Actor Ben Stiller met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday in Kyiv, as he toured the war-torn country to bring attention to the plight of refugees.
Stiller, who serves as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations, was seen sitting next to the Ukrainian leader in photos released of his visit on World Refugee Day.
“Your trip to Irpin and Makariv, meetings with our people say a lot. We appreciate that you are here at this difficult time for our country,” Zelensky wrote in a message to Stiller on Telegram.
The “Zoolander” star has been meeting with families displaced by the Russian invasion.
“War and violence are devastating people all over the world,” Stiller said in a video message recorded in Ukraine. “Nobody chooses to flee their home.”
“Seeking safety is a right, and it needs to be upheld for every person,” he added.
Monday marked the 21st World Refugee Day, in which the United Nations and various non-governmental organizations draw attention to the plight of those forced to leave their homes for a better life worldwide.
The United Nations has called the war in Ukraine one of the largest forced displacements of civilians since World War II.
An estimated 13 million Ukrainians have been forced out of their homes since Russia invaded the country in late February. Of those, about 5 million have fled the country altogether, and 8 million are displaced internally within Ukraine.
Ninety percent of those fleeing the fighting are women and children, according to the UN.
Worldwide, it’s estimated some 100 million people have been displaced by war and violence.
UN statistics show nearly 7 million people have fled the fighting in Syria, and nearly 5 million have fled the instability in Venezuela.