Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska issues message: ‘Only two simple words: STOP WAR’

Nearly three weeks into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska said her message to the world was “only two simple words: STOP WAR.”

“I guess my message is very similar to the one the whole world delivers. Only two simple words: STOP WAR,” Zelenska told ABC News in an exchange of written messages, as she could not speak in-person or over the phone.

The Ukrainian first lady called on the United States and European allies to impose harsher sanctions against Russia and institute a no-fly zone, an idea that has been met with resistance in the West amid concerns that it could embroil the U.S. and NATO in a wider conflict with Russia. 

“Every day of our fight increases the price that Ukraine pays for securing these values,” Zelenska told ABC News. “Surely, in this fight as a nation, we become stronger and tougher. I wish the sanctions against Russia from the U.S. and E.U. become the same: stronger and tougher.”

“We ask NATO to close our sky on behalf of all the people of Ukraine, or at least provide us with aircraft so we can defend our sky by ourselves,” she added.

During his latest call with President Biden, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reportedly pressed to have Russia restricted from international waterways, more sanctions against Russian officials and closing loopholes on existing sanctions, The Washington Post reported earlier this week.

The developments come almost three weeks after Russian began its invasion in Ukraine on Feb. 24, an unprovoked attack that Zelenska called a “genocide” in her exchange with ABC News.

“Today, our country and our civilians pay a very high price for the silence and hesitation regarding this issue. Yesterday, it was innocent women and children in the maternity hospital in Mariupol. We have lost more than 71 children because of the Russian war — it is genocide of the Ukrainian people,” she told the network.

Tags Joe Biden Olena Zelenska Russia sanctions Ukraine

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