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Benedict Cumberbatch Plans to Host Ukrainian Refugees

He said he hopes to take part in the UK's "Homes for Ukraine" program

benedict cumberbatch ukraine refugees bafta russia invasion war
Benedict Cumberbatch, photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images
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    Actor Benedict Cumberbatch plans to open up his inner sanctum to Ukrainian refugees in the wake of Russia’s unprovoked invasion. The London resident and star of The Power of the Dog shared his intentions to take part in the UK’s new “Homes for Ukraine” initiative on the red carpet for the 2022 BAFTAs on Sunday, March 15th.

    “It is a really shocking time to be a European two-and-a-half hours’ flight away from Ukraine and it’s something that hangs over us,” Cumberbatch told Sky News. “We all need, as we know, to do more than wear a badge. We need to donate, we need to pressure our politicians to continue to create some kind of refugee safety and a haven here for people who are suffering and figure that system out. I know it’s ongoing, I know that’s happening. Everyone needs to do as much as they can.”

    Cumberbatch then shifted to the “Homes for Ukraine” program announced by the British housing ministry earlier that day, which is set to provide £350 (roughly $457) a month to residents able to host Ukrainian refugees for a minimum of six months. “I think already today the news has broke that there’s been a record number of people volunteering to take people into their homes,” he said, “and I hope to be part of that myself.”

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    He added that he’s “also obviously donating to charities who can help people in a very real way on the ground either in Poland or just over the border if it’s safe to do so.”

    Cumberbatch continued, “This is what I’m trying to do to show that I’m standing side-by-side with my brothers and sisters who are going through this… There are extraordinary men and women on the ground and this is just acknowledgment of them as much as it is the people they’re helping.”

    The “Homes for Ukraine” online portal launched on Monday, March 14th while host-matching will begin at the end of this week. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that as of March 15th, up to 2.9 million refugees have fled the country since the Russian incursion began in February.

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    Cumberbatch was in attendance at the BAFTAs following his Best Actor nomination for The Power of the Dog, which he ultimately lost to King Richard‘s Will Smith. But with a near-constant cycle of awards press for his depraved, hyper-masculine role of Phil Burbank, including next week’s Academy Awards, we can probably count on yet another gracious interview, and hopefully a housing update, from the actor soon.

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