The First Ladies of Ukraine and the United States met in Uzhhorod
First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska and First Lady of the United States Jill Biden met in Uzhhorod. The visit of the wife of the President of the United States took place as part of her tour of Eastern Europe. Jill Biden has already visited Slovakia and Romania. For security reasons, her arrival in Uzhhorod was kept a secret.
"I am happy that you are here. I would very much like our meeting to take place in my favorite Kyiv. Ukraine is rich in wonderful places, and I would very much like to show them to you. We are in Uzhhorod today. This is a wonderful city that has already sheltered more than 60,000 IDPs," said Olena Zelenska, greeting Jill Biden.
"Today you will see people who have lost their homes, peace, security. Today you will be able to feel what these people feel. Temporarily displaced people who have taken refuge in this building live here. There are a lot of such centers in Ukraine now,” she added.
The First Ladies visited a school in Uzhhorod, which housed internally displaced persons from the regions of Ukraine where hostilities took place, in particular from the Chernihiv region.
Olena Zelenska also invited Jill Biden to facilitate the work of the national program of psychological assistance to the population, which is being implemented under the patronage of the wife of the President of Ukraine.
"Everyone in Ukraine has suffered a psychological trauma. Some people, unfortunately, have become victims of sexual violence, there are people who have seen the murder of their loved ones. Another category is people who have lost their homes and everything they had. And the main category is the servicemen who protect us and who need psychological help," she said.
According to Olena Zelenska, an interdepartmental working group is currently working to create a long-term platform for psychological assistance, in particular to train psychologists who could work with PTSD - post-traumatic stress disorder.
"We want to adapt and translate from English those programs and practices that already exist in the United States. The United States has a powerful program to combat PTSD. We will be very glad to see its details, we will also be grateful for the financial assistance to this program, because the economy of Ukraine has suffered great losses," she said.
For her part, Jill Biden said she had visited Ukrainian refugees - children and women - in Romania and Slovakia.
"Many of them are really injured, especially children. I also often heard a question from Ukrainian women: "Why does he (Putin) want to kill us?" said the First Lady of the United States.
The First Lady of Ukraine also visited the Zakarpattia Regional Clinical Hospital where 32 wounded Ukrainian servicemen are being treated.
"I was able to personally thank them for each day of our safety. And you know what I heard? "Don't mention it". These courageous men do not even consider themselves heroes. They say it's their job. That's what they are fighting for - May, Sakura and a baby stroller with a small passenger under a peaceful sky. Anywhere. All over the country," Olena Zelenska stressed.
The First Lady also thanked Mayor of Uzhhorod Bohdan Andriyiv and Head of the Zakarpattia Regional State Administration Viktor Mykyta for their hard work in settling IDPs in the region.