Ukraine’s First Lady, Olena Zelenska, has issued an impassioned statement on the Russian invasion, condemning the “mass murder” of Ukrainian civilians.
She focused her attention on child casualties, mentioning the names of three children who died in the bombardments.
Mrs. Zelenska noted that Ukraine wants peace but would defend its borders and its identity.
Meanwhile, the whereabouts of Mrs. Zelenska, 44, remains unknown, and her husband, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, disclosed that his family is a target for Russian forces.
In an open letter published on the Ukrainian President’s website on Tuesday, March 8, 2022, Mrs. Zelenska averred she received numerous requests for interviews and that her letter served as an answer.
She said the invasion was “impossible to believe. Our country was peaceful; our cities, towns and villages were full of life”.
“It is, in fact, the mass murder of Ukrainian civilians,” Mrs. Zelenska noted, despite Russian efforts to portray the war as a “special operation”.
“Perhaps the most terrifying and devastating of this invasion are the child casualties. 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. Fourteen-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. When Russia says that it is ‘not waging war against civilians’, I call out the names of these murdered children first.”Ukraine’s First Lady, Olena Zelenska
Mrs. Zelenska noted that there were several dozen children born in recent weeks but have never known peace. She intimated that Russian President, Vladimir Putin, underestimated Ukraine, its people and its patriotism.
“While Kremlin propagandists bragged that Ukrainians would welcome them with flowers as saviours, they have been shunned with Molotov cocktails [also known as a petrol bomb, gasoline bomb, bottle bomb].”Ukraine’s First Lady, Olena Zelenska
She used the letter to also thank people around the world for their support and called on the West to “close the sky, and we will manage the war on the ground ourselves”.
The first lady ended her letter with a plea to the media to “keep showing the truth”.
“If we don’t stop Putin, who threatens to start a nuclear war, there will be no safe place in the world for any of us. We will win. Because of our unity. Unity towards love for Ukraine.”Ukraine’s First Lady, Olena Zelenska
What is more to the First Lady?
Mrs. Zelenska is a former screenwriter and has a high profile abroad, having accompanied her husband on several foreign trips.
She is best known in Ukraine for her campaign for better school meals and for encouraging the spread of the Ukrainian language around the world.
Mr. Zelenskyy announced from the beginning of the conflict that he was “target number one” and his family was “target number two” of the invading Russian forces.
What are the new developments?
Moscow and Kyiv have agreed to a 12-hour ceasefire to allow civilians to flee six badly assaulted areas including the capital, Kyiv. But Ukraine claimed that Moscow bombed a humanitarian corridor to the besieged southern port of Mariupol on Tuesday, March 8, 2022.
According to Mariupol’s Mayor, a six-year-old girl died of dehydration in the rubble of her home. Mariupol city has been without water and power for nine days consecutively, with several ceasefires breaking down.
A local officer mentioned that at least 10 people were killed in the Russian military “opened fire” on homes and other buildings in the eastern Ukrainian town of Severodonetsk.
On the aspect of energy, the United States has banned Russian oil imports, “cutting the main artery” of Russia’s economy. Britain, also on Tuesday, March 8, 2022, opened that it will follow the United States’ path by the end of this year (2022). European Union has also slashed gas imports by two-thirds.