Ukraine’s First Lady Discusses Horrors Of War

Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska is in the United States with her husband to discuss the catastrophic effects of the conflict with Russia on Ukrainian children and the country’s way of life.

Zelenska thanked the United States for its aid and praised the close relationship between the two countries.

Zelenska delivered a joint talk with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the National Archives. She also visited with President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden and spoke to Georgetown University students and professors.

War crimes accusations against Russia and efforts to protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage were among the topics covered by Zelenska. She discussed the sexual assault done by Russian soldiers against women and children in seized territory. Thirteen minors were among the 231 victims of sexual abuse committed by Russian military personnel, according to the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office.

Zelenska also discussed the significance of protecting Ukraine’s cultural legacy. She pointed out that the occupiers had destroyed thousands of museums, cultural centers across Ukraine, and hundreds of libraries. As part of her “Ukrainian Bookshelf” project to spread Ukrainian literature worldwide, she also visited Georgetown University, where she gifted a set of books.

As the war’s effects on daily life deepen, Zelenska has become an advocate for mental health care for Ukrainians. She thinks people need training to comprehend their mental health problems better, and she notes that many Ukrainians may not realize they require assistance in this area.

A campaign titled “How are you?” has been launched to increase access to mental health services. The website for the campaign features information for Ukrainians struggling with their mental health. USAID funded the program and other initiatives to improve access to mental health care in Ukraine.

According to Zelenska, not all protocols can be utilized in Ukraine owing to the continuing war; hence, unique program protocols for psychological assistance for children were devised.

She said the political disagreements about the situation must be addressed, and the truth must be on Ukraine’s side.