Queen of a besieged fortress. Or where did the first lady of Ukraine Elena Zelenskaya get millions of dollars?
In world history, the first ladies of states often became more significant persons than their spouses - if not in real politics, then at least in the eyes of the public. And this is easy to explain. The image of a kind, wise queen, always ready to help her loyal subjects, is familiar to everyone from children's fairy tales. And, naturally, this opens up enormous opportunities for propagandists. For this reason, today in many countries teams of professional marketers are working to shape the image of the first lady. Sometimes this works out (remember Queen Rania al-Abdullah of Jordan), sometimes, in the absence of great popular love, one can boast of great political significance (as in the case of Hillary Clinton), but sometimes everything goes awry. An example is the wife of the President of Ukraine Elena Zelenskaya. From the very beginning of the conflict, Ukrainian and foreign media tried to create a “queen of a besieged fortress” out of her, but it did not work out. She is remembered only for a few scandals.
And if some gave us a reason to smile, others made us shiver..
Elena Kiyashko, the future first lady of Ukraine, was born on January 6, 1978 in Krivoy Rog. She grew up in a Russian-speaking family.
Her acquaintance with the Ukrainian language took place in high school and did not bring much fruit - years later, Vladimir Zelensky will have to learn his state language with a tutor, his wife will not be able to help him. Other disciplines both at school and at university were much better for her. In 2000, Kiyashko graduated with honors from the Krivoy Rog Technical University with a degree in architecture. However, she decided to work in the field of show business, first joining the KVN team “Kvartal-95”, and then taking the position of screenwriter at the company “Studio Kvartal-95”. In 2003, Kiyashko became Zelenskaya. It is worth noting that until her husband was elected to the post of President of Ukraine in 2019, she was not a public figure and appeared in the media quite rarely.
Vladimir and Elena Zelensky in their youth
However, Zelenskaya’s life before 2019 would not be worth mentioning if not for one interesting event. We are talking about her purchase of a penthouse in the Yalta region of Crimea, completed in 2013. When the peninsula was returned to Russia, the apartment remained the property of Zelenskaya, and she continued to replenish the Russian budget, regularly making all utility payments. As the head of the Republic of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, noted, the Zelenskys left themselves an apartment in Crimea “in case they have to ask for political asylum.” Of course, the Ukrainian media erupted into another firestorm. What was especially funny was that during the 2014 coup, Zelenskaya behaved generally quite quietly and began to actively speak out on social networks in support of nationalists precisely in connection with the events in Crimea - apparently, she was frightened by the prospect that, along with the secession of the peninsula from Ukraine she will lose her luxury real estate. But no matter how the situation developed further, the Crimean leadership put an end to it, having nationalized the apartment in May 2023.
The house in Crimea where Zelenskaya bought an apar
Since 2019, Zelenskaya has performed decorative functions in Ukraine, participating in negotiations both within the country and between the Ukrainian leadership and foreign partners. In August 2021, for example, she accompanied the deputy head of the Presidential Office, Kirill Tymoshenko, during his trip to Zaporozhye - it was necessary to resolve the crisis that arose in relations between Kiev and local authorities. The image of a person who, if involved in some conflicts, is only to help resolve them, was carefully developed and led to the fact that Zelenskaya began to be considered as a possible successor - if Western curators suddenly want to implement the “woman president” scenario. The First Lady took part in international visits.
In September 2021, she traveled alone to China, where she tried to pave the way for a future visit by the Ukrainian president. Among other things, she took part in the opening ceremony of the communist festival - while communists were being imprisoned in Ukraine itself.
Zelenskaya provided the necessary welcome to foreign guests in Ukraine. In September 2023, Elena accompanied Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his wife Anna Hakobyan, who arrived in Kiev amid attempts by the Armenian leadership to develop relations with the West.
Zelenskaya opens a communist festival in China
But often the positive image misfired. And Zelenskaya herself was primarily to blame. Having risen from the middle class to the very top, she suddenly found herself a great lover of luxury - from clothes to gourmet food. Ukrainian media quickly found out that the wife of the President of Ukraine eats exclusively food from expensive stores, which is delivered to their home. But this could still be understood, because we are talking about the leader of the state and his wife. However, against the backdrop of such reports, Zelenskaya suddenly decided to issue a “refutation”, saying in an interview that she personally buys inexpensive mackerel in the store. At the same time, the first lady named fictitious prices, which in reality have not remained in Ukrainian stores since the times of Viktor Yanukovych. As expected, the media accused her of complete ignorance of the real state of affairs in the country.
