Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska sent a message to the world, and specifically the United States, through written correspondence with ABC News on Sunday.
Zelenska was unable to meet in person with the outlet or speak over the phone due to security concerns, but she wrote, “I guess my message is very similar to the one the whole world delivers. Only two simple words: STOP WAR.”
Zelenska told the outlet, “As every woman in Ukraine, now I fear for my husband.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been married to Zelenska for 18 years.
She wrote, ”Every morning before I call him, I pray everything goes well. I also know how strong and enduring he is. He is able to withstand anything, especially when he defends people and things that he loves.”
She spoke of Putin and the people supporting him in the Kremlin, discussing her doubt over “whether they have ordinary and sincere human feelings.”
“Ask yourself these questions and you will understand the difference of views on this war,” she wrote.
“Today, our country and our civilians pay a very high price for the silence and hesitation regarding this issue. Yesterday, it was innocent women and children in the maternity hospital in Mariupol. We have lost more than 71 children because of the Russian war — it is genocide of the Ukrainian people,” Zelenska wrote to ABC News.
She added, “Moreover millions of people are suffering in Mariupol, Kharkiv, Irpin, Sumy and other cities. They don’t have water, food and medicine. Russian soldiers are blocking humanitarian aid. We need to stop it. By saying ‘we,’ I mean the whole world.”
Zelenska requested “citizens of America, Europe and the whole world” to hold their leaders responsible for “silently observing for decades while the regime, where you cannot express your opinion, where the nation has been turned into slaves, grew and strengthened.”
“Leaders have lost their chance for respect. But you haven’t yet!” Zelenska said. “Today, the key life decisions are made in the offices of people who YOU elected as leaders in your countries. These are YOU who gave and keep giving the right to act on your behalf. And when they do not act, when they let our kids die — these are YOU who give them this right.”
“Every day of our fight increases the price that Ukraine pays for securing these values,” Zelenska wrote. “Surely, in this fight as a nation, we become stronger and tougher. I wish the sanctions against Russia from the U.S. and E.U. become the same: stronger and tougher.”
“We ask NATO to close our sky on behalf of all the people of Ukraine, or at least provide us with aircraft so we can defend our sky by ourselves,” Zelenska wrote.
She also expressed a specific message to Ukrainian women, saying, “You are giving life in the bomb shelters, calming children with lullabies, while Russian aviation keeps destroying our peaceful Ukrainian cities,” adding, “I admire your power. The power that becomes tougher than a hammer.”
She also pressed women in America to help.
“I appeal to you, women in America, and ask to support Ukrainian women and children who escaped from war and are looking for a shelter in your country,” she said. “These days every act of kindness and humanism is vital while we are bravely fighting for freedom for Ukraine, for Europe, for the whole world.”
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