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Ukraine’s First Lady condemns ‘mass murder’ in impassioned statement on the Russian invasion

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kraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska has issued an impassioned condemnation of Russia for the “mass murder” of the country’s civilians.

In an open letter, she focused on the tragic number of child casualties – mentioning three victims of Russia’s brutal invasion by name.

Ms Zelenska said her country wanted peace, but that it would defend its borders and identity against Russia’s devastating onslaught.

Her whereabouts are currently unknown, as alongside her husband Volodymyr Zelensky, she is thought to be a target by Russia forces.

“Perhaps the most terrifying and devastating of this invasion are the child casualties,” she said.

“Eight-year-old Alice who died on the streets of Okhtyrka while her grandfather tried to protect her.

“Or Polina from Kyiv, who died in the shelling with her parents.

“14-year-old Arseniy was hit in the head by wreckage, and could not be saved because an ambulance could not get to him on time because of intense fires.

“When Russia says that it is ‘not waging war against civilians,’ I call out the names of these murdered children first.”

Man leaves an apartment building damaged after shelling in Kharkiv

/ AFP via Getty Images

In the English-language statement published on the website of the Ukrainian presidency on Tuesday, the 44-year-old said Russian forces had underestimated the resolve of the Ukrainian people.

“The aggressor, Putin, thought that he would unleash blitzkrieg on Ukraine,” she said, in what she called a letter to global media.

“But he underestimated our country, our people, and their patriotism. Ukrainians, regardless of political views, native language, beliefs, and nationalities, stand in unparalleled unity.”

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