Volodymyr Zelensky (left) and Olenska Zelenska (right) are pictured in Kiev on July 21, 2019
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‘Nobody takes my husband away from me, not even war’ : Zelensky and his wife are reunited for a cup of tea after being separated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

  • Kyiv leader has been away from wife Olena since the onset of Russia’s invasion
  • Mrs Zelenska had fled to an unknown part of Ukraine with their kids, 9 and 17
  • They appeared together in a pre-recorded TV interview broadcast earlier today
  • Olena said: ‘He was a reliable husband a reliable man before and that he remains’

Ukrainian president Zelensky reunited with his wife Olena for a cup of tea in the couple’s first joint interview since Russia’s invasion.

Olena fled with their children, aged nine and 17, at the onset of the war in Ukraine.

They have sheltered in a unidentified part of the country, far from invaders’ threats. 

Mrs Zelenska said she was not surprised that her husband has inspired the world with his steadfast leadership and formidable resistance to Russia.

She added: ‘Nobody takes my husband away from me, not even war.’ 

Volodymyr Zelensky (left) and Olenska Zelenska (right) are pictured in Kiev on July 21, 2019

Volodymyr Zelensky (left) and Olenska Zelenska (right) are pictured in Kiev on July 21, 2019

‘I can’t say that Volodymyr has changed since the start of this war. He was a reliable husband and a reliable man before, and that he remains.’

‘His point of view hasn’t changed, the way he’s wired hasn’t changed.’

Olena, a screenwriter, said she wasn’t always the biggest fan of her husband’s speeches and didn’t have time to comb through them.

She said: ‘Sometimes he uses too many literary devices and sometimes too few.’

President Zelensky stayed firmly on message, stating: ‘We weren’t the ones who started this war but we will be the ones to end it.’

The news came as Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol finally surrendered to Russian invaders and Putin launched a new assault on the Donbas. 

Recent weeks have seen Russia forced out from the outskirts of Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, in what was their fastest retreat since being pushed out of the north and Kyiv region at the end of March.

However they have re-taken some of their lost ground in Kharkiv and still control a large swathe of the south and east, while the end of the fighting in Mariupol means that that territory is now largely unbroken.

The Ukrainian president and his wife Olena attend a state dinner hosted in Tokyo, 2019

The Ukrainian president and his wife Olena attend a state dinner hosted in Tokyo, 2019

Footage shared on Telegram today appears to show the moment a Russian Iskander-M strikes a Ukrainian position near Petrovskoye, in Kharkiv, while in village of Vilkhivka, also in Kharkiv, and in nearby Bakhmut, images from Friday show levelled houses and traumatised residents as they returned to take stock of the damage.

Governor Serhiy Gaidai of the Luhansk region, said in a social media post early on Saturday that Russia was trying to destroy Sievierodonetsk, with fighting taking place on the outskirts of the city.

‘Shelling continues from morning to the evening and also throughout the night,’ Gaidai said.

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