the time to acknowledge World Refugee Day.

He conflates refugees and immigrants. We are a nation of legal immigrants and a nation of laws. Joe Biden took that history and threw it out the window when he came into office. He and his administration refuse to enforce the immigration laws on the books and the southern border is a humanitarian disaster. The Biden border crisis is self-made and deliberate. His tweet is particularly ironic given his treatment of Afghan refugees. He left them hanging as he turned over Afghanistan to the Taliban. That’s a stain that he’ll never wash away.

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