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All women in Ukraine have unique stories of resistance against Russia, says 1st lady

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DONETSK, UKRAINE - JUNE 08 : A view of a kindergarten damaged by shelling in Leninsky district of Donetsk, Ukraine on June 08, 2022, as Russian attacks continue. ( Leon Klein - Anadolu Agency )
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Jun 10, 2022 - 03:25 AM

BRUSSELS (AA) – Ukrainian women are not victims of war because all of them have their unique stories of resistance against Russian forces, the Ukrainian first lady said on Thursday.

Olena Zelenska made these statements at a virtual conference on “Women in Conflicts” in Brussels, which was hosted by European Council President Charles Michel and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nadia Murad.

“I’m absolutely sure that we, Ukrainian women cannot be called victims. We all have our own stories of resistance,” she stated, praising the efforts of doctors, nurses, teachers, social workers, entrepreneurs, and mothers throughout Russia’s ongoing war .

She also pointed out that over 37,000 women serve in the Ukrainian army and “are fighting with dignity … fighting as equals.”

Zelenska displayed portraits of Ukrainian women who became resistance symbols, such as Oksana Balandina, a nurse who lost her legs and fingers while caring for patients during bombings, and Tetiana Blyzniak, the “Ukrainian Madonna,” whose breastfeeding picture was taken in a Kyiv metro station shelter went viral.

The first lady also urged people not to “look away from Ukraine” or “turn off the TV,” even if the battle had been going on for 100 days.

Over 4,000 civilians have been killed in Ukraine, including at least 1,075 women and 100 girls, while over 14 million people have been forced to flee their homes since Russia began a war on its neighbor on Feb. 24, the UN estimates.

According to the UN’s child fund, two children are killed every day in the war.

Approximately 15.7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in the country.

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