Victims of the violence committed by the Russian military against Ukrainian children will begin to testify en masse when they see that the perpetrators are punished, and Ukraine relies on the world's help in establishing justice in this matter. This was stated by First Lady Olena Zelenska in an interview with CBS during her visit to the United States.
The President's wife, in particular, emphasized that Russian crimes against Ukrainian children are deliberate intimidation.
"There are so many of them that these cannot be isolated cases, this is deliberate intimidation. When you tell the world that our Prosecutor General's Office is investigating 231 cases of sexual violence committed by the Russian military, that there are 13 children among the victims: 12 girls and one boy, and that the youngest victim was only 4 years old, you see sheer horror in the eyes of the audience. But this is not enough. There must be punishment. Victims will not start testifying en masse until they see that there is justice," the First Lady said.
She spoke about more than 19,000 children abducted by Russia (these are only those who are known for certain) and how Ukraine is forced to turn to free nations to speed up their return.
Olena Zelenska also emphasized the importance of psychological rehabilitation of Ukrainians after what they experienced during the war and spoke about the All-Ukrainian Mental Health Program.
"We have a huge need for psychologists and psychotherapists. At the same time, Ukrainian doctors gain such powerful experience in extremely difficult conditions that they can share it themselves. The international best practices we borrowed from our partners had to be improved to the point where the program became unique. And now our specialists will be able to share their unique experience," the President's wife said.
The First Lady informed of the activities of the Olena Zelenska Foundation in terms of humanitarian, educational and medical assistance to Ukrainians.
She also focused on her cultural diplomacy projects, including the opening of Ukrainian bookshelves in the world's libraries and the launch of audio guides in Ukrainian at major tourist attractions.
"Culture makes us who we are. If you destroy culture, it will be easier to destroy people. For a long time, numerous manifestations of our culture were considered Russian, it was colonization. Now we are decolonizing our culture. Unfortunately, the world knows little about it. We are fixing this now. We have a lot to show the world to tell them who we are, what we love, what we think about," Olena Zelenska summarized.