Leonardo DiCaprio donates funds to Ukraine after incorrect reports circulate online

Several other actors such as Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher have also donated funds to Ukraine

Peony Hirwani
Wednesday 09 March 2022 12:53 GMT
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Leonardo DiCaprio has donated funds to Ukraine after his team debunked an earlier report about a supposed £7.6m donation to the country.

On Tuesday (8 March), Polish News published a report stating that DiCaprio donated $10m (£7.6m) to his grandmother’s native country of Ukraine, which has been fighting a Russian invasion for the past two weeks.

According to the Associated Press, however, a person close to the 47-year-old actor said that neither DiCaprio’s donation nor the details of his heritage were accurate in the since-deleted story.

The source revealed the news to AP on the condition of anonymity, because they weren’t authorised to speak publicly about the matter.

The incorrect report mentioned that DiCaprio had a personal connection to the war-ridden nation, as his maternal grandmother Helene Indenbirken was born in Odesa.

It also reported that the actor’s donation to Ukraine was announced by the International Visegrad Fund (IVF).

However, Lucia Becová, the public relations manager of IVF, told The Independent that they are “not aware” of any such announcement.

“We are not aware, neither do we have any information about Leonardo DiCaprio donating $10m (£7.6m) to Ukraine,” Becová said. “International Visegrad Fund has not announced this information.”

According to AP, the source revealed that DiCaprio has, however, donated to the humanitarian groups CARE, International Rescue Committee, the United Nation‘s High Commissioner for Refugees, and Save the Children in support of Ukraine.

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The details of exactly how much donation the actor made has not been disclosed.

Firefighters try to extinguish a fire after a chemical warehouse was hit by Russian shelling in Ukraine
Firefighters try to extinguish a fire after a chemical warehouse was hit by Russian shelling in Ukraine (Getty Images)

Several other actors have also donated funds to Ukraine amid the ongoing crisis.

Last week, Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher said they will match donations of up to $3m (£2.25m) to help supply humanitarian aid to Ukrainian refugees.

Kunis, who was born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, said in a video on Instagram: “The events that have unfolded in Ukraine are devastating. There is no place in this world for this kind of unjust attack on humanity.”

“I have always considered myself an American, a proud American. I love everything this country has done for myself and my family. But today, I have never been more proud to be a Ukrainian.”

Vladimir Putin declared war on Ukraine on 24 February, describing it as a “special military operation” to disarm the eastern European country and remove leaders who he described as neo-Nazis.

Nato and its allies have viewed this as a pretext for an invasion to conquer the entire of Ukraine and install a pro-Russian administration.

The war in Ukraine has forced over two million residents to flee the country, and hundreds have either died or have been injured. It is the fastest exodus of people Europe has seen since the Second World War, officials have said, warning that the war could displace nearly five million people.

At least three people died on Thursday 10 March after Russia’s attack on a maternity hospital in Mariupol, according to the Ukrainian city’s deputy mayor – including a six-year-old child. Seventeen others were injured, including pregnant women.

  • This article was amended on March 10, 2022, as an earlier version inaccurately reported that Mr DiCaprio had made the donation of £7.6.million.

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered.

To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

Additional reporting by AP

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