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Actor George Clooney released a video Tuesday voicing his support for the Ukrainian protesters who have been on the streets of Kyiv for over two weeks, protesting their government’s decision to become part of a closer alliance with Russia.
- Divided Ukraine roiled by protest, love-hate with Mother Russia
- Ukrainian opposition offices stormed by riot police
Protests erupted after Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych renounced an "association agreement" with the European Union on Nov. 22, instead favouring a "customs union" with Russia.
Since then protesters have grown angry because of police violence against the demonstrators.
“You cannot have a democracy when you arrest and harm its peaceful protesters,” Clooney said in the video, which was sent to heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko — a popular leader of the opposition movement.
“So let me just say this to all of you in the square in Kyiv, or all around Ukraine, when you look to the west know that we are looking back at you with great admiration. We wish you a peaceful and safe mission, we wish you the government that you want. And we wish you the strength to carry on.”
Clooney is often known for his championing of humanitarian causes and open discussions on international politics. He and his father, journalist Nick Clooney, were arrested last year after protesting in front of the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, D.C.