Ukraine’s first lady Olena Zelenska takes to Instagram to praise the “incredible” women behind the resistance

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Lauren Geall
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Olena Zelenska

Olena Zelenska took to Instagram to pay tribute to the women who “heal, save and feed”. 

As Russian troops continue their advance on several key cities across Ukraine, the country’s first lady Olena Zelenska has taken to Instagram to share her support for the “incredible” women who have become “the face” of the country’s resistance.

Posting a series of images of women on the frontline and looking after children in bomb shelters, Zelenska – who has remained in the country alongside her children and husband, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky – expressed her “admiration” for the women who were doing their bit in the fight against Russia

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“Before the war (how scary and still unusual it is to say), I once wrote that there are two million more women in Ukraine than men,” Zelenska wrote in Ukranian. “That’s just statistics. And now, it takes on a whole new meaning. Because it means that our current resistance also has a particularly female face.”

Praising her “incredible compatriots”, Zelenska went on to dedicate her post to all the different types of women playing their part in the ongoing fight.

“To those who fight in the ranks of the Armed Forces, and those who enlisted in the defence. To those who heal, save and feed. To the volunteers who find everything they need. And to those who continue to do their usual jobs – in pharmacies, shops, on transport and in utilities, so that life may go on and win.” 

She continued: “To those who take children to shelters every day without panicking and entertain them with games and cartoons to save their minds from the war. And to those who give birth in bomb shelters.”

Concluding her post, Zelenska noted the start of meteorological spring – and issued a rallying call to people across Ukraine.

“Remember how we all celebrated each other on this day before the war (again, that scary phrase)? The sun can already be seen through the smoke of the shelling. Everything will be spring, everything will be victory, everything will be Ukraine!” 

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Since her husband came to power in May 2019, Zelenska has used her position as first lady to champion a number of social and humanitarian causes – and now, amid the uncertainty of war, she’s using her social media to encourage the Ukrainian people and raise awareness of what’s going on across the country.

Indeed, at the weekend, she shared an image of a baby born in one of Kyiv’s bombshelters, writing: “We are an army, an army is us. And children born in bomb shelters will live in a peaceful country that defended itself.” 

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Lauren Geall

As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and women’s issues. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time. You can find her on Twitter at @laurenjanegeall.