Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher have video call with President Zelensky as their Ukraine fundraiser nears $35 million

·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
·2-min read

Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher's fundraising efforts for Ukraine haven't gone unnoticed by President Zelensky.

Amid the Russian invasion of the country, the couple raised nearly $35 million and counting via a GoFundMe benefitting the people of Ukraine, where Kunis was born. Zelensky praised them on social media Sunday, saying he's "impressed by their determination" in raising money for the more than 10 million refugees, and shared an image of the three of them on a video call.

Kunis and Kutcher "were among the first to respond to our grief," Zelensky wrote. "They have already raised $35 million & are sending it to @flexport & @Airbnb to help 🇺🇦 refugees. Grateful for their support. Impressed by their determination. They inspire the world. #StandWithUkraine."

The fundraiser was launched by the That '70s Show pair on March 3. They matched the first $3 million in donations as they worked toward a goal of $30 million, which goes to two organizations, Flexport.org and Airbnb.org, which are providing immediate help to those in need. The former is organizing shipments of relief supplies to refugee sites in Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Moldova while the latter is providing free, short-term housing to refugees fleeing Ukraine. Last week, they hit their initial goal, so they raised it to $40 million, imploring that people continue to donate.

In a recent interview with Maria Shriver, Kunis said that she and Kutcher met Zelensky and his wife, Olena Zelenska, in 2019.

Kunis was born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, in 1983 and moved to the United States in 1991when she was 8.

"I very much have always felt like an American," she said, having lived in Los Angeles for much of her life. "People were like, 'Oh, you're so Eastern European.' I was like, 'I'm so L.A.!' What do you mean? Like, my whole life I was like ‘I am L.A. through and through.'"

That changed when Russia invaded Ukraine last month. While she had visited the country through the years, it made her re-examine and embrace her Ukrainian identity.

"[Russia's invasion] happens and I can't express or explain what came over me, but all of a sudden I was like, 'Oh my God, I feel like a part of my heart just got ripped out,' It was the weirdest feeling," she said. "It doesn’t take away from who I am as a person but it just adds an entire different layer."

'She added, "Everythings changed. It is a sense of pride, and it’s not taking away from loving where I live now and everything that this country has given me."