However, security has been strengthened, influencing her daily life, Poroshenko said. “I used to just get in a car and drive wherever I needed to go. Now I’m not allowed to do so,” she said. 

The interview was broadcast on Channel Five, which belongs to the president. In a nine-minute video, the first lady answers questions from anchor Vitaliy Haydukevych, while walking in the garden of the Poroshenkos spacious family mansion in Kozyn village outside Kyiv.

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According to her, the president still lives in the mansion some 30 kilometers away from Kyiv. The family owns an apartment in central Kyiv, close to parliament and the Presidential Administration, but her husband prefers to stay in the countryside. His wife says he returns from the office so late that he never suffers from traffic jams.

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“Do the kids see him? Yes, on TV,” Maryna Poroshenko said, laughing.

The couple has four children, two sons and twin daughters. The youngest child is 13. The oldest son, Oleksiy Poroshenko, 29, has recently become a father.

When asked what she reads now, the first lady replied: The Kyiv Post.

“I’m trying to improve my English,” she added.

When asked about her husband, Maryna Poroshenko said he is “very ambitious and a man of principles” who doesn’t react well to criticism and values his reputation.

The president doesn’t ask her advice in affairs of state, she said.

As a first lady, Maryna Poroshenko plans to engage in social and cultural issues. She said that she had already met lawmaker Iryna Herashchenko, who was assigned to be a mediator in settling the conflict in the east, and discussed possible help to the people in the east, riven by a Kremlin-fueled war.

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Kyiv Post editor Olga Rudenko can be reached at [email protected]

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