Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Sean Penn says Ukraine ‘will win’ war against Russia but cost remains unclear

Penn said that ‘no one on the planet has been tested in leadership’ like Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.

Peony Hirwani
Wednesday 06 April 2022 05:48 BST
‘This is the torture of the whole nation’: Zelensky says Russia is committing ‘genocide’

Sean Penn says Ukraine “will win” the ongoing war with Russia but that the cost of victory remains unclear.

The 61-year-old filmmaker and Oscar-winning actor said “no one on the planet has been tested in leadership” like Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.

Penn, who has been in and out of Ukraine while making a documentary about the ongoing Russian invasion, appeared on Fox News’s Hannity on Tuesday (5 April) evening.

“I’ve never felt this way about Ukraine or about where our country is, and what I experienced emotionally in Ukraine,” he told host Sean Hannity.

“We all talk about how divided things are here, but when you step into a country of such incredible unity, you realise what we’ve all been missing.

“These people are fighting for the very dreams that are the aspirations of all of us Americans.”

Speaking about Zelensky’s leadership he said: “I don’t know that there’s a person on earth that could know that they were born for such a day, that they could rise to it.

“In him, I saw something that I’ve never seen before in my lifetime… this extraordinary courage was in his eyes. No one on the planet has been tested in leadership like this one human being.”

He added: “It is clear to me, the Ukrainians will win this, the question is at what cost.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky (Getty Images)

“The Ukrainians are fighting to win and they’re fighting to win for the very thing we’re able to do right now, to be free, to dream.”

Penn declined to give his thoughts on what “direct action” should be taken against Russian leader Vladimir Putin, but he said: “If there is a God, there will be vengeance beyond all possible comprehension.”

Apple TV+ logo

Watch Apple TV+ free for 7 days

New subscribers only. £8.99/mo. after free trial. Plan auto-renews until cancelled

Try for free
Apple TV+ logo

Watch Apple TV+ free for 7 days

New subscribers only. £8.99/mo. after free trial. Plan auto-renews until cancelled

Try for free

The actor was branded as an “enemy of the state” by Hannity back in 2007, but said he now wore the comment as “a badge of honour” as he refused to get drawn into a political debate by the host.

Penn later appeared on the more left-leaning MSNBC on the show The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell to heap further praise on President Zelensky.

The Oscar-winner has been actively involved in humanitarian projects throughout the years, including founding the non-profit organisation CORE (Community Organised Relief Effort) in response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

Additional reporting by outlets

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in