During a visit to the Republic of Türkiye, the wife of the President of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, met with the First Lady of Türkiye Emine Erdoğan, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and took part in the launching ceremony of the Hetman Ivan Mazepa corvette, which is being built for our country.
During the meeting with Emine Erdoğan, the wife of the President of Ukraine talked about a new project – Olena Zelenska Foundation and invited Turkish business to cooperate. Anyone who wants to contribute to the restoration of the medical and educational sectors, as well as to the provision of humanitarian aid to Ukraine, will be able to do it through the foundation.
Zelenska briefed her colleague on the results of the Summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen, which took place in Kyiv on July 23 of this year. Emine Erdoğan was an active participant of the summit.
"On the eve of the event, we launched a fundraising on ambulance vehicles for Ukrainian doctors and patients. Thanks to joint work, we managed to raise $6.4 million in one month. This is an extremely large amount. The Ministry of Health has already held tenders and purchased 87 ambulance vehicles using most of the funds. The first 18 ambulances have already arrived in Ukraine and have gone to Ukrainian cities to save people's lives," Zelenska said.
The first ladies discussed joint work on the evacuation of Ukrainian orphans to Türkiye. Hundreds of young Ukrainians have already found refuge in this country. Another group of children from two orphanages in Odesa is awaiting evacuation.
Emine Erdoğan spoke about her project "Zero Waste," an initiative to change the approach to the use of limited resources, reduce volumes of waste and its disposal by preventing, reducing, recycling and reusing resources. Under the project, special containers were installed in schools, children are taught sorting. Changes were also made to the law on recycling, reducing the use of plastic bags and plastic packaging.
The First Lady of the Republic of Türkiye said that she was inspired by the Ukrainian school nutrition reform implemented on January 1, 2022, which prompted her to introduce similar changes in local schools.
During the meeting with His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the First Lady together with Head of the Office of the President Andriy Yermak, First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economy Yulia Svyrydenko, Deputy Head of the Office of the President Andriy Sybiha and Ambassador of Ukraine to the Republic of Türkiye Vasyl Bodnar thanked the Patriarch for support of our state.
"The Russian Church supports military aggression, blesses murderers and executioners. Such anti-Christian activity of the Moscow Patriarchate should receive a fair assessment at the inter-church level as well," Zelenska said.
She also thanked the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Greek community of Türkiye for the humanitarian aid: in March, the Ecumenical Patriarchate sent a humanitarian shipment worth more than EUR 250,000. In addition, at the initiative of His All Holiness, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (the United States) initiated the creation of the Ukraine Relief Fund, which has already raised over $5 million.
On the first day of her visit to Türkiye, Zelenska also took part in the launching ceremony of the Hetman Ivan Mazepa corvette, which is being built for Ukraine.
This is an anti-submarine corvette of the Ada type (MILGEM project). Corvettes of this type are designed to conduct operations in the coastal zone. They are capable of conducting anti-submarine warfare and patrolling in the open sea.
The corvette is being built in accordance with the contract signed by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine in December 2020 with the state-owned company of the Turkish defense industry. This is the first corvette of this class for the Ukrainian Navy.
Last year, on August 18, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy named the corvette "Hetman Ivan Mazepa." It was planned that by the end of 2022 the corvette would be delivered to Ukraine for its completion, but this was prevented by the war started by Russia.
The vessel is expected to arrive in Ukraine at the end of 2024.
"I am glad to launch the corvette that will serve Ukraine and at the same time have a Turkish heart," the First Lady said during the ceremony.