After months of build up, Russian forces began a military invasion of neighboring Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, on the orders of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The attacks came from land, sea and air. Like many in the world, celebrities reacted with horror and support. See what they had to say, starting with Elon Musk… "Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route," Elon Musk wrote on Twitter on Feb. 26, 2022, hours after Mykhailo Fedorov — the vice prime minister of Ukraine and minister of digital transformation of Ukraine — tweeted him amid the Russian invasion asking, "@elonmusk, while you try to colonize Mars — Russia try to occupy Ukraine! While your rockets successfully land from space — Russian rockets attack Ukrainian civil people! We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations and to address sane Russians to stand."
On Feb. 26, 2022, Sean Penn, who in Ukraine filming a documentary on the conflict, tweeted, "Already a brutal mistake of lives taken and hearts broken, and if he doesn't relent, I believe Mr. Putin will have made a most horrible mistake for all of humankind. President Zelensky and the Ukrainian people have risen as historic symbols of courage and principle. Ukraine is the tip of the spear for the democratic embrace of dreams. If we allow it to fight alone, our soul as America is lost."
"I am heartbroken and dumbstruck trying to process the events of this week in my birthplace of Ukraine. My country and people being bombed. Friends and family in hiding. My blood and my roots come from both Russia and Ukraine. I am torn in two as I watch the horror unfolding, the country being destroyed, families being displaced, their whole life lying in charred fragments around them," Ukraine-born actress Milla Jovovich wrote on Instagram. "I remember the war in my father's homeland of former Yugoslavia and the stories my family tells of the trauma and terror they experienced. War. Always war. Leaders who cannot bring peace. The never ending juggernaut of imperialism. And always, the people pay in bloodshed and tears."
"In October 2020 we had the privilege to meet President Zelenskyy and the First Lady to learn of their hope and optimism for Ukraine's future. Today we stand with the President and all of Ukraine's people as they bravely fight for that future" –Britain's Prince William and Duchess Kate tweeted on Feb. 26, 2022 — a surprising statement since members of the U.K.'s ryal family do not usually comment on political matters
"I have personally witnessed the strength of the Ukrainian people who fought so hard for their independence and have continued to passionately defend their country over the years," actress Hayden Panettiere — who shares a daughter with Ukrainian former world heavyweight championship boxer Wladimir Klitschko — wrote on Instagram on Feb. 25, 2022. "What Putin is doing is an absolute disgrace! This horrific moment in history sends a terrifying message: the message that in this day and age, in [the] year 2022, it's okay to violate the rights of free people and allow autocrats like Putin to take whatever they please. I'm praying for my family and friends there and everyone who's fighting. I wish you had more support and I wish I was there fighting with you! For now, I ask for those of us who can't be there to stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and show your support for #democracy. Continue to look for updates from @klitschko and @vitaliyklitschko #demo4democracy."
"I stand with Ukraine," Ashton Kutcher — whose wife, actress Mila Kunis, is original from Ukraine — tweeted on Feb. 24, 2022
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"My parents fled this country for this exact reason. Not because it wasn't good to them, but because their kids would see war eventually. It's a cruel irony that 28 years later my brother [Maksim] is in a bombshelter in Kiev. If they hadn't left I would be on the front lines defending my home right now. And the most heartbreaking thing of all I would be either killing or dying at the hands of my fellow brothers. The Russian people don't want this!! We stood by each others side. We loved and celebrated one another. I speak Russian yes but make no mistake about it, I am a proud Ukranian and now the world will finally know the difference. Slava Ukraini all day every day! And to all my Russian friends this might be the best and only time t stand up to your dictator." –"Dancing With the Stars" pro Val Chmerkovskiy, who posted this on Instagram on Feb. 25, 2022
"Dancing With The Stars" alum Maksim Chmerkovskiy was in Kyiv, Ukraine, when the attacks began and recorded several Instagram videos that he began sharing on Feb. 24, 2022. "There's ALWAYS another way! WAR is NEVER an answer! #standwithukraine. P.S. I will never be the same. This is stressful and I'm getting old feelings back, like I've done this before. This does feel like the way it was when and why we left in the 90s. Like my old PTSD I've finally fixed is coming back. I literally only just forgot about those 'always on the edge' feelings and actually started worrying about things like bbq grills. I'm crying as I'm typing this because all man deserves to worry about 'bbq grills' and not f****** war. Hug your loved ones," he wrote alongside a post. In a live video, in which air raid sirens could be heard, the Ukraine-born dancer added, "In 2022's civilized world, this is not the way we do things. I think the Russians need to get up and actually say something, because no one's opinion is being heard. This is all one man's ambition of something, and however convenient it sounds in Moscow, however comfortable you are where you are in Russia, I just don't think this is the right thing." Maksim then said he was going to a bomb shelter and later that night reported that he was safe.
"Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and all of us at Archewell stand with the people of Ukraine against this breach of international and humanitarian law and encourage the global community and its leaders to do the same." —a statement posted to on Archewell.com on Feb. 24, 2022
"Like many of you, I'm praying for the people in Ukraine. My focus along with my @refugees colleagues is that everything possible is done to ensure the protection and basic human rights of those displaced, and refugees in the region. We have already seen reports of casualties and people starting to flee their homes to seek safety. It is too soon to know what will happen, but the significance of this moment – for the people of Ukraine, and for the international rule of law – cannot be overstated" –Angelina Jolie, on Instagram on Feb. 24, 2022
"I have been asked to do several interviews, but I believe the news should continue to focus on what's happening on the ground — on the tragedy that has broken our hearts and on the courage of the Ukrainian people that has inspired us. I am not a foreign policy expert, so I will leave the analysis to smarter people than me. I do know what it's like to grow up after a war, in an occupied country, and I know that in war and its aftermath, no one wins. Everyone suffers. War has a way of breaking the winners along with the losers. I have Ukrainian friends and fans and I have Russian friends and fans. As far as I can tell, none of them want this. I hope sanity will eventually prevail and end this unnecessary war before too many lives are broken. In the meantime, I stand with the people of Ukraine. I share your grief and your hope for peace. You inspire me with your bravery and your humanity in the face of this nightmare. God bless you." –actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
"Wish these world leaders [would] stop tripping about power and really think about who's really getting affected (citizens) besides the whole world is in a crisis. War, sanctions, invasions should be the last thing these leaders should worry about… I'm really not on NATO's side, I'm really not on the Russian side, I'm actually in the citizens' side, because at the end of the day, the world is having a crisis right now." –Cardi B
"I woke up this morning with texts from my Ukrainian family & friends saying 'it has begun.' Some fleeing, some taking shelter underground & some stayin to fight. We are a peaceful country. We do not deserve this war. #IStandWithUkraine." –"Vikings" actress Katheryn Winnick — whose parents are from Ukraine — who posted this on her Instagram Story on Feb. 24, 2022
"What is happening in Ukraine at the moment is so utterly devastating. It's grotesque to witness what one man's ambition and ego can account for. I'm praying for everyone suffering and so angered and distraught by the state of the world. My heart goes out to the people trapped in this horrific situation" –Eiza Gonzalez on her Instagram Story on Feb. 24, 2022
"B STRONG UKRAINE UPDATE: We are in motion to ship 100,000 hygiene kits, #Bstrong survival kits, blankets, generators, sleeping bags to Ukraine's NATO boarding countries. This initial commitment of supplies will exceed $10M. Our teams will be on the ground in Rzeszów, Poland Friday to set up base camps for refugee operations with our Polish and Ukrainian partners. We're also working with military professionals, former Green Berets, and airlifting shipping boxes today. Airways are closed and it's taking 7 hours to exit Kiev.#thisisacrisis Donate to Bstrong at bethenny.com/bstrong [100%] goes to the effort and we will be the first base camp for refugee distribution supplies. Bstrong in partnership with @globalempowermentmission #thisisacrisis #ukraine #donate" –Bethenny Frankel, who shared this update on Instagram on Feb. 24, 2022, about how her foundation is helping the crisis in Ukraine
"This morning was heartbreaking waking up to the news that Ukraine had been invaded. I had the most incredible experience filming 'Nothing Breaks Like a Heart' in Kyiv, and I will be forever grateful to the local community who welcomed me with open arms. There are local reports that at least 40 local Ukrainians have been killed already, and this conflict can lead to many more deaths, another refugee crisis with so many forced to flee their homes and more. I am standing in solidarity with everyone in Ukraine who is affected by this attack and with our global community who is calling for an immediate end to this violence." —Miley Cyrus, who posted this message on her Instagram Story on Feb. 24, 2022
