Leonardo Donates $10 Million to His Grandmother’s Homeland Ukraine

In the midst of Ukraine’s conflict with Russia, Leonardo DiCaprio has donated $10 million to help the country. The actor has a personal connection to Ukraine because his maternal grandmother Helene Indenbirken was born there. Jelena Stepanovna Smirnova was born in Odessa, Ukraine, but moved to Germany with her parents in 1917.

In 1943, Helene gave birth to Leonardo’s mother, Irmelin Indenbirken, in a German air raid bunker. Leonardo’s father, George DiCaprio, divorced Irmelin when he was a child, and the actor was reared by himself. Helene, Leonardo’s maternal grandmother, became a close friend and was always supportive of his acting career. Helene, who died in 2008 at the age of 93, used to attend the premieres of his films with Irmelin almost till the end.

The Worldwide Visegrad Fund — a project of the Visegrad Group intended at financial support for international initiatives that encourage development in Eastern Europe — acknowledged Leonardo’s donation to his grandmother’s homeland, according to polishnews.co.uk.

Several prominent actors and directors, in addition to Leonardo, have expressed support for Ukraine during the crisis. Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively took part in a charity benefit for the country, promising to donate double as much as was raised.

Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher have recently announced a $3 million donation to aid humanitarian efforts in Ukraine and the reintegration of Ukrainian refugees. The pair stated that their goal is to raise $30 million in total, and that they had already raised $15 million over the weekend. Mila was born in 1983 in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, and came to the United States in 1991.

Meanwhile, in a speech at Cambridge University, Robert De Niro addressed the problem, saying that everything must be done to resist Russian aggression. Other celebrities have spoken out against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including UN ambassadors Angelina Jolie and Priyanka Chopra.

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