I wanted to come for Mother’s Day. I thought it was important to show the Ukrainian people that this war has to stopshe told reporters, saying that
the american people stand with the ukrainian people.
Jill Biden was in Slovakia this week, including meeting with Ukrainian refugee families, and her foray into Ukraine had been kept secret until the last moment.
Jill Biden and Olena Zelenska hugged and the first lady of the United States presented a bouquet of flowers to the wife of the Ukrainian president.
This is the first time Ms. Zelenska has appeared in public since the start of the conflict on February 24, an American official said. According to the same source, the two ladies have exchanged letters in recent weeks.
I wanted to come to Mother’s DayMs. Biden told reporters who attended the start of the meeting in a small classroom of a school converted into a reception center for refugees.
I thought it was important to show the people of Ukraine that this war has to stop, that this war is brutal, and that the people of the United States stand with the people of Ukraine.she continued.
Ms Zelenska replied in Ukrainian, her remarks being translated by an interpreter.
First of all, I would like to thank you for a very courageous actdid she say.
Because we understand what it takes for the first lady of the United States to come here during a war where military operations take place every day, where air-raid sirens sound every day, even todayadded Olena Zelenska.
We all feel your support and we all feel the leadership of the US President, but we would like to emphasize that Mother’s Day is a very symbolic day for us, because we also feel your love and support on such an important day.she added.
A closed-door meeting of the two women lasted about an hour, before they met refugee children working on paper cutouts, accompanied by their mothers.
During her interview with Jill Biden, Olena Zelenska said she was happy to
being able to hold her children’s hands every night, even if she can’t be with her husband, reported a spokesman for Ms. Biden, Michael LaRosa. Ms. Zelenska and President Volodymyr Zelensky have a 17-year-old daughter and a 9-year-old son.
Olena Zelenska also said she was extremely concerned about the issue of the mental health of children, soldiers and other Ukrainians, the spokesperson said.
After the meeting, Ms. Biden then left for the Slovakian border.
More than 400,000 Ukrainians have entered Slovakia since the start of the war, according to Interior Ministry figures. Most left for other countries, but about 74,000 of them remained in this former Soviet republic.
Like the day before in Romania, the first lady of the United States assured the refugees she met of her country’s support and found that most of them wanted to return home as soon as possible.
On Monday, the last day of her tour, Ms. Biden is due to meet with senior Slovak officials.