"My heart is hurting for the Ukraine and all those affected by this unimaginable reality. Putin's actions are a threat to every Democratic country in the world and must be stopped. I pray that the support other countries provide can give the Ukrainians what they have voted for and deserve. Peace. Peace. Peace. HANDS OFF UKRAINE." –Gigi Hadid, on her Instagram Story on Feb. 25, 2022
"This is an act of war by a bully-boy thug who doesn't think the rest of the world has the guts or will to stop him… Shameful." –Piers Morgan
"This is happening now. Pay attention. Speak up. I can't believe celebrities and influencers are posting about their latest success or newest bag when children, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters are being killed. While I realize that there is a limit to what social media can accomplish, I also think it can do much more than simply being a self serving platform. Ukraine I am praying for you Ukraine." –Shannen Doherty, who posted this message alongside a photo of a devastated family in Ukraine on Instagram on Feb. 24, 2022
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"Now that the tanks, soldiers and war machinery are on the brink of entering Ukraine…what now? The hell that 'warfare' unleashes? A frenzy of blood letting.. Crushing of flesh and bones.. The collective trauma of suffering of pain, grief, anguish and despair for innocent men, women and children? What kind of 'price' must ordinary people pay for the nightmarish madness and brutality of 'invasion' and 'warfare'? Or is this just an elaborate hoax? A scare tactic? A threat? Apologies for this dark reflection, but I've had the privilege of living in a 'peaceful' context since I was born – a decade after the end of WW2 – 67 years in total. I don't take this for granted in any way and therefore find the notion of 'war' to be unacceptable repugnant barbarism. Sorry friendsI just had to express this." –Annie Lennox wrote on Feb. 23
"Russia's attack on Ukraine constitutes the gravest security crisis on the European continent since World War II. I join the international community in condemning Vladimir Putin's unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine. The American government and people must stand in solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people as they seek freedom and the right to choose their own future." -George W. Bush
"Byline suggests that Ukraine threatens Putin because it's struggling to become a democracy, and it's also trying to fight corruption Putin knows that if these ideas spread, they would be fatal to him. As they would to the Trump Republicans No wonder they are supporting Putin" –John Cleese
"What most of us learned as kids on the playground: You don't stand by while a big kid beats up a little kid. You might take a punch or two making the big kid stop, but that's the right thing to do." –Stephen King
"Remember, we are all family. Think PEACE, Act PEACE, Spread PEACE, Imagine PEACE. Together, we will shift the axis of the world to PEACE." –Yoko Ono
"Now, the Russian president is using war rhetoric … he makes it clear that he wants to destroy the Ukrainian state and the sovereignty of its people. Words are followed by missiles and tanks. Destruction and death come upon us. … We will defend ourselves with all our might and fight for freedom and democracy." –Ukrainian former heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko
"Dear President Vladimir Putin. I'm so sorry that I was not your mother. If I was your mother, you would have been so loved, held in the arms of joyous light. Never with this story's plight, the world unfurled before our eyes a pure demise of nation's sitting peaceful under a night sky. If I was your mother, the world would have been warm. So much laughter and joy and nothing would harm. I can't imagine the stain, the soul-stealing pain that the little boy you must have seen and believed and the formulation of thought quickly taught that you lived in a cruel, unjust world. Is this why you now decide no one will get the best of you? Is this why you do not hide nor away shy from taking back the world?" –AnnaLynne McCord, who posted a video with this message on Twitter on Feb. 24, 2022
"The protests in Russia from brave citizens there, risking true life and liberty to voice their opposition to Putin's war with Ukraine, make the 'convoys' protest in North America over 'freedum' seem truly ludicrous." –George Takei