Olena Zelenska flies the flag for Ukrainian fashion during US visit

Flying the flag for Ukrainian fashion: First Lady Olena Zelenska wears military-inspired outfits, traditional embroidery and colours of the national flag during visit to the US

  • First Lady Olena Zelenska, 44, championed Ukrainian fashion during US visit
  • She wore a military-inspired ensemble, local embroidery and national colours
  • Mrs Zelenska made a plea for the US to provide air missile defence systems

The wife of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky flew the flag for the country’s fashion industry during her visit to the US. 

First Lady Olena Zelenska, 44, championed homegrown designers and traditional craftsmanship in outfits that paid tribute to military uniform and the colours of the national flag as she carried out engagements in Washington D.C.

Mrs Zelenska made an emotional plea for the US to provide air missile defence systems to save ‘children in strollers’ from being killed by Russian rockets in an address before Congress on Wednesday.

She also met the President and First Lady at the White House and the Ukrainian Ambassador to the US. 

Flying the flag: Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska, 44, wore an outfit inspired by military uniform by a Ukrainian designer as she arrived in Washington D.C. earlier this week, pictured

Symbolic: To meet the Bidens on Tuesday, Mrs Zelenska wore an ensemble inspired by the colours of the Ukrainian flag: a pale yellow skirt with matching blazer and baby blue heels

Championing their craft: The patriotic wardrobe continued in Congress yesterday. She wore her black blazer with a strip of white fabric that showcased traditional Ukrainian embroidery

Steadfast: Mrs Zelenska has spent much of the war separated from her husband President Volodymyr Zelensky, pictured, who remains at secret locations in Ukraine

Arriving in the country on Monday, Mrs Zelenska wore a khaki green dress with a loose scarf at the neck that was inspired by the uniforms worn by soldiers on the frontline. 

‘The first lady is a symbol of the beauty of Ukrainian women who carry huge responsibilities at time of war: The outfits resemble the military uniform that our defenders and our president wear every day—but it is elegant with a scarf representing freedom and confidence in our victory,’ designer Lilia Litkovaska said in an Instagram post. 

Litkovaska, founder of an eponymous fashion label, was responsible for two of the First Lady’s outfits. 

Mrs Zelenska added a pin inspired by a rushnyk, a piece of fabric embroidered with traditional Ukrainian symbols, Vogue noted.

To meet the Bidens on Tuesday, Mrs Zelenska wore a Litkovaska ensemble inspired by the colours of the Ukrainian flag: a pale yellow skirt with matching peplum blazer and baby blue heels. 

In a show of unity with her husband, who remains in Ukraine and has spent much of the war apart from his wife, the First Lady added a pair of gold earrings that she sported at his inauguration. 

Little touches: Mrs Zelenska added a pin inspired by a rushnyk, a piece of fabric embroidered with traditional Ukrainian symbols, for her fist day in the US

Mrs Biden also appeared to pay tribute to the country with her egg yolk yellow shoes. 

The patriotic wardrobe continued at Mrs Zelenska’s appearance in Congress yesterday. 

She wore her chic black blazer with a strip of white fabric that showcased traditional Ukrainian embroidery.

The First Lady, who appeared on the cover of Vogue Ukraine in February, has been a consistent champion of the country’s burgeoning fashion industry.   

The mother-of-two has risked her life by choosing to remain in Ukraine and stand with her countrymen rather than flee. 

On the world stage: Mrs Zelenska accepts the Dissident Human Rights Award on behalf of the people of Ukraine at the Victims of Communism Museum in Washington D.C., pictured

Elegant: Mrs Zelenska wore a monochrome ensemble for an outing in Washington D.C. The white blouse with balloon sleeves is thought to be by a Ukrainian designer

‘I will not have panic and tears,’ the mother-of-two wrote on Instagram in the hours after the first attacks in February. ‘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.’  

It marks yet another remarkable turn in the life of the country’s reluctant First Lady. 

While President Zelensky has long courted publicity as an actor and comedian, Olena spent decades out of the spotlight.

She trained as an architect at university – where she met Zelensky, then a budding comedian and law student – before becoming a writer for the comedy troupe that made him famous.  

When her husband first told her of his plans to leave his career to run for president, she said publicly that she was ‘aggressively opposed’ to the ‘project’.

United front: First Lady Jill Biden appeared to pay tribute to her Ukrainian visitor with a pair of heels in egg yolk yellow – one of the colours of the Ukrainian flag 

And yet, when the time came for him to campaign, Olena dutifully appeared by his side for photo ops and campaign speeches. Now, less than three years after Zelensky’s landside victory, the mother-of-two has fully embraced her role as a First Lady on the global stage. 

