An Open Letter to the Global Media by Olena Zelenska, The First Lady of Ukraine

  • March 8, 2022

  • Olena Zelenska

    Recently, an overwhelming number of media outlets from around the world have reached out with requests for interviews.

    Profile Picture of Olena Zelenska in An Open Letter to the Global Media by Olena Zelenska, The First Lady of Ukraine
  • This letter serves as my answer to these requests and is my testimony from Ukraine.

  • Olena Zelenska

    What happened just over a week ago was impossible to believe.

    Profile Picture of Olena Zelenska in An Open Letter to the Global Media by Olena Zelenska, The First Lady of Ukraine
  • Our country was peaceful; our cities, towns, and villages were full of life.

  • Olena Zelenska

    On February 24th, we all woke up to the announcement of a Russian invasion.

    Profile Picture of Olena Zelenska in An Open Letter to the Global Media by Olena Zelenska, The First Lady of Ukraine
  • Tanks crossed the Ukrainian border, planes entered our airspace, missile launchers surrounded our cities.

  • Olena Zelenska

    Despite assurances from Kremlin-backed propaganda outlets, who call this a โ€œspecial operationโ€ - it is, in fact, the mass murder of Ukrainian civilians.

    Profile Picture of Olena Zelenska in An Open Letter to the Global Media by Olena Zelenska, The First Lady of Ukraine
  • Olena Zelenska

    Perhaps the most terrifying and devastating of this invasion are the child casualties.

    Profile Picture of Olena Zelenska in An Open Letter to the Global Media by Olena Zelenska, The First Lady of Ukraine
  • 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.

  • Olena Zelenska

    When Russia says that it is 'not waging war against civilians,' I call out the names of these murdered children first.

    Profile Picture of Olena Zelenska in An Open Letter to the Global Media by Olena Zelenska, The First Lady of Ukraine
  • Olena Zelenska

    Our women and children now live in bomb shelters and basements.

    Profile Picture of Olena Zelenska in An Open Letter to the Global Media by Olena Zelenska, The First Lady of Ukraine
  • 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 โ€“ trapped beneath.

  • These are just consequences of war for some, for Ukrainians it 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.

  • Olena Zelenska

    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.

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    Profile Picture of Olena Zelenska in An Open Letter to the Global Media by Olena Zelenska, The First Lady of Ukraine
  • At this point, there are several dozen children who have never known peace in their lives.

  • Olena Zelenska

    This war is being waged against the civilian population, and not just through shelling.

    Profile Picture of Olena Zelenska in An Open Letter to the Global Media by Olena Zelenska, The First Lady of Ukraine