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Volodymyr Zelensky’s Wife Initially Did Not Want Him & Dated Another — She Stands ‘Next to’ Him 27 Years Later

Junie Sihlangu
Mar 03, 2022
11:40 P.M.
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When Volodymyr Zelensky began courting Olena Zelenska, she wasn't interested as she had her heart set on someone else. She also didn't support his run for president, but all his wishes eventually came true!


Volodymyr Zelensky initially met his future wife, Olena Zelenska, at school. In the fifth grade, she moved to the gymnasium where Volodymyr was studying, and their relationship grew from there.

Volodymyr admitted that it was love at first sight on his part for him. However, speaking to Ukrainian publications, Lifestyle, in January 2021, Olena revealed that she didn't even recall their first meeting.

Volodymyr Zelensky and Olena Zelenska in a video uploaded on May 29, 2021, and the couple at Mykhailivska Square monument during the 29th Independence Day celebrations in Kiev, Ukraine on August 24, 2020. | Source: spletnik!/YouTube & PressOffice of Ukrainian Presidency/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images


When she moved to the gymnasium where Volodymyr studied, they found themselves studying in parallel classes. All Olena knew about him was that he was in the "B" class, recalling:

“...I don’t remember the moment when Volodymyr and I first met eyes... everyone knew... Zelensky at school. His company was always bright. If it’s loud somewhere, then Zelensky will definitely be there.”

Ukrainian Presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky and his wife Olena at his campaign headquarters in Kiev on April 21, 2019. | Source: Sergei Gapon/AFP/Getty Images


When the future Ukrainian president started courting Olena, she wasn't interested because she wasn't looking for a relationship. Another hurdle for Volodymyr's love interest was that she was already dating someone else!

Olena recalled how she didn't initially have a good relationship with him because of his courting efforts. She said what convinced her otherwise was their conversations which made her realize they had a lot in common.

Ukrainian presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky performs with his "95th block" comedy group in Kiev, Ukraine, on March 13, 2019. | Source: Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images


The current Ukrainian first lady shared how she and Volodymyr shared the same taste in music. They also enjoyed just talking to each other about anything under the sun and clicked that way!

Looking back, Olena noted how their ability to bond over such things was quite essential for her in a relationship. The future president eventually managed to wear his love interest down.



Volodymyr confessed to Lifestyle that he prided himself in finding it easy to approach girls, but things were different with Olena. She just wouldn't let him in, and that was what fueled his interest and kept him in pursuit.

Initially, getting her to like him was a challenge, but he later realized he'd fallen in love with her! During the days of KVN, a TV show where teams made up of college students competed against each other, Olena worked as a screenwriter for Volodymyr.

She also occasionally appeared on the show, and working together in close proximity led the pair to start sharing feelings. Olena eventually agreed to be in a relationship with him, and they managed to be together for a long-time.


The couple ended up dating for eight years but never lived together during that time. The reason behind the long period before their marriage had, in part, to do with Volodymyr's viewpoint.

He explained that he saw marriage as a pre-cursor of having children, and he was in no rush for that. For her part, Olena also felt they were too young to marry, and she wasn't worried about him not proposing.

Olena Zelenska during the Ukraine 30. Healthy Ukraine Forum in Kyiv, Ukraine, on June 23, 2021. | Source: Pavlo Bahmut/Ukrinform/Future Publishing/Getty Images


She didn't wonder why he hadn't given her an engagement ring or question if something was wrong with her. Olena revealed they'd spoken about getting married and knew it would happen one day.

However, they refrained from making any plans in that regard. Instead, the couple eventually set a wedding date and decided to fit marriage in when they noticed they had a free month on their tour schedule.



Olena and Volodymyr's long-term relationship progressed to marriage on September 6, 2003. By July 15, 2004, the couple had welcomed their first child, daughter Alexandra, and on January 21, 2013, nine years later, they had a son, Kirill.

Olena shared with Lifestyle that some of the traditions she and her husband established with their children included going on trips to spend more time together. The family also tried having dinner as a unit to bond and catch up, but this sometimes failed due to Volodymyr and Olena's busy work schedules.

Ukrainian presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky after performing on stage in the Uzhhorod, Ukraine on February 9, 2019. | Source: Sergiy Gudak/AFP/Getty Images


Before he turned to politics, Volodymyr was a law student at university. He also worked as a comedian and actor, and his wife worked as a writer for the comedy troupe that made him famous.

The future first lady generally spent her time out of the spotlight. Things changed a bit for the couple when Volodymyr decided to run for the presidency of Ukraine, as his wife wasn't too keen on the idea.


Candidate for presidency of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi and Olena Zelenska during a briefing in Kyiv, Ukraine, on March 31, 2019. | Source: Volodymyr Tarasov/Future Publishing/Getty Images


When Volodymyr told his wife he wanted to leave his career and run for president, Olena was publicly against it. He didn't fill her in when he decided to run anyway, and she found out about his secret candidacy through social media!

Despite the serious threat to his and his family’s lives, the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky vowed to stay in the capital city.

Speaking to Vogue Ukraine, Olena said when she asked him why he didn't tell her, he claimed he'd forgotten! His wife was opposed to the idea because she knew things would change and they would face challenges.



Olena Zelenska having an audience with Pope Francis at the Apostolic Palace on February 8, 2020, in Vatican City, Vatican. | Source: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Despite how she initially felt, Olena yielded to her husband's wishes and has shown him unwavering support. With the current situation in Ukraine, she sent a message of encouragement to the people on Instagram, stating how she was sticking to her husband's side as they fought for the country.


As Russia continues its attacks on Ukraine, Olena has stood by Volodymyr's side after 27 years together. In the past, she's confessed that she preferred being in the background, but she's become more vocal during the Russian attacks.


As the people of Ukraine flee the country to safer areas, the first lady and her children have chosen to stay put in a secure location. The day after the first Russian invasion in February 2022, Volodymyr addressed his people.

He confessed that he was the first target for invaders while his family was the second. Despite the serious threat to his and his family's lives, the Ukrainian president vowed to stay in the capital city.

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