Ukraine’s first lady claims Russia’s war in Ukraine has impacted her family. She says her son is losing interest in his past hobbies, and that Russia is making it harder for him to be a soldier.
In an exclusive interview with NBC News Olena Zelenska stated that her nine-year old son cannot be compelled to “do arts and humanities again”.
“Before war, my son used go to the folk dancing ensemble. He played piano. He also learned English. “He was a member of a sports club,” Ms. Zelenska said to Peter Alexander, NBC News’ Peter Alexander via a translator.
She said that he only wants to learn how to use a gun and martial arts.
Wednesday was spent by Ms. Zelenska with US officials. She shared her country’s request for more weapons in order to resist Russia’s invasion.
She met with congressional leaders in order to plead for her husband, President Volodymyr Zilenskyy, who is still in Ukraine, five months after Russia invaded.
She addressed Congress with a message describing her fear, concern, and sense of danger about the war in Ukraine. She also highlighted her desire that children find normalcy again.
She told NBC, “And that’s exactly what I want to ensure is that my son’s childhood is given back to me and that he lives a full life.”
Ms Zelenska met several American officials since Sunday, including First Lady Jill Biden (with whom she met first at the Ukrainian border on Mother’s Day) and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
She spoke out Wednesday in the US Capitol Visitor Center auditorium, highlighting her country’s urgent need for more military equipment.
“I’m asking now for something I wouldn’t want to ask,” Ms Zelenska stated to members of Congress.
“I ask for weapons, weapons that could not be used to wage war on another’s land but would be used to protect one’s home and to allow one to get up in the morning.
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To emphasize this need, Ms. Zelenska began her speech by presenting photos of Ukrainian children who were killed in Russia’s invasion. She said that she was asking for air defense systems to prevent rockets from killing.
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The US will send four additional High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems the Ukraine. These systems have significantly increased the country’s missile range.
This brings the total US-provided truck-mounted long range rocket launchers up to 16.
Ms. Zelenska stressed that this means that, “while Russia kills America saves”, in her speech.