With thousands of Ukrainians demonstrating against the government in the streets of Kiev, George Clooney is lending the movement his star-power with a video message. “You cannot have a democracy when you arrest and harm its peaceful protesters,” he said into a smart-phone camera. “You certainly cannot have a true democracy if you take political prisoners like [former Prime Minister Yulia] Tymoshenko, simply because you disagree with the way they want to govern. So let me just say this to all of you in the square in Kiev, or all around Ukraine: when you look to the West, know that we are looking back at you with great admiration.”
The video was posted by Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, the famous boxing brothers. Vitali is a member of the Ukrainian parliament and has presidential ambitions. Wladimir is the heavyweight champion and also had a cameo in Clooney’s 2001 movie, Ocean’s Eleven.
Watch the video below:
Some Ukrainians have been angered by the government’s recent decision to reject an agreement with the European Union and pursue closer ties with Russia. Yesterday, protestors tore down a statue of Lenin, the Russian Communist icon. Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union for nearly 70 years, and since independence in 1991, the nation has been pulled in both directions — by the Russians to the East and the expanding European Union to the West.