Our interview takes place on Monday morning in the office of "Studio Quarter 95". The Mariupol Investment Forum kicks off on the day of the meeting, and the country's top officials have already left for there, so a number of meetings planned by Olena and her team have been cancelled. While there is an opening on the timetable, Olena came to the studio - to work on the scripts, as she has been doing for the past 15 years. "I write the scripts as before," says the First Lady. "However, now you need to divide your day between the President's Office and the "Quarter", and follow the timing." There is no institute for First Lady in Ukraine (unlike, for example, the United States or France), so, this status is rather representative, the President's spouse does not get paid, therefore, she can combine two jobs.
For six months in a new status, Olena managed to get acquainted with the areas in which the First Ladies from around the world develop their programs. "Among the spouses of the presidents there are no uninteresting personalities - each of the high ladies has something to learn from. For example, Brigitte Macron is an educator. Her program is focused on the topics of education - she creates schools for adults who, for various reasons, dropped out. During our meeting with her, she mentioned that she herself was teaching them French language and literature. Sarah Netanyahu, the spouse of Israel Prime Minister, is a practicing child psychologist. Elke Büdenbender, the First Lady of Germany, is a successful lawyer."
Olena Zelenska is a very good conversationalist. One can feel that she works with texts: her speech is logical and structured, there is no unnecessary lyrics in it. She answers our questions in detail - about her husband, about her children, her attitude to criticism in social networks, which always accompanies public figures; at the same time, she carefully selects the words. To one of the key questions for us - how she reacted to the decision of Vladimir Zelensky to run for President, she answers frankly. "I was not too happy when I realized that those were the plans. I realized how everything would change, and what difficulties we would have to face." Olena learned on January 1st from social networks that her husband had put forward his candidacy for President: Vladimir Zelensky announced his decision on the festive show of the 1+1 TV Channel, and on the first day of the new year it was in all the media. "When I asked, "Why didn't you tell me?", Vladimir answered: "I forgot." "My husband knows how to surprise," adds Olena. "But, if seriously, we had been discussing this issue for a long time, and I said that I would always support him."