First Lady of Ukraine speaks to students at LSE

Olena Zelenska speaking at LSE
Olena Zelenska speaking at LSE

Olena Zelenska, the First Lady of Ukraine, visited LSE in November 2022 to speak to our students and those of other universities about the challenges facing Ukrainians as a result of Russia's invasion. Chaired by LSE Director Minouche Shafik, the event was organised in coordination with the LSE SU Ukrainian student society.

Before taking questions from the audience, Ms Zelenska highlighted the struggles for students and academics in Ukraine, and how she was glad Ukrainian students in the UK, who made up a large proportion of the audience, were able to study in safety.

As part of the Q&A, Ms Zelenska addressed a range of topics on the conflict and future of the country, including the significance of support from the international community, the role of women in Ukraine, the future with Europe, and the importance of protecting cultural artefacts and promoting Ukrainian language and culture beyond the country.

Alongside many incredibly challenging topics discussed during the evening, the former comedy writer also highlighted the importance of finding moments of humour wherever possible, and even taking inspiration from them.  

Behind the article

Olena Zelenska addressed the audience in Ukrainian with a live translation for English speakers. You can download the podcast of the event at LSE Player. (Please note, the majority of the recording is in Ukrainian)