June 25, 2022

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Ukraine's First Lady Olena Zelenska details her family's war losses

Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska details her family’s war losses

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In a rare joint television interview, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and First Lady Olena Zelenska said the Russian invasion of Ukraine had “torn apart” their families as it has done to millions of other families across the country.

Zelenska, who has two children with Ukraine’s wartime president, admitted that she had hardly seen Zelensky since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into Ukraine. She said she and her husband have been communicating mainly by phone ever since.

“Our family was torn apart, like every other Ukrainian family,” Zelenska said. “He lives his job. We haven’t seen him at all for two and a half months.”

However, Zelenska was quick to dismiss the notion raised by an interviewer from the Ukrainian television network ICTV that the war “essentially alienated her husband.”

“No one takes my husband away from me, not even the war,” replied Zelenska.

the interview It was the second time the couple, who married in 2003, had appeared together since the Russian invasion on February 24. While seated, Zelenska said she is “grateful” for their joint TV appearance because it means they can finally spend time together.

“Date on TV, thank you,” she joked. Zelensky nodded beside her.

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In the early days of the war, Zelensky said he was Russia’s “No. 1 target” and that his family was “Target No. 2”.

“They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the head of state,” He told the Ukrainians In a speech in February, though, he refused to flee. Instead, Zelensky took to the streets of the capital, posting defiant videos on social media that earned him universal praise, while his wife and children gathered in an undisclosed location for their safety.

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During the interview, Zelenska said that she remembered waking up to “strange noises” when Russia began its invasion and noticing that her husband was not by her side. Zelensky was already awake and in the next room in a suit.

“I started,” she recalls telling her before he left—the words she said left her in a state of “worried and dazed.”

The war raised the profile of the Ukrainian president, who on most nights made video addresses to Ukrainians and spoke to parliaments around the world. He almost appeared at events from my Grammy to Cannes Film Festival which opened last week.

Before becoming president three years ago, Zelensky was a comedian and actor who played the president on screen. The 44-year-old also voiced the Paddington Bear and, in 2006, won the Ukrainian version of “Dancing with the Stars”.

Zelenska, 44, is a screenwriter and has rarely been seen in public since the Russian invasion. First seen earlier in May when Ukraine celebrated Mother’s Day, Meeting in Western Ukraine with US First Lady Jill Bidenwho crossed the border from Slovakia.

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“We understand what it takes to get here during the war when military operations happen every day, sirens go off every day, even today,” Zelenska said. on time.

“The people of the United States stand with the people of Ukraine,” Biden told her.

Zelensky and his wife appeared on television as Russia scrambled to recover in Ukraine after suffering heavy losses. Prospects for victory are rapidly dwindling for Vladimir Putin’s forces—despite early predictions that Moscow would sweep victory largely unchallenged, The Washington Post reported.

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“We broke the back of the largest or one of the most powerful armies in the world,” Zelensky told the interlocutors.

During an hour-long interview with the couple, Zelenska hoped that once the war was over, she could return to focusing on issues affecting Ukrainian women, such as wage inequality.

“After the victory, we will remember the heroism of our Ukrainian women,” she said.