ENTERTAINMENT

Mila Kunis responds to the war in Ukraine by raising millions of dollars to aid those who are suffering

Jun 24, 2022, 2:53 PM | Updated: Jun 25, 2022, 8:52 pm
In 1991, when actor Mila Kunis moved to the United States, her family left their home in what was t...
In 1991, when actor Mila Kunis moved to the United States, her family left their home in what was then the Soviet Union. She was seven and a half; she spoke Russian and says she thought of herself as Russian. (CNN)
(CNN)

(CNN) — In 1991, when actor Mila Kunis moved to the United States, her family left their home in what was then the Soviet Union. She was seven and a half; she spoke Russian and says she thought of herself as Russian.

“If I said the word Ukraine, no one would know where that country was on the map, and so I was like, ‘that’s exhausting.’ Let’s just stick to the big red dot over there, and so I would say I’m from Russia for many, many years,” Kunis told CNN’s Erin Burnett.

Last February, when Russian forces invaded Ukraine, Kunis said she found a new sense of pride in the country where she was born. She made it clear: “I am Ukrainian who speaks Russian, and I found myself correcting myself and my friends who are also from Ukraine.”

Since the invasion, roughly one-third of Ukraine’s citizens have been forced to abandon their homes and more than five million have sought refuge in other countries.

Watching news of the war impacted Kunis deeply. She told Burnett, “As a mother, any time you see children in any facet of harm, it is indescribable pain because all you want to do is help a child. That’s all; that’s literally all I want to do.”

So, Kunis and her husband Ashton Kutcher decided to “reverse engineer that desire and try to figure out the most productive way of helping,” she said.

Together, they looked for ways to have an immediate impact on the people who are suffering. They decided to raise money and help provide housing and supplies for refugees.

“Once I realized that this thing is not going to end anytime tomorrow, I could wrap my head around the refugee situation, and not just the refugee problem, but the getting supplies into the country. And I knew that my husband and I could facilitate that,” she said.

They partnered with GoFundMe.org, which set up the technical structure to accept donations within hours

According to their fundraiser, donations directly benefit Flexport.org and Airbnb.org, two organizations actively on the ground providing immediate help to those who need it most. Flexport.org is organizing shipments of relief supplies to refugee sites, and Airbnb.org is providing free, short-term housing.

Kunis and Kutcher named their campaign Stand With Ukraine and launched it in early March with the goal of raising $30 million. The couple donated $3 million in matching funds. Just two weeks later, they exceeded their goal, and in a video said 65,000 people contributed.

To date, Stand with Ukraine has raised more than $36 million, and more than 75,000 people have donated. Kunis says the campaign not only helps the people of Ukraine but allows supporters around the world to be involved.

“If you feel like you donated $5, $2, $10, you have an invested interest in the outcome of your donation,” she said.

Their effort caught the attention of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who connected with them on a video call.

“It was very, very smart,” Kunis said. “There was no chitchat. It was literally, like, get down to business, like who do you know that can assist with this? … Can you call this person?”

This was not the first time they spoke. Years earlier, Kunis and Kutcher sat down with Zelensky and his wife, a meeting Kunis said left her with very positive feelings.

“Sometimes you meet a magical unicorn, and you go, ‘I hope that you succeed because you’re a normal, nice human being who has the best intent.'”

For Kunis, the war in Ukraine is a fight for democracy, but she says the situation also offers a lesson for her children.

“We talked to them about war … with the solution at hand instead of just being like everything is dire. … Yes, there’s problems in the world, and yes, you will have problems, but there’s no problems you can’t solve.”


The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Entertainment

Anne Heche, pictured here on January 7, 2018, in Beverly Hills, California, is 'not expected to sur...
Sandra Gonzalez and Chloe Melas, CNN

Anne Heche’s son mourns mother: ‘We have lost a bright light’

Anne Heche's son paid tribute to his mother Friday saying the family had lost "a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend."
3 days ago
Anne Heche attends the Los Angeles premiere of Amazon Studio's "The Tender Bar" at TCL Chinese Thea...
Sandra Gonzalez, CNN

Anne Heche is ‘not expected to survive,’ family says in statement

Anne Heche, who remains hospitalized after crashing her vehicle into a Los Angeles residence last week, is "not expected to survive," according to a statement from her family and friends shared with CNN by a representative.
4 days ago
Actress and director Denise Dowse, here pictured in Los Angeles in 2017, is hospitalized with viral...
Chloe Melas, CNN

Denise Dowse, ‘90210’ actress, in a coma due to meningitis

Actress and director Denise Dowse is hospitalized with viral meningitis, according to a post from her sister.
4 days ago
Fans stand in front of a mural painted in tribute to Kobe Bryant after his death one year ago on Ja...
Associated Press

Kobe Bryant crash photos lawsuit to be heard by LA jury

Kobe Bryant’s widow is taking her lawsuit against the Los Angeles County sheriff’s and fire departments to a federal jury, seeking compensation for photos deputies shared of the remains of the NBA star, his daughter and seven others killed in a helicopter crash in 2020.
5 days ago
The Disney+ website on a laptop computer in the Brooklyn borough of New York, US, on Monday, July 1...
Frank Pallotta, CNN Business

Disney+ is getting more expensive, unless you want ads

The Disney+ new ad-supported subscription tier will debut in the US on December 8 at $7.99 monthly, with ad-free pricing at $10.99 monthly.
5 days ago
Flinders Street railway
station...
Tara Subramaniam, CNN

Australian landmarks glow pink to honor Olivia Newton-John

The Sydney Opera House will turn pink on Wednesday to honor Olivia Newton-John, the singer and "Grease" star who died on Monday.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
...
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...
AARP Utah

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
Mila Kunis responds to the war in Ukraine by raising millions of dollars to aid those who are suffering