Ukraine: Boris Johnson walks through Kyiv with Zelensky
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Speaking to Vogue magazine, Ms Zelenska said that the realisation of a Russian invasion hit her around four or five in the morning when she heard a “clunk” and “didn’t immediately realise it was an explosion”. The President was putting on his suit, which he has since discarded for more casual military attire, and she retrieved “essentials and documents” from around the house which was followed by her husband of 18 years leaving the house.
Ms Zelenska, her son Kyrylo, and daughter Oleksandra now only contact the President by phone and have not seen him since the beginning of the war.
She said: “In those first days I hoped that we might be able to stay with him, but the President’s office had become a military facility and my children, and I were forbidden to stay there.
“It was necessary to take care of the children, their emotional states. So, I tried to be confident, smiling, energetic.”
The wife of the President noted how she has an open dialogue with her children about the events in their country and she said: “There is no need to explain anything to children. They see everything, as does every child in Ukraine.
“Surely, this is not something that children should see, but children are very honest and sincere. You can’t hide anything from them.”
She added: “We’ve discussed everything with my daughter and son. I have tried to answer their questions.
“We talk a lot, because to say what hurts, to not remain silent within yourself – this is a proven psychological strategy. It works.”
Ms Zelenska revealed that the Russian’s underestimated the Ukrainian resolve and unity that would form when the invasion hit Ukraine.
She noted that the events in her nation have “combined the personal and the public” and that Vladimir Putin seems to misunderstand how this would strengthen Ukrainians.
She said: “He wanted to divide us, to shatter us, to provoke internal confrontation, but it is impossible to do this with Ukrainians.
“When one of us is tortured, raped, or killed, we feel that we all are being tortured, raped, or killed.
“And this is probably the fatal mistake of the tyrant who attacked us. We are all Ukrainians first, and then everything else.”
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As horrific details continue to emerge about the actions of Russian troops against Ukrainian civilians, Ms Zelenska has said the conflict has stirred the “deepest patriotic feelings in our children”.
She continued: “Not only my children, but all the children of Ukraine. They will grow up to be patriots and defenders of their homeland.”
President Zelensky has declared that he “is not ready to give away” any part of Ukrainian territory to Russia in return for peace.
The President warned the West that the whole of Europe is now a target for Putin and called for further aid in the form of arms and sanctions to help continue Ukrainian defence.
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