Sarah May
December 10, 2023

Ukrainian first lady says world must send more aid as conflict drags on

Together with her husband, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska has served as a very public face of her country's conflict with Russia, and she has recently come forward again to implore the global community to send additional aid to Kyiv, as The Hill reports.

With much of the world recently preoccupied with the Israel-Hamas conflict and a growing sense of fatigue with regard to the protracted conflict in Ukraine, Zelenska is cautioning against complacency, lest “mortal danger” take hold.

Zelenska holds forth

In a new interview with the BBC, Zelenska addresses the current state of play in Ukraine, explaining that more assistance is required, and that the world must keep her country's struggle at the forefront of its priorities.

“We really need the help,” Zelenska said. “In simple words, we cannot get tired of this situation, because if we do, we die.”

Clearly concerned about being pushed onto the backburner of foreign policy concerns across the globe, she added, “And if the world gets tired, they will simply let us die.”

In an apparent acknowledgment that worldwide urgency regarding the conflict gripping her country is on the decline, Zelenska added, “It hurts us greatly to see the signs that the passionate willingness to help may fade.”

“It's a matter of life for us. Therefore, it hurts to see that,” she stated.

Cracks start to show

Likely triggering Zelenska's sense of panic about allied resolved to continue funding the effort against Russia was a recent White House indication that resources were running dry unless Congress stepped in and took decisive action.

That was followed by a successful move by Senate Republicans to block another $15 million in new support in an effort to secure concessions related to the security of America's southern border.

Notably, what was once overwhelming support among the American public for substantial aid to Ukraine has begun to flag, with recent polling from Gallup revealing that roughly 41% of respondents think too much aid is flowing to the country, and 60% declaring that there needs to be a time limit on the provision of money, supplies, and other forms of assistance.

Controversial figure

Though Zelenska seems to believe she has the moral authority to instruct other countries on where their money should flow, she has courted controversy in the past with what have been questionable public relations optics, particularly last year when she sat for a glamorous fashion shoot during the height of war.

Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert was among those who were not impressed with the move, saying at the time, “While we send Ukraine $60 billion in aid Zelenskyy is doing photoshoots for Vogue Magazine. These people thing we are nothing but a bunch of suckers.”

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