Angelina Jolie Visits Lviv, Ukraine, To Meet With Injured And Displaced Children, Gets Interrupted By Air-Raid Sirens

The Russo-Ukrainian war is in its 68th day. Over two months have passed since lives were first uprooted and fear instilled throughout a nation wanting nothing more than to live at peace. Amid the tragedy, we’ve seen some amazing examples of strength, unity and humanity that bring hope that once the war ceases, we’ll be able to rebuild what was lost and honor those that would never come home.

But for those that remain in Ukraine in this trying time, any and all support is welcomed. Some of the biggest celebrities have come forth to offer aid and use their platforms to invite others to do the same. Angelina Jolie has joined in on the efforts, going to Lviv to observe the situation and bring us closer to the warzone.

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This has been seen in two ways, some people praising her, others questioning the purpose of the visit. We shall look into the role of the ‘celebrity’ and their power in global affairs.

Your support is always appreciated, dear Pandas, so leave your thoughts in the comments below. Now, let’s dive into the story.

Angelina Jolie is one of the most celebrated American actresses, and also a Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Image credits: Tanya Kozyreva

Angelina Jolie is a 46-year-old American actress, filmmaker, and humanitarian. She started her acting career in the ’90s and rose to fame in the early 2000s with the film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. With roles in films, including Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Salt, The Tourist, and Maleficent, she’d become one of the most recognizable and celebrated actresses, inspiring many. However, that’s not all.

Angelina promotes various causes, including conservation, education, and women’s rights, and is most noted for her advocacy on behalf of refugees as a Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). She has received a Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and made an honorary Dame Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (DCMG), among other honors.

She has helped contribute to the vital process of finding solutions for people forced to flee their homes and recently she visited war-stricken Ukraine

Image credits: Максим Козицький

The star had shared a message on her Instagram account right at the beginning of the war, stating: “Like many of you, I’m praying for the people in Ukraine. My focus along with my UN 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.”

Jolie had undertaken over a dozen field missions globally to refugee camps and war zones before coming to Ukraine last week. Tanya Kozyreva shared the news on Twitter that Angelina was indeed in Lviv, entering a little coffee shop in gray sweats and a large black backpack, happily chatting with locals and signing autographs for all that wanted them.

Angelina had acknowledged the war right as it began, praying for the Ukrainian people, and now it seems she’s there to offer support

Image credits: angelinajolie

First noticed in a café in Lviv, Angelina was eager to speak with Ukrainians, listening to their stories

Image credits: Tanya Kozyreva

According to Maksym Kozytskyy, Governor of Lviv Regional State Administration, Jolie had come to speak with displaced people who have found refuge in Lviv, including children undergoing treatment for injuries sustained in the missile strike on the Kramatorsk railway station in early April. The attack appeared to deliberately target a crowd of mostly women and children trying to flee the war, killing at least 52 and wounding dozens more.

“She was very moved by their stories,” Kozytskyy wrote. “One girl was even able to privately tell Ms. Jolie about a dream she’d had.” He said Jolie also visited a boarding school, talked with students and took photos with them, promising to come again.

The mug, donned with a Molotov and a quote from I. Franko, says: “The truth – serve. The untruth – burn”

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Image credits: Tanya Kozyreva

Image credits: Tanya Kozyreva

She visited a boarding school, talked with students and took photos with them, promising to come back

Image credits: Reuters

According to Kozytskyy, “the visit was a surprise to us all.” He wrote in a Facebook post that “plenty of people who saw Ms. Jolie in the Lviv region could not believe that it was really her. But since Feb. 24, Ukraine has shown the entire world that there are plenty of incredible things here.”

Angelina visited Lviv’s central railway station on April 30, meeting volunteers working with the displaced. Many of those in the station are children aged from 2 to 10. Angelina believes that “they must be in shock… I know how trauma affects children, I know just having somebody show how much they matter, how much their voices matter, I know how healing that is for them.”

Angelina visited Lviv’s central railway station on April 30, meeting volunteers working with the displaced

Image credits: Максим Козицький

At one point, she met a small girl in a red shirt, sitting happily on her guardian’s shoulders and offering Angelina a treat

Image credits: Odesa Film Studio

At one point during her visit to the station, she tickled a small girl dressed in red, who laughed out in delight, interacting with another girl, aged 4, who seemed quite excited to be chatting with the star.

Sadly, the visit had to be cut short as air-raid sirens started to sound, and Angelina, together with others, walked quickly out of the station. However, she didn’t seem panicked, taking the time to wave to the camera and insist she was okay when asked.

Image credits: Odesa Film Studio

Sadly, the meeting had to be cut short as air-raid sirens started blaring, leading to a quick evacuation

Image credits: Odesa Film Studio

Many have praised Angelina for her bravery and continued support to people in difficult situations, however, not everyone has seen this as a positive, with people on Twitter questioning the intentions and the actual benefits to the people currently at war. So what impact can a visit as such have?

Let’s have a look at the ‘celebrity diplomat’ as a phenomenon as a whole. Lisa Ann Richey and Alexandra Budabin discussed that ‘celebrity diplomats’ have moved diplomacy and global governance into the mainstream media, with the ability to frame issues in a way that attracts visibility and new channels of communication.

They act as a means for the general public to be able to discuss difficult issues happening in the world and the morality behind it, where ordinary people are concerned.

Angelina did not seem scared, though the situation does show the reality of everyday life in Ukraine as no moment can be foreseen

Image credits: Odesa Film Studio

As a public figure, Jolie has been cited as one of the most powerful and influential people in the American entertainment industry. Thus, to see someone as renowned supporting Ukraine might continue to spread awareness of the terrors that are happening there and not allow us to become passive in the face of devastation.

The United Nations refugee agency says more than 12.7 million people have fled their homes in the past two months, which represents around 30 per cent of Ukraine’s pre-war population. Over 5.5 million people have become refugees. Although the majority of the fighting has shifted to the east of the country, Ukrainian cities in the West such as Lviv are still under bombardment from Russian missile attacks. If you’d like to support the Ukrainian effort, I will leave a link of resources here.

We continue to observe the war and hope for its quick end. Hopefully, Angelina’s visit will have a lasting positive effect on the lives of Ukrainians

Image credits: Odesa Film Studio

We can only hope that the pain and destruction ends soon. That people are able to resume their lives in their home country without fear.

Whether you’re a fan of Angelina Jolie or not, the impact she has cannot be understated, as every little bit helps, even if it’s a second of laughter and a smile on a child’s face; a means to tell a story and be listened to without becoming just another number.

Let us know your thoughts on this and I wish you a safe day, Pandas!

Lots of debates in the comments, as mentioned before, yet most seem to be praising her good deeds. Leave your thoughts in the comments!

The post Angelina Jolie Visits Lviv, Ukraine, To Meet With Injured And Displaced Children, Gets Interrupted By Air-Raid Sirens first appeared on Bored Panda.


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