Olena Zelenska talks about her relationship with her husband and her first act after victory
Olena Zelenska gave an interview to the German newspaper Zeit (Photo:Zeit)
Olena Zelenska spoke about how her relationship with her husband, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has changed during the year of full-scale war, in an interview with the German newspaper Zeit on Feb. 15.
Zelenska confessed during the interview that she wasn't ready for the role of the first lady but has quickly adapted.
"Of course, I had no idea about the protocol that I have to follow,” she admitted.
“I decided to find my own path. Independence has always mattered a lot for me. I was scared, imagining constantly being watched and judged. However, I knew it was going to be a part of my life. Then, the war came and has changed everything. Absolutely everything. My earlier thoughts seem ridiculous to me today. Since February last year, it was all about rescuing. It may sound pretentious, but my life revolves around helping other people.”
Zelenskyy added that after the outbreak of Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine, she and her husband became even more supportive of each other.
"We're trying to support each other, but I'm afraid that he helps me more than I support him,” she said.
“It gives me strength when I'm scared or nervous. He tells me: ‘Olena, you can do it. We can do it’. I would like to thank him for that and I really hope that nothing happens to him and that I can continue to thank him. In the first months of the war, we didn't see each other at all. We are not the only couple who were forced to live separately. But, we can see each other now.”
She also added that laughter and ease have vanished almost completely between them since the war started.
"We have dinner together once a week,” the first lady revealed.
“I wish we had done it more often, but we can't due to security reasons, and because my husband works non-stop. An easy manner was the hardest loss. Sometimes we speak by phone. Sometimes I even can't say if I feel better after. He has changed a lot. You won't believe how happy I am to make him laugh. We used to laugh so often..."
According to the first lady, Zelensky, like other people, gets tired, but he always finds the strength to continue working.
"His energy is not infinite,” she noted.
“Volodymyr is only a human. But he has always been able to capture the attention of others. This skill was often helpful for him. It has always fascinated me. We worked in a team with other colleagues on television for a long time. Then, he sometimes had crazy ideas. Others would say: ‘No, you can't do that. It's impossible.’ In the end, it always worked out. Even then, he was the last to leave and always the first to arrive at the office the next morning.”
Zelenska also told the newspaper what her first act after Ukraine’s victory would be: "I would get into my car alone without guards and other people that are constantly surrounding me. I will just leave the city. I will listen to very loud music. Then I will stop at a beautiful place and will just enjoy the scenery. And, of course, I will firstly switch off my mobile phone.”
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