Olena Zelenska: who is Volodymyr Zelensky’s wife, how long have they been married and do they have a family?

The eyes of the world have been on the Zelensky family since the Ukrainian leader that he and his wife were Russian targets

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has become one of the most recognisable faces in world politics in the past month.

While President Zelensky has continued to thwart the Russian invasion of Ukraine, attention has turned to his personal life.

Olena Zelenska is the woman behind the wartime leader.

Here’s everything you need to know about Ukraine’s First Lady.

Olena Zelenska is the wife of Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky, but how did the couple meet? (Credit: Getty)

Who is Olena Zelenska?

Born Olena Kiyashko, 44-year-old Olena Zelenska is the first lady of Ukraine and wife of President Zelensky.

She was born in Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine in February 1978.

Olena is an accomplished screenwriter who previously worked for Ukrainian production company Kvartal 95.

Alongside her role as First lady of Ukraine, she still works as a writer at Studio Quarter 95.

She is well-loved by the Ukrainian people and is considered to be one of the most influential women in the country.

How did Olena Zelenska meet Volodymyr Zelensky?

Amazingly, Olena and Volodymyr were schoolmates as children in Kryvyi Rih, although both said that they were not acquainted with each other at the time.

The pair began their friendship while Olena was studying at architecture at Kryvyi Rih National University.

Over the next few years, the friendship developed into a relationship.

The pair have now been married for 18 years, after tying the knot in September 2003.

As well as Olena working as a writer at Kvartal 95, Volodymyr, who was previously a law student, also moved into the arts as a comedy actor who worked closely with the production company.

The talented writer went on to write for ‘Servant of the People’, the show which made her husband a household name for his fictional portrayal as Ukraine’s president.

However, when her husband decided to take inspiration from the TV show and run of President of Ukraine, Olena was said to be hesitant at first due to not having spent time in the public eye.

Speaking to Vogue Ukraine, Olena said: ‘”I prefer staying backstage. My husband is always on the forefront, while I feel more comfortable in the shade. I am not the life of the party, I do not like to tell jokes. It’s not in my character.

“But I found reasons for myself in favour of publicity. One of them is the opportunity to attract people’s attention to important social issues.”

She quickly adapted to life as First Lady of Ukraine, championing such causes as gender equality, spreading the Ukrainian language and nutrition in schools.

Do Olena Zelenska and Volodymyr Zelensky have children?

The couple have two children.

Their daughter, Oleksandra, was born in July 2004, while their son, Kyrylo, was born in January 2013.

Oleksandra may have the flair for the arts and comedy that her parents have, after starring in 2014 movie ‘8 New Dates’ alongside her father.

She also went on to win 50,000 hryvnias after taking part in The Comedy Comet Company Comedy’s Kids in 2016.

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