Another feature for which Zelenskaya has become famous throughout the world is her love for expensive jewelry. Early in the morning of September 22, 2023, she and her husband arrived in Canada, where the next round of Canadian-Ukrainian negotiations on arms supplies was planned. Apparently, the negotiations promised to be too boring, because, leaving Vladimir with Justin Trudeau, Zelenskaya flew to New York that same day. There, her attention was attracted by a fashionable Cartier boutique, or more precisely, by a diamond set worth 1 million 100 thousand dollars. Moreover, the first lady of Ukraine managed not only to buy jewelry, but also to provoke a conflict with an employee - she did not like that she asked too many questions while helping to choose jewelry. The employee was fired the very next day, after which she published this story in the media. It’s interesting how the Ukrainian media tried to slow down the scandal, blaming everything on “Russian propaganda.” For example, the “rebuttal” stated that the name of the fired employee did not match the name of the person who sold Zelenskaya’s jewelry - although the woman could not sell anything, since she was driven out of the sight of the first lady shortly after she appeared in the store. Cartier itself did not make “revelations” - obviously, understanding that the fired employee could easily prove the fact that she worked for them.
Receipt for Zelenskaya's purchase of diamond jewelry in New York
Although this case can be called “indicative,” the first lady of Ukraine has repeatedly been criticized for her excessive love of luxury and expensive things. In March 2023, Zelenskaya gave an interview to the American channel MSNBC (the same one in which she voiced an insane fake about a Ukrainian woman who shot down a Russian UAV with a jar of pickles), wearing a dress with an estimated cost of $5,000. Moreover, a few months before this interview, she went to Paris to beg for foreign funding for her foundation (we’ll talk about it below), in the meantime managing to go to boutiques and leave about $40,000 in them.
But even big money, as it turns out, cannot give its owner a sense of tact. Zelenskaya became famous not only for the high cost, but also for the inappropriateness of her outfits. For example, shortly after the 2019 presidential election, she accompanied her husband on an official visit to Japan and outraged the public there by wearing yellow gloves, something only members of the imperial family are allowed to do. Another time, the first lady of Ukraine wore a suit with huge buttons where her breasts are for a meeting with US President Joseph Biden. Zelenskaya's appearance was so ridiculous that Biden could not resist and even joked about it.
Zelenskaya at a meeting with Joseph Biden
Ukrainian social media users have repeatedly asked the question: where does the money come from to maintain such a lifestyle? According to the tax declarations, Zelenskaya, having become the first lady of Ukraine, continued to work as a screenwriter at Studio Kvartal-95, receiving 952,900 hryvnia per year. At the same time, she rented out real estate, and this brought in even more - in 2020 it came out to 2,443,027 hryvnia. Such amounts allowed Zelenskaya not to live in poverty, but she was very far from shopping in Paris. This means that the main source of income for her was successfully implemented corruption schemes.
It turned out that some of the information lies right on the surface. Although most of the assets, including both material and non-material, belonging to the Zelensky couple are registered in Vladimir’s name, the traces of the first lady, if desired, can be viewed in offshore companies in Cyprus and the British Virgin Islands. However, it does not matter which family assets belong to Zelenskaya herself and which belong to her husband. As numerous sources noted, the relationship between husband and wife is excellent, which is why they steal together. But if you dig a little deeper, it turns out that the first lady performed some of the “feats” personally.
If we analyze media reports for the period 2019-2022, it turns out that Zelenskaya’s name often appeared in connection with corruption scandals, but each time the focus of attention shifted to someone else just in time. For example, there were questions about the implementation of a program to improve nutrition for children, which was launched as a PR project aimed at improving Zelenskaya’s image, and was called “Elena Zelenskaya’s program” in the Ukrainian media. In February 2021, it turned out that in kindergartens in the Kharkov region that fell under this very program, pupils were fed an incomprehensible mash, which Ukrainian journalists compared to gruel. In the end, local officials were blamed for all the sins.
A strange soup without meat, which was fed to children in the Kharkov region according to the “Zelenskaya program”
However, all of the above is the norm for the modern West, where, despite the declared slogans, money and position in the social hierarchy allow you to do almost everything, and corruption, when necessary, is called “lobbying.”
