Angelina Jolie on Russia-Ukraine war: ‘I’m praying for the people’

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Angelina Jolie shared a message of prayer Thursday for the citizens of the Ukraine as the country is invaded by Russia.

Jolie also used her social media reach to share a statement on the Russia-Ukraine conflict in her capacity as special envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

“Like many of you, I’m praying for the people in Ukraine,” Jolie said in the statement. “My focus along with my @refugees 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.”

Angelina Jolie

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The link she shared led to a statement from the UNHCR that reads, “We are gravely concerned about the fast-deteriorating situation and ongoing military action in Ukraine.”

“The humanitarian consequences on civilian populations will be devastating,” the statement continues. “There are no winners in war, but countless lives will be torn apart.”

Russia invaded Ukraine Thursday and continues to do so from multiple sides along with airstrikes and explosions of key Ukranian cities, including Kyiv.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends a joint press conference with his counterparts from Lithuania and Poland following their talks in Kyiv on Feb. 23, 2022.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends a joint press conference with his counterparts from Lithuania and Poland following their talks in Kyiv on Feb. 23, 2022.
(SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

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Invading Russian forces closed in on Ukraine’s capital Friday, in an apparent encircling movement after a barrage of airstrikes on cities and military bases around the country.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy released a video of himself and his senior aides outside the presidential office in Kyiv to reassure Ukrainians that he and other top officials would stay in the capital.

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A Ukrainian soldier passes by houses in the village of Novoluhanske, Luhansk region, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. 

A Ukrainian soldier passes by houses in the village of Novoluhanske, Luhansk region, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. 
(AP Photo/Oleksandr Ratushniak)

The invasion, anticipated for weeks, amounts to Europe’s largest ground conflict since World War II. It could also portend the emergence of a new “Iron Curtain” between the West and Russia, with global repercussions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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