Olena Zelenska, Ukraine’s First Lady, has stated that the war in her country has inspired her 9-year-old son to want to be a soldier.
Ms Zelenska said one major wish her son currently has is learning “martial arts and how to use a rifle”, in an interview with the UK’s BBC.
She further stated that it was her hope that the childhood of her son would be “given back” to him.
Like her husband, Volodymyr Zelensky, the first lady has also asked for help concerning weapons and she especially stressed the need for more weapons during a recent trip to the US.
Regarding her son’s reaction to the five-month conflict with Russia, she exclaimed “Before the war, my son used to go to the folk-dance ensemble. He played piano. He learned English.” However, since Russia’s war in the Ukraine, she said: “obviously he wants to be a soldier. I cannot bring him back to doing arts and humanities.”
“And that’s what I really want to ensure is that the childhood of my son is given back to him, and that he enjoys his life to the fullest.”
The first lady also has another child, an 18-year-old daughter named Oleksandra, who described the suffering and trauma of other children and parents during the war in her US visit.
Oleksandra displayed pictures and videos of children in Ukraine who were injured or murdered during the bloody conflict, in a 15-minute address to the American congress on Wednesday.
Four-year-old Liza Dmytriyeva was murdered in a missile strike by Russia in the central-western city of Vinnytsia. A photograph of her was also shown to congress.
The First Lady further stated during her address that “We want every father and every mother to be able to tell their child, ‘Go to sleep peacefully. There will be no more airstrikes, no more missile strikes.’ Is this too much to wish for?”.
“I am asking for weapons. Weapons that would not be used to wage a war on somebody else’s land but to protect one’s home and the right to wake up alive in that home.”
Many key members of the American Congress have been fundamentally understanding of Ukraine’s need for more weapons and security — as of now, an estimated 8 billion dollars has been donated to Ukraine.
Ms Zelenska, who has risen in prominence during the war, also conducted a meeting with US president Joe Biden, Antony Blinken Secretary of State , and America’s First Lady, Jill Biden.
The war between Russia and Ukraine is amplifying daily.
According to the UN, over 9 million Ukrainian refugees have crossed the border and millions remain displaced internally in the war-torn country.
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