- Sean Penn was photographed in a flak jacket and helmet as he visited Ukrainian troops in the Donetsk region Wednesday.
- Penn is reportedly filming a documentary about how the Donbas region of Ukraine has been affected by the conflict with Russia.
- Penn's visit comes as the US raises concerns over Russia's military build-up in the region.
Actor Sean Penn was photographed in combat gear while he began filming on a new documentary about the conflict between Ukraine and Russia in the country's east.
Penn's documentary will focus on the "consequences of Russian aggression," according to a post on the Ukrainian Joint Forces Operation Facebook page. Penn visited Ukrainian troops in the Donetsk region near the frontlines with Russia. The US has supplied Ukraine with military aid to counter Russian-backed separatists during the seven-year war.
The 61-year-old actor's arrival in the region comes as US leaders raise concerns over a buildup of Russian forces near the border with Ukraine, although Moscow has denied plans to launch an invasion of Ukraine. Russia seized the Crimean peninsula in 2014, giving its navy a port on the Black Sea.
Penn has a habit of turning up in dangerous places. He met with Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín Guzmán Loera, aka "El Chapo," on a mountain-top for an interview while the drug lord was on the run after escaping from a maximum security Mexican prison.
Penn drank tequila with El Chapo and actress Kate del Castillo, who arranged the meeting.
Penn wrote an article for Rolling Stone about the meeting; the article was largely panned and he later said, "my article has failed."