Russia’s war on Ukraine is entering its third month, and while the deluge of celebrity war content has largely petered out, some continue to draw attention to the crisis. On Saturday, Angelina Jolie paid a surprise visit to internally displaced refugees in the Ukrainian city of Lviv, where she visited children injured by a Russian missile strike at a railway station in Kramatorsk last month, the AP reports. The strike, which killed more than 50 civilians and wounded nearly 100 more, appeared to target children, with one missile reading “for the children” in Russian.
An estimated 5.5 million Ukrainains have fled the country since the war broke out, and an additional 6.5 million are believed to be internally displaced. Per the AP, Jolie also visited a boarding school and the city’s central railway station, where she met with evacuees and volunteers. While Jolie has been a UNHCR Special Envoy for Refugees since 2011, a spokesperson for the organization told the Washington Post that Jolie traveled to Ukraine “in her personal capacity” and that the organization had “no involvement” in her visit. Over the weekend, Lviv residents posted videos of Jolie in their city on social media, including clips of her signing an autograph at a café and holding the hand of an older civilian. “The visit was a surprise to us all,” said Maksym Kozytskyy, Lviv’s regional governor. “Plenty of people who saw Ms. Jolie in the Lviv region could not believe it was really her.”
Jolie has been outspoken about the growing global refugee crisis and about the war in Ukraine, taking to Instagram over the past few months to speak about civilians’ rights during wartime and calling attention to the plight of Ukrainian children. Last month, Jolie visited Ukrainian refugees at a pediatric hospital in Rome. “The impact the war is having on a generation of Ukrainian children is devastating to see,” she told NBC in a statement about her recent visit to Lviv. “No child anywhere should have to flee their homes, or witness the murder of their loved ones, or experience shelling and the destruction of their homes. Yet that is the reality of so many children in Ukraine and around the world.”