In a written exchange from an undisclosed location, Olena Zelenska, Ukraine's first lady, told ABC News that she fears for the safety of her husband, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and blames the West for allowing Russian President Vladimir Putin to become increasingly vicious.
“As every woman in Ukraine, now I fear for my husband,” Zelenska said.
The 44-year-old wife of Ukraine’s president said she calls her husband every morning, but only after praying for his well-being.
She also said she knows her spouse of 18 years is strong and capable of defending the country he loves.
Zelenska called Russia’s attack on Ukraine a “genocide” as she wrote about strikes on civilian targets including a maternity hospital in the city of Mariupol.
She also asked women in America “to support Ukrainian women and children who escaped from war and are looking for a shelter in your country.”
Calls to NATO
Staying on message with her husband, the Ukrainian first lady pleaded with NATO to put an end to Russian airstrikes and “close our sky.”
NATO has resisted deploying air support for fear of triggering a world war by directly engaging Russian forces. A plan for Poland to provide Ukraine with fighter jets has also failed to come to fruition.
Zelenska urged citizens of the world’s democratic countries to urge their leaders to take action against Putin and hold their elected officials accountable for “silently observing for decades” Russia’s growing strength and tyranny.
“We need to stop it,” she said. “By saying ‘we,’ I mean the whole world.”