She accompanies her husband on his engagements and is forging her own career as a First Lady of action, using her influence and position to champion causes including childhood nutrition and gender equality. 

Ukraine’s First Lady calls the war Putin’s ‘Hunger Games’ as she asks Congress for more weapons – including air missile defense systems – in emotional speech honoring children killed in strikes 

By Morgan Phillips, Politics Reporter For Dailymail.com 

Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska made an emotional plea for the U.S. to provide air missile defense systems to save ‘children in strollers’ from being killed by Russian rockets in an address before Congress Wednesday.

‘Those are Russia’s hunger games—hunting for peaceful people,’ Zelenska said as she displayed of a three-year-old now using prosthetic limbs after being caught in one of Russia’s indiscriminate attacks. 

‘They will never broadcast this on their news. That’s why I’m showing it to you here,’ Zelenska said. 

Married to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the first lady is the first spouse of a foreign leader to address the U.S. Congress directly at the Capitol. 

Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska made an emotional plea for the U.S. to provide air missile defense systems to save ‘children in strollers’ from being killed by Russian rockets in an address before Congress Wednesday

‘Those are Russia’s hunger games—hunting for peaceful people,’ Zelenska said as she displayed of a three-year-old now using prosthetic limbs after being caught in one of Russia’s indiscriminate attacks

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, left, House Minority Leader Kevin McCaerthy, center left and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi listen via headphone translation to Zelenska’s address 

‘I want to address you not as a first lady but as a daughter and a mother,’ Zelenska said. ‘An unprovoked invasive terrorist war is being waged against my country.’ ‘Russia is destroying our people,’ she added. 

After highlighting the atrocities her nation faces, she turned to a plea for more weapons. 

‘While Russia kills, America saves,’ Zelenska said. ‘I’m asking for something now that I would never want to ask. I am asking for weapons … air defense systems. In order for rockets not to kill children in their strollers.’ 

She said the weapons would not be used to ‘wage a war on somebody else’s land’ but to ‘protect one’s home and the right to wake up alive in that home.’  

‘I know that you [legislators] will be leaving for the traditional congressional recess in a week … I hope you heard me today. And I hope that your decisions will be speedy.’

Zelenska shakes hands with U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

Five months into Vladimir Putin’s invasion, the U.S. has doled out billions in humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine. The U.S. has committed $8 billion in direct security assistance to Ukraine, including $2.2 billion in the last month, and Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin said that the U.S. is sending four more high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS) to Ukraine, bringing the total up to 16. 

Russian forces are crushing through the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine and now control about a fifth of the country. Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu earlier this week ordered his army to prioritize destroying Ukraine’s long-range missile and artillery weapons after the Western-supplied weapons were used to shoot down Russia’s supply lines. 

Earlier this week a bipartisan group of six senators wrote a letter to Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley asking them to hurry shipments of medium- and long-range air defense systems to Ukraine as appropriated by Congress in May. 

On May 19 Congress passed a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine, which included $20 billion for the Ukrainian military. 

The speech before Congress and meeting with lawmakers was the last leg of Zelenska’s foray into Washington – on Tuesday Zelenska met with President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill after meeting with Sec. of State Antony Blinken on Monday.

Zelenska also met Monday with Samantha Power, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development. Power’s agency has given billions of dollars to support Ukraine’s government and to humanitarian needs, and is working to ease a global food shortage aggravated by Russia’s war.

Her husband meanwhile back at home has been cleaning house suspending top officials he accuses of collaborating with Russia. 

As Russians and Ukrainians tire of five months of war, both Zelensky and Putin know that efforts to undermine their fight permeate to the very top of government. 

Over the past few days he has dismissed his intelligence chief, the chief of Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU), Ivan Bakanov, and his Prosecutor General, Iryna Venedikotva over concerns they represented an element of Ukraine’s security forces that is sympathetic to Russia. 

Zelenska, 44, who during peace times focused on female empowerment, literacy and culture in Ukraine, is now tasked with raising global awareness and support for her nation in a war as her husband presses forward in the nation’s defense back at home. 

She met her husband when they were both students at different universities in their hometown, Kryvyi Rih. She later became a script writer at Kvartal 95, the production company her husband founded before he transitioned from comic acting to the presidency. The family also has two children, ages 9 and 17.

Source: Read Full Article