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Hayden Panettiere has launched a fund to help raise donations for those defending Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion.
The actress, who shares a young daughter with ex Vladimir Klitschko, made the announcement in a 45-second video posted to YouTube on Monday.
“There are no words to describe what it’s been like to watch the war in Ukraine unfold. It’s gut-wrenching knowing that the people of Ukraine, the people I call my friends and family are desperately trying to defend their way of life in the country that they love,” she says.
“I created Hoplon International to bring relief and aid directly to Ukrainians on the frontlines. I can’t continue sitting on the sidelines as this disaster rages on. Please, please don’t sit by idly. Help me by donating any amount that you can. Together we can make a difference in their fight.”
Panettiere, 32, condemned the Ukraine-Russia war on February 25 on Instagram, one day after Russia first invaded the country.
“I have personally witnessed the strength of the Ukrainian people who fought so hard for their independence and have continued to passionately defend their country over the years,” the actress wrote in the caption of her post.
“This horrific moment in history sends a terrifying message: the message that in this day and age, in year 2022, it’s okay to violate the rights of free people and allow autocrats like Putin to take whatever they please,” she wrote on the platform. “I’m praying for my family and friends there and everyone who’s fighting. I wish you had more support and I wish I was there fighting with you!”
She concluded, “For now, I ask for those of us who can’t be there to stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and show your support for #democracy.”
The “Heroes” alum also confirmed her 7-year-old daughter Kaya Evdokia Klitschko is safe and “not in Ukraine.” Klitschko. a former professional boxer, hails from Ukraine. His brother, Vitali Klitschko, is the mayor of Kyiv. Both have joined in the fight to defend their country.