Here’s Everything We Know About Ukraine’s First Lady, Olena Zelenska

If you’ve been watching the news, you’ve probably seen (or heard about) Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska, who is the wife of President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Zelenska has been extremely vocal since the war began, calling on First Ladies across the globe to lend their support. She also launched a Telegram channel, so Ukrainians can access verified information about what’s happening in the country. But did you know that she’s also a powerful women’s rights activist? Or that she purposely wears Ukrainian fashion designers to show her support?

Keep scrolling for more details about Olena Zelenska.

ukraine first lady olena zelenska husband
Ukrainian Presidency/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

1. Who Is Olena Zelenska?

Zelenska is an activist and professional writer. Prior to becoming First Lady of Ukraine, she worked as a screenwriter. She continued writing when Zelensky was elected but slowly scaled back as she became more involved as First Lady.

ukraine first lady olena zelenska
Yevhen Kotenko/Ukrinform/Future Publishing/Getty Images

2. What Does She Do?

The role of First Lady in Ukraine is significantly different than in the U.S. The main distinction is that Zelenska doesn’t have an official office or specific duties that she’s expected to carry out. However, she can forge her path if she chooses to do so.

In this case, Zelenska began by launching an initiative that was designed to implement better nutrition programs in schools. Since then, she’s become a noteworthy activist promoting women’s rights, Paralympic efforts and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education for women. She also co-created the National Call Center for domestic violence to help victims seek immediate support.

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3. Is She Involved With The War Effort?

Although she and her children have been taken to a safe location, Zelenska has been very involved with the war effort. When it began, she launched a Telegram channel that provides access to factual information.

“How to act and live during war time? These days, we all have many questions,” she reportedly said. “I would like to help as much as I can. So, I am starting a special Telegram channel with verified answers.”

Zelenska also asked for support on Instagram from other First Ladies, writing, “My answer is—tell the truth to the world! Speak up! What is happening in Ukraine is not a ‘special military operation’, as Putin says, but a full-scale war, where the aggressor is the Russian Federation.”

She continued, “Ukraine does not need to be rescued. But we need support from the world for our army and civilians. Not just in words.”

ukraine first lady olena zelenska fashion
Yurii Rylchuk/ Ukrinform/Future Publishing/Getty Images

4. What Is She Known For?

Aside from being First Lady, she’s widely recognized for her meaningful fashion. In fact, she’s made a point to wear Ukrainian designers long before the Russian invasion. She’s also a mother to two children, Aleksandra (17) and Kiril (9).

During a recent interview with The Diplomatic Courier (via Glamour), Zelenska explained that her goal is to represent Ukraine in the best way possible. “I truly believe in soft power and cultural diplomacy,” she said. “It is a part of that power which is important for Ukraine.”

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Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...