Ukrainian first lady: ‘We are capable of persevering for even longer’

Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska on Sunday said Ukrainians can persevere “for even longer” as the country’s war with Russia nears the one-year mark, and as the world responded in horror to Moscow’s devastating attack on an apartment building over the weekend.

“We understand that upon carrying on for a year, we are capable of persevering for even longer. We can endure it,” Zelenska said on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” speaking through a translator.

Russia in recent days renewed strikes against Kyiv, Kharkiv and other areas of Ukraine, including the eastern city of Dnipro.

At least 21 Ukrainians were killed and 73 injured, including 14 children, in Dnipro when a Moscow missile hit a nine-story residential building.

“This state terrorism aims to intimidate people … And one of the purposes that they have is to destroy the infrastructure of this country, for people to be exhausted, for people to raise their voice and say, ‘Oh, we are sick and tired of this war. Let us negotiate. Let us bring this war to the end.’ But they failed in this purpose,” the first lady said.

“People are trying to go on living, working, having their children go to school. Sometimes they even make jokes. And not only are they trying to survive but [they are trying to] live a meaningful life,” Zelenska said.

The Ukrainian first lady said Ukrainians are “getting adjusted to the new conditions” and adapting to energy outages, missile threats and other wartime instabilities. But she also underscored the impact of the war, saying “our children have grown up too soon.”

“All children in Ukraine understand what’s going on, including mine. You cannot conceal anything from them. And we are not trying to do so because they live in the same information space as all of us,” Zelenska said, emphasizing the need for young Ukrainians to continue their education however they can.

“We should not give up because we know that Ukraine after the war will need educated, young people that would be restoring our country and restoring normality in the country and in our families,” she said.

Zelenksa and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky have two children, a teenage daughter and a younger son.

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