President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and wife, First Lady Zelenska might have surprised everyone when they turned up on the digital cover of Vogue. The gorgeous images taken by celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz may seem out of place given the war in Ukraine, but the romantic moments are almost haunting when you realize what the couple and their country is going through.
The snapshot shows the duo tightly holding hands as they stare at the camera lens, the weariness is written all over their faces. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine has taken a deadly toll on the citizens of Ukraine and the couple’s family as well. Zelenskyy hasn’t seen their two children, Oleksandra, 17, and Kyrylo, 9, due to the security threats on the entire family. “I don’t even know how I would have survived these months if we had been apart. He’s having a much harder time in this regard. He suffers,” the First Lady told Vogue‘s Rachel Donadio. “And then my kids do, too, because they can’t see each other.”
Zelenskyy and Zelenska do not just think about their family, though, they worry about all of the citizens of Ukraine. “I will be very honest and maybe not very diplomatic: Gas is nothing. COVID, even COVID is nothing when you compare it to what’s going on in Ukraine,” President Zelenskyy explained. “Just try to imagine what I’m talking about happening to your home, to your country. Would you still be thinking about gas prices or electricity prices?” It’s hard to keep their dire situation in the news, but they are doing their best to keep the world informed.
So while their Vogue spread might seem glamorous, it’s really to draw awareness to what’s going on — and Zelenskyy has a chilling warning about why they’re continuing to fight for Ukraine’s freedom from Russia. “We are fighting for things that could happen in any country in the world,” the Ukrainian leader noted. “If the world allows this to happen, then it is not upholding its values. That’s why Ukraine needs support—significant support.”
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