Jill Biden and Olena Zelenska met again, this time at the White House, during the Ukrainian first lady’s trip to the United States. This Wednesday, the wife of the Ukrainian president is expected to address members of Congress.
Greeted by Jill and Joe Biden, wife of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the US head of state presented Olena Zelenska with flowers, including sunflowers, Ukraine’s national flower.
Jill and Olena hugged and posed for photos before heading inside the White House, where the Ukrainian first lady received a briefing on how the government is trying to help affected Ukrainians.
For the rest, Joe Biden has already promised that the United States will support Ukraine in its fight against Russia “as long as necessary.”
Zelenska is making a high-level visit to Washington this week.
“It’s great to see you again,” said Jill Biden, recalling their first meeting on May 8, during the US first lady’s visit to Eastern Europe.
Jill Biden traveled from Slovakia to western Ukraine to meet with Zelenska, who has not been seen in public since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an attack on Ukraine in late February.
The US first lady visited Romania and Slovakia in May in a public show of support for Ukrainians, mainly women and children, who fled to these countries after the Russian invasion.
“When I came back, one of the things I said was that we couldn’t go to a war zone and come back without feeling the sadness and pain of the people I met,” Biden’s wife said, recalling Zelenska introducing herself. For many refugees.
Jill Biden was joined in the Blue Room by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Doug Emhoff, husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, and other government officials, and recalled Olena Zelenska’s plea to address mental health issues. Conflict-induced health.
“I spoke with my team and sent a letter to Zelenska outlining what we are doing for the mental health of mothers and children who are really affected by this tragedy and atrocities,” she added.
Zelenska made no statement while American and Ukrainian journalists were in the room.
Before coming to the White House, Zelenska received a human rights award on behalf of the Ukrainian people in recognition of their struggle for independence.
The award was presented by the Victims of Communism Memorial Trust.
“It is an honor to be here today to accept this award on behalf of all Ukrainian men and women who are fighting the Russian occupation,” Zelenska said, speaking through a translator.
Already on Monday, the Ukrainian first lady met with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the administrator of the US Agency for International Development, Samantha Power.
This Wednesday, Olena Zelenska is expected to address members of the U.S. Congress in an auditorium on Capitol Hill, her husband revealed via video conference days after the start of the war.
Zelenska was almost never seen for the first few months after the invasion, nor were the couple’s two children.
In an interview with Time magazine this month, the first lady insisted that the war had forced her to seek shelter far from Zelensky for security reasons since the early hours of the Russian bombing.
His children, like other Ukrainians, have seen Zelensky in his regular nightly videos directed at the country.
In one of these video communications, Volodymyr Zelensky addressed his wife’s trip to Washington, explaining that she would speak to the US Congress on behalf of all Ukrainian mothers and women.
“I hope that those who are responsible for making decisions in America will listen to it,” the Ukrainian president underlined.