Courage And Resilience: Ukrainian First Lady Appears on Vogue Magazine Cover - Trending

Olena Zelenska affirms, “We’re looking forward to victory. We have no doubt we will prevail.“

Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska tells Vogue Magazine, “The first weeks after the war broke out we were just shocked,” she said. “After Bucha we understood it was a war intended to exterminate us all. A war of extermination. These have been the most horrible months of my life, and the lives of every Ukrainian.”

In Vogue’s Portrait of Bravery, the first lady is featured on the cover wearing a soft pale neutral long-sleeved top, slim dark pants, and black flats while sitting on marble steps juxtaposed against sandbags. Zelenska speaks with Vogue writer Rachel Donadio and is photographed by Annie Leibovitz. Read more about the story here.

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Per Britannica, after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Ukraine became more integrated with Europe. When then Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych who was pro-Russian attempted to reverse this trend in 2014 Ukrainian citizens protested and overthrew him from power. Since this resulted in a lost ally for Vladimir Putin, Russia invaded the Ukrainian autonomous republic of Crimea. In addition, he provoked separatist uprisings in Donetsk and Luhansk, two regions of eastern Ukraine while war between pro-Russian militias and the government of Ukraine continued for years. Volodymyr Zelensky whose platform was populist reform became the new president-elect, gaining over 70 percent of the vote. It was in 2021 that Putin ordered a build-up of troops along the Russian Ukrainian border following this with the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Speaking through a translator, Zelenska says, “Frankly I don’t think anyone is aware of how we have managed emotionally. We’re looking forward to victory. We have no doubt we will prevail. And this is what keeps us going.” She also told Vogue writer Rachel Donadio that what inspires her is her fellow Ukrainians. 

In an Instagram post, Zelenska shares, “To be on the @voguemagazine cover is a great honor and dream of many successful and prominent people of the world. The only thing I wish for all of them is that it is not because of war in their countries. And now I would like you to see every Ukrainian woman here, in my place. Who fights, volunteers, settles in a refugee camp, does her job under the sound of a siren, holds on under the occupation. She has the right and deserves to be on the covers of the whole world. Each of you, fellow Ukrainian women, is now the face and cover of our country.”

Banner photo by @voguemagazine on Instagram.

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