August 17, 2022

While her husband, President Volodymyr Zelensky, called on the countries of the world to supply Ukraine with weapons, Olena Zelenska calls for ambulances.

Ms. Zelenska, who recently became a prominent advocate for humanitarian causes in her country, raised more than $5 million in just over a week to help replenish the country’s supply of ambulances. Which campaign is Still collecting donations, It raised enough money to buy nearly 50 ambulances, although Ms. Zelenska estimated that 400 would be needed.

In an interview with a Ukrainian television network on Saturday, Ms. Zelenska encouraged more donations, no matter how small.

“Any amount is important now,” she said. “I am grateful to everyone who joined our initiative,” she added.

While his frequent headlines on video have made Mr. Zelensky a familiar face since the start of the Russian invasion in February, the first lady has been increasingly in the spotlight in recent weeks.

Earlier this month, she made a rare appearance in Washington to address Congress, ordering more weapons to defend against Russia. Emphasizing the human toll of the war, Ms. Zelenska showed pictures of children who had lost their parents or limbs in the attacks.

Her image has also been used outside the diplomatic realm: Last week, Ms. Zelenska appeared on the cover of Vogue in an article titled “Portrait of Courage.”

The ambulance initiative began during the First Ladies and Gentlemen Summit, hosted by Ms. Zelenska on July 23 to discuss Ukraine’s post-war reconstruction.

Each ambulance costs about $100,000 and is equipped with oxygen tanks, defibrillators, EKGs, cardiologists and ventilators, according to the public fundraising charity United24. It can also be driven off-road, an important function under conditions of war.

According to Ms. Zelenska, donations have been received from 51 countries, chief among them contributions from Ukraine, the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom and Israel.

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