Ukraine: First Lady Olena Zelenska condemns Russian ‘mass murder’

Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska has issued an impassioned statement on the Russian invasion, condemning the “mass murder” of the country’s civilians.

She focused on child casualties, mentioning the names of three children who had died in the bombardments.

She said Ukraine wanted peace but would defend its borders and its identity.

The whereabouts of Mrs Zelenska, 44, are unknown, and her husband President Volodymyr Zelensky says his family is a target for Russian forces.

In an open letter published on the Ukrainian president’s website late on Tuesday in English, International Women’s Day, Mrs. Zelenska said she had received numerous requests for interviews and that her letter served as an answer.

She said the invasion was “impossible to believe. Our country was peaceful; our cities, towns, and villages were full of life”.

“It is, in fact, the mass murder of Ukrainian civilians,” she added, despite Russian efforts to portray it as a “special operation”.

“Perhaps the most terrifying and devastating of this invasion are the child casualties.

“Eight-year-old Alice died on the streets of Okhtyrka while her grandfather tried to protect her. Or Polina from Kyiv, who died in the shelling with her parents.

“Fourteen-year-old Arseniy was hit in the head by wreckage, and could not be saved because an ambulance could not get to him on time because of intense fires.

“When Russia says that it is ‘not waging war against civilians’, I call out the names of these murdered children first.”

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