While Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s defiant response to the Russian invasion has brought Ukraine’s president into the global spotlight, his first lady has largely limited her public role in the campaign. Boost morale for social media posts.
But that changed on Tuesday night, when Olena Zelenska published an almost Letter 1,000 words “To the global media” on her husband’s official website.
Zelenska’s “Testimony from Ukraine,” published on International Women’s Day, described the “terrible reality” of life in her country as Invasion of Russia increase. “Our women and children now live in bomb shelters and basements,” she wrote, naming three of the Ukrainian children killed in the Russian attacks. Dozens of babies “have never known peace in their lives”.
The First Lady also echoed her husband’s call for not the flying area on Ukraine, a request hitherto rejected by Western leaders amid fears that the conflict could escalate into a Global War. “Close the sky, and we will fend for ourselves on the ground,” she wrote.
‘Fading the limelight’
The 44-year-old First Lady has “went decades of unnoticedness”, in contrast to her actor-comedian ex-husband. Daily mail. The couple attended the same school in Kryvyi Rih, central Ukraine, but did not meet until they were both students at the city’s National University. She trained to be an architect, while Zelenskyy was a law student – although neither was karmic in relation to their degrees.
They married in 2003, when the future leader of Ukraine also founded a television production company, Kvartal 95 Studio. Zelenska worked there as a scriptwriter on shows including Servants of the Peoplea satirical comedy show starring her husband about a school teacher who becomes president.
She famously opposed her husband’s decision to run for president in real life, telling a local TV station “that she is “strongly opposed” to the “project”.
“This is a very difficult move, it’s not even a project, it’s a different direction in life,” she added.
Despite her suspicions, Zelenska learned through social media on January 1, 2019 that he had announced himself as a presidential candidate. Months after he won the election, she said Vogue that “when I asked,” why didn’t you tell me? “, Vladimir answered:” I forgot “”.
“My husband knows how to surprise,” she quips, adding that “we have been discussing this for a long time and I said I will always support him.”
True to her words, “when it came time for him to campaign, Olena appeared in earnest beside him for pictures and campaign speeches,” reported the Daily Mail.
In the three years since Zelenskyy’s landslide election victory, Zelenska has accompanied him on a series of international activities, visiting countries including France and Turkey. In October 2020, the couple met Prince William and Kate Middleton at Buckingham Palace, on a two-day official visit to the UK.
However, Zelenska has also forged her own path in public life, albeit uncomfortable in the limelight. She told Vogue shortly after becoming first lady: “I am a non-public person.
“But the new reality requires its own rules and I am trying to stick to them,” added Zelenska, who appeared on the cover of the fashion magazine.
She revealed that one of her ambitions in her new role then was to reform school nutrition. “The earlier children are educated on healthy eating, the easier it is to explain that broccoli is better than hot dogs later in life,” she said.
Zelenska has also spearheaded the launch of dozens of shelters for victims of domestic violence and has promoted the Congress of Ukrainian Women, which works towards gender equality.
Russia’s invasion forced Ukraine’s first lady “into a new position”, says New York Times. She is now using her platform to “raise awareness of crimes against children and the elderly, and reach beyond the borders of her country to call for help”.
For security reasons, the current location of Zelenska and her two children with the president – 17-year-old Oleksandra and 9-year-old Kyrylo – has yet to be determined. Zelenskyy told Channel 4 News on March 2 that he had only seen his family once since the conflict began.
But the first lady has lifted public spirits through her frequent social media posts.
“I will not panic and shed tears,” Zelenska wrote to her 2.5m Instagram followers shortly after Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Russia on February 24. “I will be calm and confident. My children are looking at me. I will be by their side.
“And next to my husband. And with you.”
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/world-news/europe/956035/olena-zelenska-volodymyr-zelenskyy-wife Olena Zelenska: from screenwriter to first lady of Ukraine