Since the beginning of a full-scale Russian invasion, Ukraine's first lady used every opportunity to highlight the suffering of the Ukrainians worldwide. She was even the first wife of a foreign president to address the US Congress.
Olena Zelenska called on American parliamentarians to provide Ukraine with more weapons to stop Russia. She has also urged British MPs to create a special international tribunal for Russian crimes.
Olena Zelenska is now hugely involved in projects to support the mental health of children and families traumatized by the war and promotes Ukrainian culture.
Yuliia "Taira" Paievska - paramedic, the founder of the volunteer ambulance corps "Taira's Angels"
Yulia Paevskaya is a well-known Ukrainian paramedic and founder of the Angels of Taira volunteer medical unit, which saved hundreds of wounded civilians and military personnel.
Paevskaya, better known as Taira, was captured by Russian troops in March while helping evacuate civilians from Mariupol.
She documented her team's work in the captured city with her body camera. After her release three months later, Paevskaya spoke about the torture and harsh conditions she faced in captivity, calling her imprisonment "hell."
Olexandra Matviychuk, Nobel laureate, human rights activist
Alexandra Matviychuk is a human rights activist. For 15 years, she has been the head of the Center for Civil Liberties (CSG), which became one of the winners of the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize for its work documenting Russia's war crimes after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Matviychuk has extensive experience organizing human rights activities to counter rights and freedoms violations. She is the author of a number of reports for the UN, the Council of Europe, the European Union, the OSCE, and the International Criminal Court.
Yaroslava Gres, Coordinator in UNITED24 |CEO GresTodorchuk PR
Yaroslava Gres is a coordinator in the UNITED24 fundraising platform, the initiative of the President of Ukraine as the main venue for collecting charitable donations in support of Ukraine.
Via this fundraising platform, it has been possible to raise more than $288 million. The funds are used to purchase and deliver thousands of vehicles for Ukrainian doctors, hundreds of ambulances, ammunition, and drones.
Anastasia Blyshchyk, a TV journalist, a servicewoman
Anastasia Blyshchyk used to work as a successful TV journalist. On May 4, 2022, Olexander Makhov, her fiance, who defended Ukraine from the first day of the full-scale invasion, was killed at the front in the Kharkiv region. Three months after the death of her boyfriend, Anastasia became a serviceman and temporarily paused her work and life in the capital.
She learned to shoot and mastered tactical medicine to keep her compatriots at the front. At the same time, Anastasia communicates a lot with other women who lost their loved ones in the war.
Alina Mykhailova, Deputy of the Kyiv City Council, paramedic
Alina Mykhailova is a paramedic in the "Right Sector" battalion and a deputy in the Kyiv City Council. Among her priorities as a deputy is fighting against illegal construction in the capital and the de–russification of Kyiv.
Mykhailova first went to war at the age of 19 in 2014. First as a volunteer, and since 2016 – as a paramedic in the "Hospitallers." Within a year, she created a medical service according to NATO standards. Now she is saving lives on the frontline.
Yana Zinkevich, Politician and Frontline Medical Volunteer, founder of the "Hospitallers" medical battalion
"Hospitallers" is a volunteer paramedic organization that saves lives on the front line. Led by Yana Zinkevich, it evacuates people from the battlefield. Zinkevich became a medical volunteer after graduating from high school, and in 2014, at the beginning of military operations in Ukraine, she founded a Medical Battalion.
Yana personally took 200 wounded soldiers from the battlefield to safety. Zinkevich, 27, is also one of the youngest members of the Ukrainian parliament and heads the military medicine subcommittee.
Irina Kondratova, pediatrician
Doctor Iryna Kondratieva and her team tirelessly took care of pregnant women, newborns, and mothers in the Kharkiv Regional Perinatal Center, despite the severe shelling of the city.
They set up a maternity ward in the basement of the hospital and risked their lives to stay in intensive care with babies who could not be evacuated.
Doctor Kondratieva, in March 2022, teamed up with the Instagram page of the football player David Beckham with millions of followers worldwide. There she published information about the problems doctors and patients faced during the Kharkiv shelling.
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