Olena Volodymyrivna Zelenska (Олена Володимирівна Зеленська (Кіяшко) was a screenwriter before becoming the first lady of Ukraine. Her husband Volodymyr Zelenskyy is the sixth person to become the country’s president.
Zelenska owns two apartments in Ukraine. One is in Crimea and the other is in Kyiv.
Born Olena Kiyashko in Kryvyi Rih, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Ukraine, Zelenska is Olha Kyiashko‘s daughter. Here are 13 more things about Zelenska:
- In 1995, she and Zelenskyy started dating. They met at the Kryvyi Rih Gymnasium #95, a high school in Kryvyi Rih.
- In 2000, she graduated from the Faculty of Civil Engineering at Kryvyi Rih National University in Kryvyi Rih with a bachelor’s degree in architecture.
- She worked as a screenwriter at Kvartal 95 Studio, a television entertainment production company founded by Zelenskyy, Shefir Serhiy and Shefir Boris in 2003. On September 6, 2003, she and Zelenskyy got married.
- In July 2004, she gave birth to her daughter Aleksandra Zelenskaya.
- In January 2013, she gave birth to her son Kyrylo Zelenskyy.
- She became the first lady of Ukraine when Volodymyr assumed office as the country’s president on May 20, 2019. As the first lady, went to fact-finding missions to different countries including Japan, Latvia and the United States.
- On November 18, 2019, she appeared on the cover of the December 2019 issue of Vogue‘s Ukrainian edition. She ranked 30th in the list of the 100 most influential Ukrainians released by Focus magazine in December 2019.
- On January 13, 2020, Volodymyr included her on the board of the Art Arsenal, headed by Ukraine’s culture minister Volodymyr Borodiansky.
- In June 2020, she started an initiative to spread the Ukrainian language in the world and the introduction of Ukrainian-language audio guides in the world’s largest museums. On June 16, 2020, she was hospitalized for observation after testing positive for the new coronavirus (COVID-19). On July 3, 2020, she was released from the hospital with continued domestic treatment for bilateral pneumonia.
- In November 2020, she spoke at the Fourth Ukrainian Women’s Congress.
- In August 2021, she initiated the Kyiv Summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen.
- At her initiative, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved new food standards in Ukrainian schools, which took effect on September 1, 2021. In September 2021, she spoke at the Fifth Ukrainian Women’s Congress.
- She is 12 days younger than Volodymyr. They were 44 years old when Russia’s second president Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. She later set up a Telegram channel that provides advice on how to act and live in war time. On March 8, 2022, she released an open letter condemning Russia over “the mass murder of Ukrainian civilians.” She wrote, “If we don’t stop Putin, who threatens to start a nuclear war, there will be no safe place in the world for any of us.”