Ukrainian first lady warns of complacency amid war: ‘Please don’t stop to help us fight’

Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska is warning of the world growing complacent as her country presses on in its fight against Russian invaders.

Zelenska sat down for an interview with ABC News and said she was concerned global attention is turning away from Ukraine.

“We see that sometimes people become reluctant,” Zelenska said. “People talk about ‘Ukraine fatigue.’ This is talk of our existence. We can’t stop fighting for ourselves.”

“So my message is: Please don’t stop to help us fight,” she continued. 

Asked whether she feels the world’s focus is drifting elsewhere, Zelenska said, “I’m afraid of it, but I hope it will not happen.”

U.S. polls have suggested that “Ukraine fatigue” is a valid concern, as Americans have increasingly waned on their support for additional funding to aid Ukraine, though survey results have often varied depending on the phrasing. In one recent poll, 55 percent of Americans surveyed said lawmakers should not authorize new funding to support Ukraine, while 45 percent said they should. 

The same survey revealed the share of Americans who said they were concerned the conflict could lead to a broader war in Europe decreased from 80 percent in February 2022 to 59 percent this July. Similarly, those who said they were worried the war could lead to Russian attacks elsewhere in the world dropped from 77 percent in February 2022 to 64 percent in July.

The issue of funding for Ukraine has also become salient in the 2024 GOP presidential primary, as establishment Republicans struggle to gain popularity in a party that has adopted an increasingly “America first” perspective, which has given rise to a popular argument that the Ukraine funding should instead be invested in the United States. 

President Biden has sought to galvanize NATO countries to act together and display a united front in their defense of Ukraine. He has also made support for Ukraine a salient issue of his presidency, as well as in his reelection campaign. 

Tags Joe Biden Olena Zelenska Russia-Ukraine war