Ukraine: Former press secretary Zelenskyy details Russia’s invasion

After narrowly escaping death when Russian troops began their invasion of Ukraine, Iuliia Mendel recounts the moment she saw her homeland become unrecognizable in real time.

Mendel, a Ukrainian journalist and former press secretary to President Voloydymer Zelenskyy, told CTV’s Your Morning about her book ‘The War for Our Lives’, detailing her experience leading up to the invasion Russia’s strategy and efforts to stay and help defend its country.

“The world around us is collapsing,” she said in an interview Tuesday. “Everything we have achieved is at stake, we understand that we are fighting for our very existence.”

In March, Mendel said she heard bombs everywhere as she was traveling from the western city of Lviv to Kyiv in March, where she believes she would not have survived if circumstances had changed.

“The Russians shelled the part where we are and if they were at a different angle from their shelling, I don’t think I [would] sitting here,” she said.

Mendel said in another incident, she went to the city of Vinnytsia, where locals told her Russian missiles hit them 30 minutes before she left the city in flames.

Witnessing the damage made her and her current husband want to stay to help, she said. Although many lives have been lost, she wants people to honor those who chose to volunteer and fight to protect their communities.

“We are truly proud of our troops and volunteers, who gave their lives to stand on the battlefield and support our troops to win what we have,” she said. achieved for our democracy and freedom.

At the age of 32, Mendel won a nationwide contest with 4,000 other applicants to become Zelenskyy’s press secretary in 2019. Mendel said she believes Zelenskyy hired her because they have the same vision. look towards their country and may relate her similar upbringing to his coming from a poor, provincial capital.

Mendel, who serves in her office until 2021, said that while many criticized Zelenskyy in his early days in power, she believes the public now sees him as a leader unafraid to go to war. school.

“When I heard that he refused to leave Ukraine when there was a threat to his life and the lives of his family, I was not surprised,” she said. “I traveled with him to Donbas, where Russia invaded in 2014, and I saw how he went into shelling areas just to stay with the soldiers and to show that the leader of the country was. they are with them.”

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