Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska in UAE amid Russia’s war
Ukraine’s first lady offered enthusiastic support to her countrymen on Wednesday as she visited the United Arab Emirates, a country that is still open to Russia despite Western sanctions.
Speaking in front of a packed ballroom on International Women’s Day, Olena Zelenska described her and the world’s other first ladies and gentlemen as a real force to be reckoned with. She also praised the work of the average Ukrainian in the midst of the ongoing war.
“We are a force to be reckoned with and we can continue to change the world,” Zelenska said through a translator at the Forbes 30/50 summit.
Zelenska’s trip to the United Arab Emirates capital comes at a time when the UAE remains one of the few direct routes out of Moscow – both for people fleeing recruitment and for the wealthy who want to invest in Western financial markets. Want to park your money in a country with access to
The US Treasury has already expressed concern over the flow of Russian money into Dubai’s hot real estate market. Meanwhile, superyachts from Russian oligarchs have also frequented the emirate since the start of Moscow’s war on Ukraine last year.
However, the UAE has voted against Russia’s invasion at the United Nations and has provided humanitarian aid to Ukraine since the start of the war. Her husband, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, has held several calls with the leader of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates hosted a prisoner exchange in December that freed WNBA star Brittany Griner and Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.
Zelenska arrived in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday and met Sheikh Mohammed at Qasr Al-Bahar in the country’s capital Abu Dhabi. There, Sheikh Mohammed pledged $4 million to the Zelenska Foundation, which will go towards the construction of orphanages, the emirate’s state-run WAM news agency reported.
WAM said, “Sheikh Mohamed expressed the UAE’s commitment to the people of Ukraine through ongoing humanitarian assistance, while stressing the importance of international and regional efforts aimed at reaching a political solution to re-establish security, stability and peace.” reiterated the commitment of
Since the start of the war, Zelenska has taken a more prominent role in promoting Ukraine. In May, when the US President’s wife made a surprise visit to Ukraine from Slovakia, she met with US First Lady Jill Biden. She traveled around the world, meeting leaders and told the United Nations in February: “We have a right to live freely, not to be killed or tortured.”
Speaking in front of the crowd, Zelenska told the story of a schoolteacher who is still leading her students via video call from a snowy street, even though electricity and internet connections are unstable in the country. He also picked up a 30-year-old female combat medic killed in the fighting near Bakhmut in the east, which triggered gasps from the women gathered at the summit.
“We are inspired by examples and I am sure that these examples will always be in our hearts,” Zelenska said.
He said to cheers: “Ukrainian women and men are adapting so fast that our enemies have not been able to keep up with the new challenges posed to us.