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Jessica Chastain revealed how she felt during her trip to Kiev in which she met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy amid Ukraine’s ongoing war with Russia.
The 44-year-old shared footage and a message about the trip on Instagram and Twitter on Thursday, writing she “needed a few weeks to process everything I saw from my trip to Kyiv.”
Her trip started with a four-hour drive in Poland, where she eventually took another 11-hour train before arriving to the capital.
“I was nervous and the length of the journey gave me time to calm myself. I’m going to now start sharing with you guys what I saw,” she wrote with a video showing destroyed buildings and displaced children. She noted the refugees crisis and internal displacement Ukraine is suffering from as a result of the invasion.
“So the number of refugees from Ukraine now stands at 5.1 million who’ve left for the European Union countries, another 7.7 million who are internally displaced,” Chastain adds. “The population of Ukraine before the war was 44 million. War crimes have resulted in the deaths of 6,710 civilians, including 359 children; 8,741 civilians, including 700 children, were injured.”
Chastain’s video showed her visiting a local children’s hospital and a child giving her a gift.
“One of the experiences from this life-changing trip was my visit to the children’s hospital: Ohmatdyt. I had the opportunity to meet incredible children and the director, Volodymyr Zhovnir. The children amazed me with their hope and strength,” she told the audience. “Many had been displaced from their homes and spent months in the hospital. It is a huge humanitarian crisis going on in Ukraine. We can’t forget the innocent ones affected by senseless acts of violence.”
“I am grateful to have met these sweet little kids with big brave hearts.”