“Russia is committing mass murder of Ukrainian civilians,” Olena Zelenska, Ukraine’s first lady, wrote in a public letter this week. She is now hiding in a secret place with two children of the presidential couple. She studied architecture, but eventually started working as a screenwriter. So she met Volodymyr Zelensky, then comedian and actor, future Ukrainian president.
Initially, Olena Zelenská, 44, did not want her husband to run for president. When she found out, she said she was “strongly opposed”. She realized that the campaign and eventual victory would give the whole family a completely different lifestyle and direction. It really happened after winning the elections in 2019, and the screenwriter of films and series had to prepare for a life full of filmed diplomatic visits.
Ukrainian presidential couple celebrating Valentine’s Day. | Photo: Reuters
“I am a private person, but my new reality has its own rules and I try to adapt to it. I prefer to stay behind the scenes. My husband is always in front while I feel better in the shadows. I don’t like parties, I don’t like to tell jokes. It’s not my career,” British magazine Tatler quoted from an interview the first lady gave to the Ukrainian version of Vogue magazine.
Zelenská, née Kijašková, decided to become an architect while studying. She studied for a master’s degree at the university in her native Russian-speaking town, Kryvyi Rih, in southern Ukraine. Her future husband, Volodymyr Zelensky, who studied law at the same university, also grew up there. According to the Ukrainian Women’s Congress website, they both attended the same high school.
After school, however, Zelenská changed her field and became one of the founders of the television and production company Studio Kvartal 95, which is the origin of popular Ukrainian films and series. She started writing screenplays. Among the founders of the studio was Zelensky.
She has participated in the writing and editing of the screenplays for all the projects she has led, including the Servant of the Nation series. At that time, as an actor, he played in the Servant of the Nation of the President of Ukraine. The couple married in 2003 and moved to Kyiv. They have two children – Oleksandra, 17, and Kyryl, 9.
She brought Ukrainian to museums
Zelenská continues to work on screenwriting, but her duties as First Lady have been added. But even in those, she ended up finding meaning. “I found the reasons why I love advertising. One of them is the opportunity to bring people’s attention to important social issues,” she said. Its main themes became the health of the next generation, equal opportunity and cultural diplomacy.
It seeks to develop the health of children by improving the nutritional system in schools. “I have collected a lot of ideas and I am convinced that positive change is possible. You just have to sincerely want something and work hard,” she told the British daily Evening Standard.
She also spearheaded the development of a national strategy for a safe school environment. It supports the Ukrainian Paralympic team and the scientific education of women, combats domestic violence and seeks to create a society without barriers, free from prejudice, discrimination and inclusive of people from all groups – children, young parents or the older generation. old. . , describes his initiative The United Nations Development Programme.
Thanks to her efforts, Ukraine joined the Biarritz community, which aims for gender equality, and set up a group of first ladies and first gentlemen to work together to solve humanitarian problems, writes Diplomatic magazine Courier.
It also promotes Ukrainian to the world. Thanks to her, the language of her country has reached audioguides in 31 museums in Austria, Latvia, Lithuania, Italy, Azerbaijan, Turkey and France.
The war is here
In recent weeks, Olana Zelenská’s workload has changed significantly. He draws attention to the horrors of the war that Russia has unleashed on Ukrainian territory. On the social network Instagram, he shares photos of children who died during the Russian bombings and describes the attacks against the civilian population. On Tuesday, she also posted a letter in English to the world’s media, which has no time to respond to interview requests.
“Despite Kremlin propaganda calling it a ‘special operation’, this is actually a massacre of Ukrainian civilians. Probably the scariest and most devastating are the child victims of this invasion. Eight-year-old Alice, died on the street in Ochtyrka when her grandfather tried Or Polina from Kyiv, who died with her parents in the bombardment, 14-year-old Arseniy was hit in the head by rubble and could not be rescued as an ambulance failed to reach him in time for victims of murdered children,” the letter read.
“Russia is waging a war against the civilian population, not just by bombing. Some people need intensive care and treatment that they cannot get right now. How does it feel to inject yourself with insulin in a basement? Or searching for asthma medication under heavy weight? Not to mention the thousands “of cancer patients whose access to chemotherapy and radiotherapy has been postponed indefinitely”, he said. -she adds.
“I send this letter to the world: the war in Ukraine is not a war ‘somewhere’. It is a war in Europe, near the borders of the European Union. Ukraine reflects a force that can enter aggressively in your cities tomorrow and pretend to save civilians. Last week, that would seem like an exaggeration to me and to our people, but that’s the reality we live in. We don’t know how long this will last. will take.
Zelenská is hiding with her children in a secret location in Ukraine for security reasons. The Evening Standard clarifies that the trio should still be in Kyiv. President Zelensky, who told Reuters and CNN last week that he had not seen his family for three days, also remains in the metropolis separately from them.
Video: “When did you last see your children?” Zelensky gave an interview to foreign journalists
“When did you last see your children?” Zelensky gave an interview to foreign journalists. | Video: Reuters