Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has praised actress Jessica Chastain for aiding his country amid the nation’s ongoing conflict with Russia.
The politician, 44, and Head of the Presidential Administration Andriy Yermak, 50, met with the American screen star, 45, in a closed format in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on Sunday.
President Zelenskyy thanked Jessica and similar Hollywood stars for visiting Ukraine amid the war in a statement shared on messaging service Telegram after the meeting: ‘American actress Jessica Chastain is in Ukraine today. For us, such visits of famous people are extremely valuable.
‘Thanks to this, the world will hear, know and understand the truth about what is happening in our country even more.’
While in Kyiv, Jessica visited children’s hospital Okhmatdyt to meet the young people who are being treated from the war-torn cities of Kherson and Chernihiv, before travelling to the city of Irpin.
In June, Ukraine thanked its Hollywood A-list visitors Ben Stiller, Sean Penn, Liev Schreiber and Angelina Jolie for visiting the war-torn country during Russia’s savage invasion.
The Ministry of Defence said in a tweet that the country is ‘grateful to Hollywood stars who, despite the danger, have visited us’.
A statement read: ‘You are more than just an inspiration to all of us. Millions around the world have heard the truth from you about the struggle of the Ukrainian people.’
Angelina is a special envoy with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and visited Ukraine in April where she met with volunteers and refugees.
Sean was in the country when war broke out and has been making a documentary about President of Russia Vladimir Putin’s barbaric invasion.
The actor also held a benefit concert, raising £2million for the war victims.
Spotlight star Liev helped found a network to support and verify grassroots organisations helping Ukraine.
Ben was one of the most recent celebrities to pay a visit in which he met with President Volodymr Zelensky in June.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what President Vladimir Putin termed a ‘special military operation’, the conflict has settled into a war of attrition fought largely in Ukraine’s east and south.
Fighting over the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, captured by Russian forces in the opening stage of the war but still run by Ukrainian technicians, has raised the prospect of a wider disaster.
Shells hit a high-voltage power line at the facility on Friday, forcing its operators to disconnect a reactor to prevent the possibility of radiation leaks.
Another bout of shelling yesterday hit a storage facility at the plant said to contain nuclear waste and injured one worker.
The United States has accused Russia of using the facility as a ‘nuclear shield’ by moving large amounts of troops, ammunition and military equipment to the area, in the knowledge that Ukraine’s armed forces are highly unlikely to launch an attack on its own power plant, particularly with the looming threat of nuclear disaster.
Russia is trying to gain control of the largely Russian-speaking Donbas region in the east, comprised of Luhansk and Donetsk provinces, where pro-Moscow separatists seized territory after the Kremlin annexed Crimea in 2014.
Ukraine’s military said late on Saturday that Russian forces had shelled dozens of front-line towns and were trying to attack in six different areas in the Donetsk region, though had struggled to gain any ground.
Zelensky said that over the past week his forces had ‘achieved powerful results’ in destroying Russia’s logistics supplies and rear bases.
‘Every strike on the enemy’s ammunition depots, on their command posts, and on accumulations of Russian equipment saves the lives of all of us, the lives of Ukrainian military and civilians,’ he said in a late-night video address.
British military intelligence said earlier that Russian forces were almost certainly amassing in the south, anticipating a counter-offensive or in preparation for an assault, and the war was about to enter a new phase, with most fighting shifting to a nearly 220 miles-long front from near Zaporizhzhia to Kherson, parallel to the Dnieper River.
Ukraine’s forces were focusing on hitting bridges, ammunition depots, and rail links with growing frequency in its southern regions, including the strategically important railroad spur that links Kherson to Russian-occupied Crimea, it said.