June 23, 2024

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Olena Zelenska: Ukraine’s first lady says her country “cannot see the end of our suffering”

Olena Zelenska: Ukraine's first lady says her country "cannot see the end of our suffering"

“It’s very difficult to hold out for five months,” Zelenska told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “We need to pool our strength, we need to conserve our energy.”

“We cannot see the end of our suffering,” she said.

Russian forces eliminated most of the Ukrainian defenses in the Luhansk region and consolidated their control over a belt of territory in the south. Luhansk and neighboring Donetsk make up Ukraine’s Donbass region, an industrial heartland dotted with factories and coalfields that has been home to sporadic fighting since 2014, when Russian-backed separatists seized two regions – the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic.

Zelenska’s husband, President Volodymyr Zelensky, told G7 leaders on Monday that he wanted to wage war in Ukraine. Until the end of next year.
For now, the fighting continues in the east, with missiles hitting targets across the country – including, on Monday, A shopping mall where at least 1,000 people were inside when the air raid sirens sounded. At least 18 people were killed and dozens are still missing.
like her husbandZelenska described the attack as “terrorism”. While she said she was “shocked” by the incident, she made it clear that she was angry at how many times the Russian military’s tactics had left her stunned.

“We have been shocked many times. I don’t know what else the occupiers can shock us with,” Zelenska said.

family uprooted

Zelenska said that she and her children had not seen Zelensky for two months of the war. During the early days of the war, President He lived in his office And his family are forbidden to stay there for their own safety.

Since then, the fighting has moved away from Kyiv, allowing the family to meet – but not for long periods of time.

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Zelenska said their experience is not unique. She estimated that half of Ukrainian families were scattered by the war.

“Our relationship is off, as is the case with all Ukrainians,” she said. “We, like every family, are waiting for our reunion, to be together again.”

Zelenska said she and others are trying to cope by “trying to find joy in the simple things,” even if it’s fleeting. She likened herself to a photograph in Borodianka, east of Kyiv It was occupied by Russian forces in the early days of the war.

Zelenska said that the photo showed a series of destroyed buildings and bombing, and there was only one thing left – a closet.

“I am like that treasury in Borodianka,” said Zelenska. “I’m trying to hold on, just like that closet.”