The First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, penned an open letter to the global media.
Zelenska, a Ukrainian screenwriter, has been married to the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, since 2003. She began her letter by saying, “Recently, an overwhelming number of media outlets from around the world have reached out with requests for interviews. This letter serves as my answer to these requests and is my testimony from Ukraine.”
Olena Zelenska Says First Ukrainian Newborn Since War Began Was Born In A Bomb Shelter
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“What happened just over a week ago was impossible to believe. Our country was peaceful; our cities, towns, and villages were full of life,” she wrote.
“On February 24th, we all woke up to the announcement of a Russian invasion. Tanks crossed the Ukrainian border, planes entered our airspace, missile launchers surrounded our cities. Despite assurances from Kremlin-backed propaganda outlets, who call this a ‘special operation’ – it is, in fact, the mass murder of Ukrainian civilians.”
“Perhaps the most terrifying and devastating of this invasion are the child casualties,” she went on. “Eight-year-old Alice who died on the streets of Okhtyrka while her grandfather tried to protect her. Or Polina from Kyiv, who died in the shelling with her parents. 14-year-old Arseniy was hit in the head by wreckage, and could not be saved because an ambulance could not get to him on time because of intense fires.”
“When Russia says that it is ‘not waging war against civilians,’ I call out the names of these murdered children first,” she said. “Our women and children now live in bomb shelters and basements. You have most likely all seen these images from Kyiv and Kharkiv metro stations, where people lie on the floors with their children and pets – trapped beneath. These are just consequences of war for some, for Ukrainians, it is now a horrific reality. In some cities, families cannot get out of the bomb shelters for several days in a row because of the indiscriminate and deliberate bombing and shelling of civilian infrastructure.”
“The first newborn of the war, saw the concrete ceiling of the basement, their first breath was the acrid air of the underground, and they were greeted by a community trapped and terrorized,” she continued. “At this point, there are several dozen children who have never known peace in their lives. This war is being waged against the civilian population, and not just through shelling.”
Olena Zelenska Says That Citizens Are Unable To Get Medical Treatment As War Continues
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In a continued statement, Zelenska explains that people who require intensive care and continuous treatment will no longer be able to receive it.
“How easy is it to inject insulin in the basement?” she wrote. “or to get asthma medication under heavy fire? Not to mention the thousands of cancer patients whose essential access to chemotherapy and radiation treatment have now been indefinitely delayed.”
“Local communities on social media are full of despair,” she continued. “Many people, including the elderly, severely ill and those with disabilities, have been debilitatingly cut off, ending up far from their families without any support. War against these innocent people is a dozen crimes.”
Zelenska continued to thank the citizens of attacked cities, expressing her appreciation for those who have “coordinated to help those in need. Those that keep working – in pharmacies, stories, public transportation, and social services – show that in Ukraine, life wins.”
“I acknowledge those that have provided humanitarian aid to our citizens and thank you for your continued support,” she added. “And to our neighbors who have generously opened their borders to provide shelter for our women and children, thank you for keeping them safe, when the aggressor has rendered us unable to do so.”
“To all the people around the world who are rallying to support Ukraine. We see you!” she wrote. “We’re here watching and appreciate your support. Ukraine wants peace. But Ukraine will defend its borders. Defend its identity. These it will never yield.”
She then appealed to the media, writing, “keep showing what is happening here and keep showing the truth. In the information war raged by the Russian Federation, every piece of evidence is crucial.”
She concluded her letter with the message, “We will win. Because of our unity. Unity towards love for Ukraine. Glory to Ukraine!”