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George Clooney Adds Voice of Support to Intensifying Protests in Ukraine: VIDEO

Kiev

Protests in Kiev over Ukrainian President Viktor F. Yanukovich's refusal to keep promises to sign agreements that would strengthen ties between Ukraine and the European Union intensified over the weekend, with protesters bringing down a massive statue of Lenin, the NYT reports:

International concern over the unrest in Ukraine appeared to deepen on Sunday, as the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, telephoned Mr. Yanukovich and Western leaders continued to call on him to respond to the demonstrators’ demands. The European Union has been eager to draw Ukraine, a nation of 46 million, into closer alliance with the West, while Russia has sought to safeguard its major economic and political interests in its close neighbor. Making the crisis more acute, Ukraine is teetering on the verge of bankruptcy and is desperate for financial assistance from abroad.

The spreading disorder set off a new round of speculation that Mr. Yanukovich would declare a state of emergency and potentially turn again to force by ordering the removal of demonstrators who have occupied Independence Square and several public buildings, including Kiev’s City Hall. There were reports on Sunday that the security services were preparing to bring charges of treason against three opposition leaders in Parliament who have been at the forefront of the demonstrations.

Meanwhile, pro-government supporters are using gay rights as an excuse for their support:

Pro-government demonstrators deployed a new tactic Friday to counter protests in favor of European integration, marching through the capital, Kiev, to oppose homosexuality, which they said would accompany a greater European Union role in Ukrainian affairs. Carrying religious icons and singing hymns, the group of about 1,000 Orthodox Christian supporters of President Viktor Yanukovych filed out of a monastery and marched to a city park. Marchers said they favored allegiance to Russia rather than Europe because Russia more closely matches the cultural and religious heritage of Ukraine, which was once part of the Soviet Union. They intend to draw attention to what they characterize as overly liberal European social values, they said.

The protests have captured international attention, and are gaining some high-profile supporters. Actor George Clooney taped a message for the people of Ukraine which began spreading on the internet today.

Watch it, and the statue coming down, AFTER THE JUMP...

UPDATE: According to late reports, it appears as if riot police are preparing to storm the square.

Clooney_ukraine

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Comments

  1. As this site has noted before, Putin is using the Gay card as a wedge issue to increase Russia's sphere of influence. Anti-LGBT=pro-Russia.

    Posted by: John | Dec 9, 2013 9:09:36 AM


  2. "Marchers said they favored allegiance to Russia rather than Europe because Russia more closely matches the cultural and religious heritage of Ukraine, which was once part of the Soviet Union."

    So their affiliation with Russia lead them to where they are today? Not a very valid point from the "marchers". By all means have your "culture" align even at the failure of your economic status.

    Once again make sure the world knows it's actually the gays that are behind all the socio-economic problems actually generated by aligning yourself with Russia. You have to wonder if Russia's recent issue with gay citizens isn't a political maneuver to maintain control of satellite countries through fear of being completely overtaken by THE GAYS.

    Posted by: Hey Darlin' | Dec 9, 2013 9:21:30 AM


  3. What does George Clooney know about Ukraine?

    Shamelessly leveraging this crisis into a PR opportunity to show "how much he cares" doesn't help anyone in the Ukraine -- it simply underscores how cynical and soulless the West has become.

    Posted by: Petes | Dec 9, 2013 9:26:50 AM


  4. Good luck to the pro-European demonstrators in Ukraine! Let us hope that they can prevail peacefully.

    Posted by: RonCharles | Dec 9, 2013 9:46:41 AM


  5. @PETES - Clooney's a smart man who keeps an eye on the geopolitical landscape beyond the USA because he's interested and therefore involved. How many Americans do you think even take notice of what happens beyond their own neighbourhood? Or if they did, would they care? And even then, would they do anything about it. Probably not. Most people can't seem to see beyond their own privilege and it's this attitude of "I'm alright Jack. Never mind about you." that makes Western civilisation (including my country - the UK) seem so distasteful to so many.

    Clooney appreciates what he has and what so many do not and I'm not talking about his millions, I'm talking about a democratically elected government and freedom of speech to stand up against injustice. So many on this planet cannot fight against corruption and make their small piece of this Earth a better place because they are threatened with violence and death if they do. So why not speak up against it?

