Go to contents

Ukrainian first lady leads anti-war sentiment on social media

Ukrainian first lady leads anti-war sentiment on social media

Posted March. 11, 2022 07:51,   

Updated March. 11, 2022 07:51


Along with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy who is garnering global attention for his determination to fight despite Russia’s invasion and threats of assassination, First Lady Olena Zelenska is also emerging as a national hero. The first lady who has 2.4 million followers on Instagram and 140,000 followers on Facebook has been posting pictures and videos showing the horrors of war, as well as messages cheering the Ukrainian people and calling for international support, on her social media accounts, leading the anti-war sentiment.

“She is now focused on Ukraine's battle for survival,” said CNN on Thursday, adding that nothing can more clearly show the true realities of war than her social media posts. The news outlet said she is receiving support across the world. The Daily Telegraph also described her as the secrete weapon of Ukraine.

Zelenska’s open letter titled “I testify” condemned Russia by saying, “Despite assurances from Kremlin-backed propaganda outlets, who call this a 'special operation' - it is, in fact, the mass murder of Ukrainian civilians. When Russia says that it is 'not waging war against civilians,' I call out the names of these murdered children first.” The letter was posted on Tuesday in five languages – Ukrainian, French, German, English, and Russian.

Zelenska met President Zelenskyy in high school in the mid-1990s and the two got married in 2003. She worked as a broadcasting writer for Kvartal 95 Studio. The production company created TV series “Servant of the People” in which the president starred. With the popularity of the series that depicts a story of an ordinary teacher becoming a president to clear up corruption, Zelenskyy indeed became the president in 2019. Since her husband took office, Zelenska focused on improving school meals and gender equality. The couple has a daughter named Aleksandra and a son named Kyrylo.

In an interview with U.S. magazine Vogue in 2019, Zelenska said that she wasn’t all that happy when her husband decided to run for president as she knew it would completely change the life of her family and bring a lot of challenges. She is currently taking refugee at an undisclosed place with two children away from the president. “Russia’s first target is me and its second target is my family,” President Zelenskyy expressed concerns for the safety of his wife and children immediately after the beginning of the war.

Eun-Taek Lee nabi@donga.com