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Ukraine flag Sunflower vintage Ukrainian support Cat Shirt! Whether Zelenska’s visit to Washington yields real results, it’s also a reminder of the power of image building. And images matter. Tetyana Solovey, a former editor at Vogue Ukraine in London, says Zelenska’s presence is crucial. “Women’s voices in this fight need to be heard, they need to be represented,” she said. Zelenska was “the first to speak of the human experience of war.” And the first lady helped Ukraine assert its own voice. At the start of the fight, “the whole media landscape was: ‘Biden said,” Boris Johnson said, “” Olaf Scholz said something. “What the bigger players are thinking about Ukraine, what Putin wants,” she said. “Her presence in the media helps bring a sense of autonomy to Ukraine as a country that has the right to be heard, spoken and considered relevant.” In early June, in his first public appearance since the invasion, Zelenska paid tribute to the approximately 200 Ukrainian children killed in the war, giving a speech to a crowd that included grieving parents outside Kyiv’s Saint Sophia Cathedral, its golden domes reaching into the early summer sky.
A month later, the number had grown to 300 children, she told me. “The whole country knows your stories, and you are not alone,” she said that day. “You should know that you are important. You are the most important person to your children. So take care of yourself for them. They like that. Zelenska and her parents hung bells on the tree, one for each child. “The bells represent the voices of innocent children, so they will ring forever and will be heard forever,” she told me. “I was in tears the whole hour I was there.” When Russian missiles hit civilian targets, Zelenska also started an initiative to help traumatized Ukrainians. Ukraine flag Sunflower vintage Ukrainian support Cat Shirt! She is leading efforts to train mental health practitioners and teach first responders, including teachers, pharmacists, social workers, and police, to act as consultants. “Overall, this initiative aims to improve the mental health of the nation,” she said. It is a modern response to an old-fashioned war of aggression, one that has the appearance of simple survival but also has more lasting effects.