American actors George Clooney and Hayden Panettiere have spoken out against the Ukrainian government's crackdown on protesters in Kiev, expressing their support for the protesters' cause.
In a video message on YouTube, Clooney said he stood behind "all of you brave citizens of Ukraine who are looking forward and not back."
"You cannot have a democracy when you arrest and harm its peaceful protesters," Clooney said.
The video was published on the account of Vitaly and Vladimir Klitschko, two brothers known for their heavyweight boxing skills and open opposition to the government of President Viktor Yanukovych, with Vitaly Klitscho emerging as one of the country's leading opposition figures.
Clooney also called jailed former president Yulia Tymoshenko, whose release was being negotiated for an agreement with the EU.
"When you look to the West, know that we are looking back at you with great admiration," Clooney said.
George Clooney pledged his support for the Ukrainian protesters, calling them "brave" and wishing them luck. (YouTube/ Vitali & Wladimir Klitschko)
Actress Hayden Panettiere, who is engaged to Vladimir Klitschko, also voiced her support for the protesters at a rally in Kiev last week.
"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 Ukrainians. Keep fighting, I love you all," she said.
Panettiere and Clooney thereby join a score of public figures to have denounced the Ukrainian government in its reaction to the mass protests that flared up when the country backed out of a planned trade agreement with the EU in favor of strengthening relations with Russia.
Early Wednesday morning, 11 protesters were detained as riot police attempted to break up a tent camp on Kiev's Independence Square, Lenta.ru reported.