Actor and director Sean Penn on Tuesday gave Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenskyy one of his Oscars as a symbol of strength and asked the leader to keep it until his country can defeat Russia.

Penn’s visit to Ukraine on Tuesday was the third since its war with Russia has started.

“It’s just symbolic nonsense, but if I know this is here with you, I’ll feel better and stronger for the fights,” Penn said in a video posted online from Zelenskyy’s office. “When you win, take it back to Malibu.”

Zelenskyy initially turned down the Oscar, but eventually accepted the offer.

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Actor and director Sean Penn on Tuesday gave Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenskyy one of his Oscars as a symbol of strength and asked the leader to keep it until his country can defeat Russia.
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“We have to win,” the president said.

He later wrote in a post: “Sean brought his Oscar statuette as a symbol of faith in our country’s victory. He will be in Ukraine until the end of the war.”

Penn has won two Oscars for Best Actor during his career. He received the first prize in 2003 for his role in the movie “Mystic River” and the second in 2008 for “Milk”.

Zelenskyy also presented Penn an award during their meeting, bestowing the actor with the 3rd degree Order of Merit for his support of Ukraine. Penn’s name will be added to the “Walk of the Brave” in Kiev in honor of foreign leaders and representatives who have offered significant support to Ukraine.

Penn's visit to Ukraine on Tuesday was the third since its war with Russia has started.

Penn’s visit to Ukraine on Tuesday was the third since its war with Russia has started.

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Penn’s last visiting meeting with Zelenskyy was in June. The Hollywood director was also in Ukraine on February 24, the day Russia launched its invasion, while he was filming his documentary on the ongoing crisis that was already in the works.

He was one of thousands of people forced to flee on foot to Poland when Russian missiles started hitting Ukrainian cities.

Penn has won two Oscars for Best Actor during his career.  He received the first prize in 2003 for his role in the film "mystical river" and the second in 2008 for "Milk."

Penn has won two Oscars for Best Actor during his career. He received the first prize in 2003 for his role in the movie “Mystic River” and the second in 2008 for “Milk”.

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The actor hosted fundraisers through his charity CORE in support of Ukraine. In the spring, he even considered taking up arms to defend the war-torn country.

In September, Moscow banned Penn and fellow actor Ben Stiller, another vocal critic of the war, from entering Russia.

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