    PR move? Yeah I'm sure that little video is just turning itself into an Oscar as we speak. Don't forget that he was also speaking up for gay rights long before everyone was doing it. He's an ally to people who don't always have voice. People like you (assuming you're gay and have faced some oppression in your life) so sit down and be grateful.

    Posted by: Jack Ford | Dec 9, 2013 12:28:22 PM


  6. The gay card has been played against the pro-EU Ukrainians in various ways. The slogan for this is "not into Europe through the a--" (which rhymes in Russian).

    Anti EU people even created a provocation by paying some homeless people to march as if in support of the EU holding rainbow flags. Of course they were beaten by the right wing mobs... Real gay Ukrainians support EU agreements but are keeping a low profile.

    Posted by: KevinVT | Dec 9, 2013 12:36:28 PM


  7. Clooney's in touch with the democratic process more than you know.... and don't feed the troll

    Posted by: Ankerich | Dec 9, 2013 12:47:30 PM


  8. Putin is calling the shots in the Ukraine. This is an extension of the Cold War that the Russian President never stopped fighting. He is "Putin" economic pressure on Yanukovich including the threat to cut off natural gas supplies if the Ukraine gets to close to the west. Putin is pure evil and refuses to let the Soviet empire die.

    Posted by: terry | Dec 9, 2013 7:30:57 PM


  9. Hi, uncle George Clooney,
    I'm a little girl from Ukraine. I have 9 years. I live in the Central area of the city of Kyiv. And Kiev is a capital of Ukraine. We now night. I am writing this letter to secretly, uncle George. My mom says that in our time in our country cannot openly Express their opinion, so I won't tell you my name. But you can call me Lisa - is like Lisa Simpson, because I am very smart too. Uncle George, is so unusual that you supported the protests in the far-distant Ukraine! It is especially strange to me, because they are protesting right under my Windows. You supported the protests 1 000000 man, newly Ukraine has 46 000000 people. All other elected their President Yanukovych on democratic elections and not to protest. So I want to clarify your position in the Ukrainian question, uncle George. Tell me, please, what exactly do you support:
    1. The overlap of the traffic in the Central streets of Kiev (the capital), which at us in shops and schools over food. So I died of hunger, my mom has to walk on the slippery ice streets down from our hill in the nearest functioning shop 3 km from the house. And then she purchases rises on the slippery streets 3 km back. So you better understood me, uncle George, I counted kilometers into meaningful units you and say: 3 km = 1,86 miles. Do you support?
    2. I'm scared to go out, because we were under the house is always a lot of scary and bad guys. They eat, sleep and piss on the street, under our Windows. Night singing songs around the campfire. They attack the police. Once they even sat on the grader (bulldozer) and attacked by the riot of police, who were guarding our White House. Do you support? You would have to have done so with the White House, where President Barack Obama works?
    3. These scary guys constantly all break in our area. They even broke the statue of Lenin, which was a work of art of rare stones, and it was awarded at the exhibition in New York in 1936. They blocked the barricades passages in our Congress, so the congressmen can get that job. Also they did, and with members of the government. They illegally occupied the city buildings (including the city hall). The court ordered the municipality to release, but the wicked will not go away, and put on the police. And the police are afraid to disband them, because they would be charged with cruelty. So I don't feel secure, police does not protect me. Do you support of it, uncle George?
    4. The main requirement of scary guys is the resignation of Yanukovych as President. But the legal grounds for the resignation are not available. Yanukovych became President after legitimate, transparent and democratic elections. These recognized the elections as democratic, even USA, uncle George. Tell me, please, you support those silly illegal demands? If YES, then start this in your state. Under their Windows settle the demonstrators. And then I'll send you video message with words of support.
    Your Ukrainian Lisa Simpson.

    P.S. These scary guys are not rich, they will not go to the cinema to your movies.

    Posted by: Lisa_from_Kiev | Dec 9, 2013 9:48:01 PM


  10. OMG Lisa what a camp, that was hilarious. I can't believe Ukranian govt trolls are concerned with what Towleroad of all places is posting!

    Posted by: Derek Pearce | Dec 10, 2013 2:46:49 AM


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