Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska: Biography, Family and Career
|Who is Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's wife?|
Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife Olena, or Ze as she is affectionately known, have known each other since childhood. They come from the same city, Kryvyi Rih, the largest city in central Ukraine, and were born less than a couple of weeks apart.
Ukraine’s president met his wife Olena while they were both at school and started dating while they were at university. They married in September 2003. While she was reportedly once opposed to his political aspirations, she now – when it matters – is at his side, his closest and most steadfast ally, during the Russian attack.
Who is Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's wife - Ukraine’s first lady?
|Olena Zelenska has used social media to rally support since the invasion.|
She is Olena Zelenska was born in 1978, a Ukrainian screenwriter and onetime classmate of Zelensky.
In 2019 Zelenska became First Lady of Ukraine. In the role, she has championed social and humanitarian causes – and now, she is showcasing all the star qualities of bravery and resilience, as she stands by her husband on the world stage
Widely popular, Zelenska, whose English is flawless, is considered one of Ukraine’s most influential women by virtue of more than just her job title. A dynamic – and diplomatic – power house, in December 2019, during a speech at the third Ukrainian Women’s Congress, Zelenska initiated Ukraine's accession to the G7 international initiative on gender equality, the Biarritz Partnership. Then there’s been her work for Ukrainian culture, a reform of the school nutrition system and an initiative to spread the Ukrainian language across the world, all while campaigning for a barrier-free society.
Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska - Childhood and Education
|Ms Zelenska (44), used to write for the comedy troupe that catapulted her husband to fame, and eventually into public office.|
Olena Volodymyrivna Kiyashko was born on 6 February 1978 in Kryvyi Rih - a thriving city, the home of Ukraine's steel industry with a population of just under 700,000.
Mr Zelensky was born the same year in the same town – but the pair didn’t meet until they were both students at Kryvyi Rih National University.
Olena studied architecture at the Faculty of Civil Engineering at Kryvyi Rih National University where she started dating Volodymyr Zelenskyy while they were both in their late teens. Volodymyr was studying law at Vadym Hetman Institute of Economics.
The Ukrainian First Lady was also named as one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Ukraine by Focus Magazine in 2019.
While both graduated with degrees, neither Olena nor Volodymyr found immediate work in their chosen fields - another thing which they shared in common. Both were creative and with a gift for writing - Volodymyr was something of a showman, an entertainer - he was a member of the amateur dramatics group at university, taking an active part in plays, musicals and comedy productions.
Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska - Family, Personal Life
|Olena Zelenska with Volodymyr Zelenskyy and their children. Pic: Olena Zelenska via Instagram|
Their courtship lasted around eight years, until they decided it was time to tie the knot and start a family. They were married on 6 September 2003 and moved to the capital, Kyiv.
Only a few weeks ago the pair released a Valentine's Day video in which they kissed on camera as Ms Zelenska held a bouquet of flowers.
They welcomed their daughter, Oleksandra, in July 2004 and their son, Kyrylo, in January 2013.
Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska - Career
|The first lady was born Olena Kiyashko on 5 February 1978, in Kryvyi Rih, a city in central Ukraine.|
Not long after graduating from university, they were producing scripts and screenplays for local production companies.
They were so successful at it, that they decided to set up their own - Studio Kvartal-95 was founded in 1997 and made its debut the following year; the name (Quarter 95) coming from a famous road junction in Kryvyi Rih city centre. Olena was involved in several television projects such as the Liga Smichu (League of Laughter) show, a light entertainment comedy contest along with writing scripts for other TV serials and films.
Olena gave birth to her first child, Oleksandra in 2008 and their son Kyrylo was born five years later in 2013. Two years later, Volodymyr shot to national fame in the role of Vasyl Petrovych Holoborodko, a school history teacher who suddenly found himself in the presidential race after one of his online rants went viral in the hit TV comedy Servant of the People. He won, finding himself leading the nation completely by accident.
In a bizarre twist, fiction became reality when on 21 January 2019, Zelenskyy was put forward as one of the candidates for the elections in real life. He won by a landslide, taking over 73% of the votes - almost three times the votes polled by his rival Petro Poroshenko. That victory meant that Volodymyr became the youngest president of Ukraine in history and Olena, the youngest First Lady - both had only just turned 41.
|Ms Zelenska was studying architecture at the time but later turned her attention to writing and now works as a screenwriter for Ukrainian production company Studio Quarter 95.|
Olena Zelenska started her career a screenwriter.
Zelenska – whose maiden name is Kiyashko – originally embarked on a career in architecture, studying the subject at Kryvyi Rih National University, before changing her specialism to writing. It was at university that she met Zelensky (despite them having crossed over at school and having mutual friends), while he was a budding comedian and law student. Zelenska then went on to write for the comedy troupe that escalated the now president to public consciousness ahead of his defining role as a spoof politician in Servant of the People. When Zelensky first voiced plans to pivot into politics, Zelenska was reportedly ‘aggressively opposed’ having lived a life, prior to that point, away from the spotlight.
Where is Olena Zelenska now?
|The couple married in 2003 after eight years of dating and welcomed their daughter, Oleksandra, in July 2004 and their son, Kyrylo, in January 2013.|
Ms Zelenska has remained by her husband's side in Kyiv after he refused to leave the country.
"(The) enemy has marked me down as the number one target," Mr Zelenskyy said in a video message a few days ago.
"My family is the number two target."
The pair met when she was studying architecture at university.
|Ukraine’s First Lady Encourages Strength During Her Nation’s Darkest Times: ‘I Will Not Have Panic And Tears’|
And like Zelensky, Zelenska has taken to social media to address her country during these war torn times. In a post on Friday, written alongside an image of a gleaming Ukrainian flag, she said: ‘My dear people, Ukrainians! I'm looking at you all today: everyone I see on TV, on the streets, on the internet. I see your posts and videos. And you know what? You are incredible. I am proud to live with you and in the same country … Today I will not have panic and tears. I will be calm and confident. My children are looking at me, I will be next to them and next to my husband and with you. I love you! I love Ukraine!’
In a second statement since the conflict began, Zelenska posted an image of a baby swaddled in blankets. She wrote: ‘This child was born in the Kyiv bomb shelter. This was to take place in completely different conditions, under peaceful skies. It is what children should see. But the main thing is that despite the war, there were doctors and caring people on our streets next to her. She will be protected and defended. Because you are incredible, dear compatriots. We are the army, the army is us. And children born in bomb shelters will live in a peaceful country that has defended itself.’
|The first lady also told Ukrainian Vogue she prefers to stay “backstage” and is “more comfortable in the shade” rather than “always on the forefront” like her husband. |
“I am not the life of the party, I do not like to tell jokes. It’s not in my character,” she said.
| How to Help Ukraine People From USA, Europe & Around the World |
From anywhere in the world, find out the simpliest steps and most reliable ways to help or donate online to Ukranians who are in the ...
| Most Beautiful Female Ukraine Soldiers in Pictures |
Find out the most beautiful female soldiers in Ukraine army today in pictures.