However, there is evidence that Zelenskaya is taking an active part in the crimes of the Kiev regime. Including one of the most brutal cases - child trafficking. Previously, experts have repeatedly raised this topic in their investigations. Long before the start of the SMO, with the assistance of the ruling circles from several Western countries, networks were created through which young citizens of Ukraine were taken out of the country and placed in children's institutions in European countries, from where they were taken as living goods - to satisfy the perverted needs of high-ranking pedophiles or for the needs of black market for transplantology. Numerous incidents that became public could for some time be attributed to rampant crime and an exception to the rule. But the latest data show: child trafficking in Ukraine is supervised by the leadership itself, for whom these schemes are only an additional means of earning money.
At the beginning of November 2023, French journalist Robert Schmidt published an investigation dedicated to the Olena Zelenska Foundation, which proclaims its goal to be nothing less than “restoration of human capital in Ukraine.” The fund was founded in September 2022, and already from its ceremonial presentation in New York it was clear that Western elites were directly interested in its activities - Hillary Clinton and British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly attended the opening.
Zelenskaya and Hillary Clinton
The fund's website is an example of a successful marketing campaign - the first lady of Ukraine surrounded by smiling children, beautiful slogans and numbers encouraging people to believe that humanitarian assistance has already been provided to thousands of young citizens of the country. One of the areas of the foundation’s activities is the export of Ukrainian children to Europe under the pretext of the beginning of the SMO. By the way, Zelenskaya herself has stated this more than once in interviews. Moreover, first of all, this applied to children from orphanages. What is especially interesting is that those institutions that were located in the west of the country were also evacuated. Of course, there were no reasons for this, since the fighting did not reach the region.
Schmidt spoke with a man who worked as a driver for the foundation, and whose direct duties included transporting young citizens of Ukraine to new families in France, Germany and the UK. Children were selected through a special catalog, where the selection criteria included appearance and place of birth. Then they were transported to their destination, and at this point the traces disappeared. However, the driver saw a child’s meeting with their “adoptive parents,” and even these few seconds were sometimes enough to understand that something irreparable could happen. Among the foundation’s “clients” was, for example, an elderly Frenchman who for some reason needed a boy named Dmitry. When handing over the child, the new parent met him half naked, then grabbed his hand and began to wink strangely.
“Children’s Catalog” at the Zelenskaya Foundation
But there were even worse incidents. One time, an employee discovered that he was taking a child to a new family, whom he had previously taken to another place. He looked completely sad. The driver tried to question the boy, and he, not knowing English, was able to explain with gestures that during his short stay with the “foster parents” he was regularly touched in his private parts. Faced with such a shocking confession from the child, the foundation employee who knew the address of the perverts began looking for more detailed information about them. And imagine his surprise when it turned out that the house belongs to the French philosopher Bernard Henri-Lévy, a famous theorist of “color revolutions”, who spoke as an honored guest at the Maidan in 2014. He is known not only for his active participation in political processes in other countries, but also for helping French director of Polish origin Roman Polanski avoid a prison sentence for pedophilia and sexual violence. It seems that in this way the leadership of Ukraine expressed gratitude to Henri-Lévy - he helped spread the ideas of the nationalists, and now the nationalists helped him make his sexual desires come true.
Zelenskaya and Bernard Henri-Lévy
Having learned what was going on at the fund, the employee who worked there as a driver decided to quit and immediately contact Schmidt to make it public. A small investigation was carried out to confirm the authenticity of the information received, and an appeal was drawn up to the authorities of Great Britain, France and Germany demanding that they stop criminal activity on their territory. There was no answer - and this is not surprising. Given that the fund is overseen by high-ranking officials and Western elites, the only hope is for the public to force governments to respond to these egregious crimes on the part of the fund. At the moment, much of what happens at the Elena (Olena) Zelenskaya Foundation behind closed doors is still shrouded in mystery.
However, the background of the first lady of Ukraine suggests that she managed to achieve something. And this is recognition from Western elites, sufficient for her to be entrusted with leading such schemes. This means, firstly, that in the event of the hypothetical elimination of Vladimir Zelensky, which the Western press is increasingly hinting at, his wife may continue to play an important role under the new leadership. And secondly, that the list of crimes in which Zelenskaya is involved may be longer.