Actor George Clooney sent a message of support to protesters in Ukraine, who are currently demonstrating against the government’s plans to move toward a closer alliance with Russia.In a YouTube video posted Monday morning, Clooney praised the “brave citizens of Ukraine who are struggling to look forward and not back.”
“We [in the U.S.] have learned, through trial and error, that true democracy cannot exist without a free and fair and honest election. You cannot have a democracy when you arrest and harm its peaceful protesters,” Clooney said.
He added, ”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. 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.”
Protesters on Sunday toppled a statue of Vladimir Lenin in Kiev and defaced it with hammers as part of the ongoing demonstrations that began last month. As many continue to call for Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s resignation, Yanukovych announced Monday he would begin talks with three former Ukrainian leaders to end the protests.
Clooney is no stranger to international affairs. Last year he and his father, journalist Nick Clooney, were arrested outside of the Sudanese Embassy in Washington D.C. while protesting the Sudanese government’s blockade of humanitarian aid to its people.