Ukraine invasion: First lady Olena Zelenska praises ‘incredible’ women who are the ‘face’ of the resistance | World News

Olena Zelenska, the wife of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has paid tribute to the “incredible” women who are the “face” of the Ukrainian resistance – and said “there will be victory”.

Writing on Instagram, she expressed her “admiration” for the women fighting in the armed forces, those who enlisted in the defence and “those who heal, save and feed”.

Ms Zelenska, 44, lauded the women who “take children to shelters every day without panic and entertain them with games and cartoons to protect children’s minds from the war” and “those who give birth in bomb shelters“.

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In this photo taken on May 6, 2020, Olena Zelenska, wife of Ukrainian's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, looks on during a TV address in Kyiv, Ukraine. Olena was hospitalized with double-sided pneumonia after getting infected with the new coronavirus. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)
Olena Zelenska has used social media to rally support since the invasion. Pic: AP

The women who ‘make sure life goes on’

Sharing images of women in various roles, Ms Zelenska, who has two children, praised women volunteering and those who are continuing to make sure “life goes on and wins” by doing their usual work in pharmacies, shops, transportation and public offices.

“Before the war (how scary and still unusual it is to say this), I once wrote that there are two million more women in Ukraine than men,” she said. “Just statistics.

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“But now it is taking on a whole new meaning. Because it means that our current resistance also has a particularly feminine face.

“My admiration and bow to you, incredible compatriots!”

Ms Zelenska said that Tuesday is the first day of spring and “the sun can already be seen through the smoke of the shelling”.

“There will be spring, there will be victory, there will be Ukraine!” she said.

Olena Zelenska appeared on the cover of Vogue Ukraine 
Ms Zelenska appeared on the cover of Vogue Ukraine. Pic: Vogue UA

‘No panic and tears’

Ms Zelenska has remained by her husband’s side in Kyiv after he refused to leave the country.

Since the war began she has used social media to rally support and highlight the achievements of Ukrainians in the face of the Russian invasion.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, second left, and his wife Olena Zelenska leave a booth at a polling station during a parliamentary election in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, July 21, 2019. Ukrainians are voting in an early parliamentary election in which the new party of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is set to take the largest share of votes. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
Ms Zelenska was once a writer for a comedy troupe that made her husband famous

She told Ukrainians on Friday they are “incredible” as she shared a picture of the Ukrainian flag.

“I am proud to live with you and in the same country… Today I will not have panic and tears,” she wrote.

“I will be calm and confident. My children are looking at me, I will be next to them and next to my husband and with you.

“I love you! I love Ukraine!”

Olena Zelenska appeared on the cover of Vogue Ukraine 
Ms Zelenska told Vogue she prefers to stay ‘backstage’. Pic: Vogue UA

The first lady previously posted a picture of a baby on Instagram who had been born in a Kyiv bomb shelter, saying: “Despite the war, there were doctors and caring people on our streets next to her.

“She will be protected and defended. Because you are incredible, dear compatriots.”

She studied architecture at university, where she met Mr Zelenskyy – a promising comic and law student at the time – before becoming a writer for the comedy troupe that made him famous.

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She now works as a screenwriter for Ukrainian production company Studio Kvartal 95.

She and Mr Zelenskyy were married in 2003 after eight years together and had a daughter, Oleksandra, in 2004 and a son, Kyryl, in 2013.

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She appeared on the cover of Ukraine’s edition of Vogue in November 2019, after her husband was elected in May that year.

The first lady told Vogue she prefers to stay “backstage” but has used her position to champion gender equality and childhood nutrition.

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