NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -
Ukrainian heavyweight professional boxer Wladimir Klitschko has released a short YouTube video pleading for western leaders to help the people of the Ukraine.
The country has seen widespread protests that have turned deadly after the leadership made a sharp pivot away from the west and embraced Russia. The protests started in November but grew in size and intensity after the government tried to disperse protesters.
In the video, Klitschko says: "I urgently request leaders of the Western world to support us."
He says: "I am talking to you not as the brother of the politician. I am not a politician but a regular Ukrainian that asks for help for our suffering people."
Klitschko's brother, Vitali Klitschko, has been a leading figure of protests against the government in the Ukraine.
Klitschko says that 24 years after the fall of the iron curtain they want to finally live in peace and freedom.
He ends the video saying: "Don't leave us alone. Peace."
Klitschko was born in what is now Kazakhstan but went to college in the Ukraine, eventually earning a PhD. His father was a general in the Soviet Air Force.
Klitschko is the longest reigning IBF, WBO & IBO Heavyweight Champion in history with the most title defenses for those organizations.