Olena Zelenska: ‘First Ladies do not ask for an international tribunal – but I am doing it’

First Ladies usually perform traditionally feminine functions in accordance with their role – they take care of medicine or culture, First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska said in an exclusive interview with Report’s Eastern European bureau.

“As you can see, I have had the opportunity to change this traditional view of the First Lady’s function somewhat – not by choice, but by circumstance. First Ladies do not ask for weapons. First Ladies do not ask for an international tribunal – but I am doing it, because the war in Ukraine has partially leveled the “protocol” roles. We are just all trying to make the most of the opportunities we have to win.

“My opportunity is to be one of the participants of the diplomatic front. My pre-war activities were the development of a barrier-free society together with the relevant ministries, cultural diplomacy projects, school nutrition reform, mental health. Now, in addition to this, together with our embassies, state institutions, I carry out an information mission: I talk about our war abroad, convince them to provide us with assistance (both humanitarian and military), take care of our internally displaced persons, do everything possible to make our culture sound powerful in the world. We are working to ensure that no country stops talking about the war unleashed by Russia, understands our needs and that Ukraine is fighting not only for itself. It is fighting for democracy and freedom, for human values of the whole world,” Zelenska said.

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