Ukraine’s First Lady, Olena Zelenska has shared the excruciating experience of the impact of war on her family since Russia invaded in February 2022.
In an interview with BBC, Olena Zelenska said the family including her son has missed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“This may be a bit selfish, but I need my husband, not a historical figure, by my side,” she said.
She also spoke of the family missing spending time together.
“But we stay strong, we have strength both emotionally and physically. And I am sure we will handle it together,” she added.
When Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Olena Zelenska spent months in hiding in secret locations with her children.
She described her emotional state at the beginning of the invasion as “a constant feeling of adrenaline”. As time passed, she found it was “necessary” to calm herself and start living life in “the existing conditions”.
After emerging from hiding last year, the war thrust the former scriptwriter into the spotlight, and she has since travelled the world to meet leaders and give speeches.
She said, “We don’t live together with my husband, the family is separated. We have the opportunity to see each other but not as often as we would like. My son misses his father.”
However the uncertainty of living in war has come at an emotional cost for her children, she said.
“It pains me to watch that my kids don’t plan anything. At such an age, young people. My daughter is 19. They dream of travelling, of new sensations, emotions. She does not have such an opportunity.
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“There are limitations in time in what you can allow yourself, they exist, and we somehow try to live within them.”
The first lady and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky were high school lovers who went on to work together in a comedy troupe and TV studio – him as an actor and her as a scriptwriter, BBC said.