Hayden Panettiere, Fiance Wladimir Klitschko Join Ukraine Protests
Hayden Panettiere may not seem like the most likely ally for the protesters in the Ukraine, but she actually has a personal stake in the country's future and well-being. The Nashville actress' fiance, Ukrainian boxer Wladimir Klitschko, is the brother of an opposition leader, Vitali Klitschko, and both she and her husband-to-be have been lending their voices to the demonstrations in Ukraine's capital of Kiev.
On Sunday, Dec. 8, the Heroes alum and Klitschko headed to the central square in Kiev, where a crowd had gathered to challenge the Russian-leaning government. (Protesters are calling for distance from Russian influence and demanding closer ties to the West and the European Union.)
"Amazing watching #WladimirKlitschko personally connect with the Ukrainian demonstrators," she tweeted. Then, sharing a photo of herself with her fiance in Kiev, she added, "#frontlines #Ukraine."
Video from ABC News shows the star addressing the crowd from a platform in the square. "The beauty of this country is breathtaking: the landscape, the beautiful churches. But nothing compares to the undeniably deep souls of the Ukrainian people," she began. "There is a movement happening here and we have a chance to make things right, to make things just. You have a right to a democracy."
"Your struggles and your fight are not falling on deaf ears. You are being heard. The world will hear you," she continued. "And as an American, I want you to know that I stand by you, I support your fight, and I will support it until the country of Ukraine in its entirety reflects the beauty, the true beauty of the Ukrainian people. Keep fighting. I love you all."
Panettiere isn't the only A-lister sending support to the protesters. In a video posted by the Klitschko brothers, George Clooney expresses his admiration for the movement in Kiev.
"You cannot have a democracy when you arrest and harm its peaceful protesters," he said. "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."