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KIEV, UKRAINE – Ukrainian-born actress and model Milla Jovovich has thrown her weight behind efforts to raise money to help the victims of violence in Kiev.
Jovovich, the daughter of a Serbian pediatrician and a Russian actress, was born in the city and has been following the tumultuous events that culminated this weekend in the collapse of President Viktor Yanukovych‘s control and the takeover of the capital by protestors.
The Hollywood-based actress, who has recently been shooting night scenes on location in London for James McTeigue‘s Survivor, has been using what she terms “downtime” to lament the lack of charitable websites to help “the hospitals and teams down on the ground in Ukraine right now.”
Jovovich — who first voiced concerns for Ukraine earlier in the protests that have convulsed the center of Kiev since Yanukovych turned his back on a political deal with the European Union three months ago — took to Facebook Friday to raise awareness for ordinary people caught up in the violence.
“I have no taste for politics, but I will do everything in my power to help the helpless, not the ones with guns,” she posted, adding: “I have always put my money where my mouth is when it comes to helping people, and you better believe I will find out what I can personally do for the victims of the violence in Ukraine.”
The posts came the day after the worst day of violence Kiev had witnessed since World War II. At least 88 people died between Tuesday and Thursday as government security forces began using live ammunition and snipers targeted protestors, some as young as 17. The number of dead is likely to rise as more accurate hospital and mortuary records become available.
Jovovich is the third major Hollywood figure to have voiced support fro the beleaguered people of Ukraine, although both George Clooney and Arnold Schwarzenegger have recorded more political messages.
Although not fluent in Ukrainian, Jovovich says she has been following the Twitter postings of Olesya Zhukovska, the 21-year-old medical volunteer reportedly shot in the neck Thursday. The young woman, who was seen in news photographs clutching at her bleeding throat had tweeted: “I’m dying.” The photograph and message went viral and thousands worldwide were relieved to learn later that she had survived after being treated at a nearby hospital.
The actress, who is married to British director Paul W.S. Anderson (her director in 2002’s Resident Evil) and has a six-year-old daughter, Ever, later posted: “No matter what the reasons for the fighting, innocent people are being brutalized and that is undeniable and unacceptable.”
Jovovich has not commented on events since Friday when, following an EU-brokered peace deal, Yanukovych was reported to have fled Kiev. Parliament, until Thursday under his control, turned against him with many former supporters from his Party of Regions voting with the opposition for a raft of measures that include calling new elections in May, months ahead of the December date set by the peace deal.
The parliament has since voted to impeach Yanukovych and ordered the arrest of some senior senior ministers. Yanukovych — who Saturday was prevented from flying out of Ukraine from a provincial airport in the eastern city of Donetsk — has issued a defiant television address dubbing events of the past two days a “coup.” Some of his key allies in his power base east of the country are reported to have fled over the border to Russia.
Jovovich, meanwhile, is focused on humanitarian help: “I am slowly researching and making my way through … to find the [charitable websites] that I will personally donate to, as well as great sites that talk about what’s really going on in Ukraine right now.”
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