First Lady Olena Zelenska, wife of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, made remarkable statements to The Guardian. Zelenska said that she did not believe that the war would start before the invasion, “Of course, no one shared military secrets with me. Frankly, I did not believe that the war would happen. Even my passport was not ready.”
In the first days of the war, Ukrainian leader Zelensky had declared that Russia’s number one target was himself and his family. Immediately after this statement, Olena Zelenska and her children were taken to a relatively safe place where they spent two months in a cage away from everything.
First Lady Zelenska told Shaun Walker of The Guardian about what she went through during this period…
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“THE LESS I SAY, THE SAFER I AM”
In her interview, the First Lady, who did not want to reveal where she was during this process, said, “The less I say, the safer I am,” but pointed out that although she went to different places during this process, she always stayed within Ukraine.
Zelenska, who was told by security guards to leave all her electronic devices behind, said that during the 2-month hiding period she rarely spoke to her husband and could only watch him on television, just like other Ukrainians.
“WE DON’T LIVE TOGETHER BUT AT LEAST WE SEE EACH OTHER”
First Lady Zelenska is still one of Russia’s top targets, but now she is in a place where she can see her husband more often. “Of course, we don’t live together, but at least we see each other now,” Zelenska said in an interview, although she did not say where.
Asked about her first meeting with her husband after a long time, the First Lady said: “We hugged, greeted each other and asked each other how we were. The children were here too and they hugged their father. Now that we can see each other and they can physically touch their father, it makes things a little easier.”
“I DIDN’T BELIEVE THERE WOULD BE A WAR, I DIDN’T EVEN HAVE MY PASSPORT READY”
Asked how she felt before the start of the war, Zelenska said, “Different information was coming from all sides. Of course no one shared military secrets with me. Frankly speaking, I did not believe that there would be a war. I did not even have my passport ready.”
Pointing out that more than half of the Ukrainian population is now away from their families, just like themselves, the First Lady said, “All Ukrainians are under a great psychological burden. For now, everyone is focused on defeating the Russians, but when the war is over, there will have to be a big program to heal the nation. There are great dangers ahead,” he said.
NO SURPRISING CHANGE IN ZELENSKY’S MOOD”
Expressing her thoughts about her husband with emotional words, the First Lady stated that she was not surprised by how impressive Zelenski was and said, “He is someone who has come out of impossible situations more than anyone else I know. He has a structure that can always inspire those around him. Even when everyone around him gives up, he never gives up.”
“Discipline is his middle name. Every morning the alarm goes off, he gets up, brushes his teeth, gets dressed and leaves. Surprisingly, there has been no change in his mood in the last months. Is he hiding everything? Will this all come out after the war is over? I am more worried about his physical health, because he always gets sick after going through difficult situations. I try to take care of him, but like any man, he doesn’t like to check his temperature or blood pressure. But I try to do it by making a scene.”
ZELENSKY FORGOT TO TELL, LEARNED ABOUT HER HUSBAND’S DECISION ON TV
First Lady Zelenska met her husband before Zelenski’s presidency and even before his career as a comedian. The couple, who were lovers for 8 years, married in 2003. As her husband’s career as a comedian progressed, Olena preferred to stay away from the red carpet and fame. Their daughter was born in 2004 and their son in 2013.
Zelensky rose to fame for his role as the President in the TV series ‘Servant of the People’, and at the end of 2018 he announced that he would run for president in real life by registering a party named after his show. Zelenska learned about her husband’s decision from the news.
Zelenski said he forgot to tell his wife about his decision. Asked if she was upset by the conspicuous omission, the First Lady said she was experiencing a “huge range of emotions”.
ONLINE FIRST LADY SUMMIT
In a candid interview with the newspaper, Zelenska acknowledged that she plays an awkward role, but believes she can still make a difference, despite being in a position where her husband is known for his work, has no official authority and is constantly judged on his appearance and dress.
Zelenska plans to organize the event, which was held in Kiev last year and attended by ten First Ladies, including Emine Erdoğan, wife of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in an online format this year.