Pro-European Union protesters in Ukraine can now count a world famous Oscar winner among their supporters. George Clooney voiced his solidarity with the demonstrations underway in Kiev in a video posted to the YouTube account of professional boxers-turned-political-activists Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko.
"I wanted to send a message to all you brave citizens of Ukraine who are struggling to look forward and not back," Clooney said. "We here in the United States have great affinity for those seeking democracy. We have learned through trial and error that true democracy cannot exist without a free and fair and honest election."
Clooney also criticized the imprisonment of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who many believe was put in jail two years ago in an act of political retribution by President Viktor Yanukovych's government.
Clooney is no stranger to political protests. In 2012 he was arrested at the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, D.C., in a demonstration against the country's President Omar Al-Bashir. He was also an outspoken critic of California's anti-gay marriage law Proposition 8 and has raised money for various humanitarian causes.
Thousands of demonstrators have gathered in Kiev in support of a trade proposal between Ukraine and the European Union that the government nixed in favor of stronger ties to Russia. The Klitschko brothers have risen as leaders of the movement, with Vitali, now a member of the Ukrainian parliament, planning to run for president in 2015. Wladimir's fiancée, "Nashville" star Hayden Panettiere has also publicly supported the protests, joining Wladimir in Kiev demonstrations last week.
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