In the midst of the ongoing heartbreaking violence in Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky is concerned about his wife and children. “According to the information we have, the enemy has marked me as target No. 1, my family as target No. 2,” he said in an address last week, per The Washington Post. “They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the head of state.”
Zelensky has two children, 17-year-old Aleksandra and 9-year-old Kiril with his wife, Olena Zelenska. The whole family has remained in the Ukraine, in an undisclosed location, after Putin directed Russian troops to attack the country. “I will stay in the capital,” Zelensky said in a video address. “My family is also in Ukraine. My children are also in Ukraine. My family is not traitors. They are the citizens of Ukraine. But I have no right to say where they are now.”
The president received intel from the United States that he faces a significant danger to his life. “We have been making [Zelensky] aware not only of the threat of Russian invasion, now a reality, but also the threat to him personally,” Rep. Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said. “We stand ready to assist him in any way.”
Zelenska took to Instagram to share how she is handling this awful crisis, as both a citizen and a mom. “Today I will not have panic and tears. I will be calm and confident,” she wrote last week, as translated by TODAY. “My children are looking at me. I will be next to them. And next to my husband. And with you.”
Over the years, we’ve gotten a few sweet, rare glimpses into their family life, with pictures posted on both Zelenska and Zelensky’s Instagram accounts. In an interview with a local TV station last year, Zelensky expressed his hope that Aleksandra would stay in her home country when she heads off to college.
“Only here, because I am a president of no other state but Ukraine,” he said. “This is my wish, and we have agreed on that. However, it is difficult for her because she could study without any security guards if she studied abroad. As far as I know, she will study in the sphere of international relations; she wants to engage in the international economy.”
As this senseless violence continues, we’ve put together a guide on a few ways you can help the people of Ukraine today.
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