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Russia targets Ben Stiller, Sean Penn in new round of sanctions

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (R) meets with Hollywood actor, director, screenwriter and producer Ben Stiller, during his visit as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, Ukraine, on June 20. Photo via Ukrainian Presidential Press Office/UPI
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (R) meets with Hollywood actor, director, screenwriter and producer Ben Stiller, during his visit as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, Ukraine, on June 20. Photo via Ukrainian Presidential Press Office/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 5 (UPI) -- Russian on Monday imposed retaliatory sanctions against 25 Americans, including actors Ben Stiller and Sean Penn, in response to those the Biden administration has slapped against Russian officials and oligarchs over the Kremlin's war in Ukraine.

The personal sanctions announced in a statement by Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs also target Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Thea Kendler as well as several other officials in the department of trade.

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Sens. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz.; Kevin Kramer, R-N.D.; Mike Rounds, R-S.D.; Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.; Richard Scott, R-Fla.; and Patrick Toomey, R-Penn., were also hit with the punitive measures along with business leaders and and academics.

"Apparently we struck a nerve," Rounds tweeted after the sanctions were announced. "I will continue to speak out on the threat the current Russian regime poses to the free world."

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Stiller was seemingly sanctioned over his visit to Ukraine in June as a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees goodwill ambassador.

During the trip, the actor met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and remarked that the destruction to the country caused by Russia's war was " a lot more shocking" in person compared to seeing it on TV and social media.

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Penn was also in Ukraine early in the war to film a documentary about the conflict.

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Moscow said the sanctions permanently ban those listed from entering Russia.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, the United States and its allies have imposed repeated rounds of sanctions that have reportedly taken bit out of the Russian economy.

In response, Russias has imposed its own mostly symbolic retaliatory sanctions against Americans, targeting President Joe Biden, first lady Jill Biden and State Secretary Antony Blinken.

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Other targets have been Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; and Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine; and Kirsten Gillibrand, N.Y., among others.

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