Ukraine’s first lady pays tribute to ‘incredible’ women facing war

Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska has paid tribute to the women of Ukraine in a moving Instagram post.

Posting a slideshow of images to her feed earlier this week, Zelenska pointed out that there are two million more women than men in Ukraine and said this takes on a “new meaning” following Russia’s invasion.

“This means our current resistance has a particularly female face,” she wrote in the caption.

Images in the slideshow show a series of women, from those in the army, to medics and those in bomb shelters.

Zelenska added that she “admires” and “bows” to the women of Ukraine, which she called her “incredible compatriots”.

She added: “To those who fight in the ranks of zsu, and those who have signed up for teroboronu. Those who heal, save, feed. To the volunteers who find everything necessary for it. And those who continue to do their usual jobs – in pharmacies, shops, on transport, in utilities, so that life lasts and wins.

“To those who take children to shelters every day without panic and entertain them with games and cartoons to save children’s consciousness from war. To those who give birth in bomb shelters. Today is the first day of spring. Remember how we all celebrated each other on this day before the war (again that scary phrase)?

“So the sun is visible through the smoke of the shelling. Everything will be spring, everything will be victory, everything will be Ukraine 🇺🇦.”

Zelenska has remained in Ukraine alongside her husband, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, and their two children.

Russia began its invasion of Ukraine on Thursday 24 February. The United Nations says one million refugees have left the country in the past seven days. Ukraine has a population of 44 million.

On Thursday, Russian president Vladimir Putin said Russia would continue to bomb Ukraine “until the end” despite a plea from Zelensky for face-to-face talks and to halt military assault.

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.


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