Celebs react as war rages in Ukraine
Celebrities are taking to social media with reactions to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Hollywood star Angelina Jolie said she was working with humanitarian partners to help refugees fleeing the war as Russian forces pounded Ukrainian cities with shells and missiles.
“Like many of you, I’m praying for the people in Ukraine,” she said on Instagram.
Fellow actress Blake Lively shared on Instagram a photo of a child being handed into what looked like a train carriage, saying she and Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds had committed to doubling every dollar donated to the non-profit USA for UNHCR, up to a million. Reynolds tweeted a similar message.
The acronym stands for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Sports stars were also speaking up.
Russian tennis player Andrey Rublev, who won a tournament in Dubai, scribbled “No war please” on a live camera lens. His doubles partner is Ukrainian Denys Molchanov.
Meanwhile, the Russian invasion forces were reportedly meeting stiff resistance from Ukrainian defenders.
A Ukrainian presidential adviser said about 3,500 Russian soldiers had been killed or wounded. Russia has not released casualty figures, and Reuters reported that it was impossible to verify tolls or the precise picture on the ground.
But western officials have said intelligence showed Russia suffering higher casualties than expected and its advance slowing.
At least 198 Ukrainians, including three children, have been killed and 1,115 people wounded so far, Ukraine’s Health Ministry was quoted as saying.
Western allies were preparing a sweeping new set of sanctions aimed at freezing Russia out of the international banking system.
Among the celebs reacting to the war news was also former US president Donald Trump, who was at a conservative gathering in Florida.
Mr Trump, who was earlier singing praises of Russian president Vladimir Putin, suddenly changed his tune on Saturday (Feb 26).
He condemned the invasion and said he was praying for the Ukrainians.