Orlando Bloom made a surprise appearance in Ukraine over the weekend and even popped in for a meeting with leader Volodymyr Zelensky at the Presidential Palace.
Bloom traveled for three days through the war-torn country still under siege by the Russian military while performing his duties as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF — the United Nations org that provides international humanitarian aid to children.
During his trip, Bloom toured Irpin, Demydiv and Kyiv, where he entered the palace and gave a warm greeting to the Ukrainian President.
Check out video showing Bloom placing his hand against his heart before shaking Zelensky’s hand while the two exchange pleasantries.
After that, they got down to business at a long table in a safe room, discussing how they could help the Ukrainian children as the Russian war rages on.
At one point, Bloom said, “To see the children, to see in their eyes – its palpable – the anxiety … and yet the strength of the Ukrainian people is something that is really awe-inspiring.”
He continued, “And of course, your messaging is the reason for that. So it’s remarkable to see how you are holding this country.”
So far, 465 Ukrainian children have been killed during the war and approximately 14,000 more have been kidnapped and deported to Russia, according to Ukrainian officials. Only around 125 of them have been sent back to Ukraine.
Bloom told Zelensky UNICEF was seriously looking into the matter of the missing Ukrainian children while the men talked about the need for foster families instead of group homes for the kids.
Then Bloom turned to the topic of Vladimir Putin, referring to him as a war criminal. He summed up his feelings about the Russian president this way, “Of course, he who shall not be mentioned was made a war criminal because of this. And, it’s so horrific what’s going on.”
Before leaving, Bloom presented Zelensky with a gift from his Buddhist mentor and a personal message from his mom … “Your defeat would be the defeat of hope, hence you must win.”