Ukraine's First Lady Olena Zelenska praises Biden's suprise visit ahead of war anniversary

First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska speaks to Susanna Reid ahead of the 'horrible' one year anniversary since Russia invaded her country

Ukraine's First Lady has described President Joe Biden’s visit to her war-torn country as “essential".

In an exclusive interview with ITV's Good Morning Britain (GMB), Olena Zelenska also added that all Ukrainians were "tense" as the "horrible anniversary" of the Russian invasion arrives.

Ms Zelenska and her husband, Ukrainian president Volodomyr Zelenskyy, met President Biden on Monday, as the US leader paid an unannounced visit to Kyiv.

She said: "This is a powerful sign of support, not only by the USA but the whole democratic world.

"The visit is essential and in particular it's even more important because of the anniversary of the war."

After his trip to Ukraine, Mr Biden travelled to Poland on a mission to solidify Western unity as both Ukraine and Russia prepare to launch spring offensives.

President Joe Biden, centre, shakes hands with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, right, as they pose with his wife Olena Zelenska, Credit: AP

Speaking to GMB presenter Susanna Reid, in an interview which aired on Tuesday morning, Ms Zelenska pushed for more weapons to be sent to Ukraine.

She said: "If they say they don’t have enough, then they need to be given more… This is a matter of survival for us.

"We expect the supply of weapons will have a powerful effect on the battlefield.”

Ms Zelenksa also said it was her "obligation" not to flea Ukraine.

"It would be emotionally a lot harder to be away from my people when it is such a crucial time in history," she confided.

"A lot of children are already in need of psychological help and sometimes even treatment – in particular, those who witnessed the execution of their family members, kids who almost lost their lives together with their mum and dad,” she said.

“My children are also like the other children - when they go to the basements in their school, mine come to the basement with me.”

First lady Jill Biden greets Ukraine's Olena Zelenska outside a school Credit: AP

Ms Zelenska also alleged that Ukraine's prosecution office has registered 150 rape cases involving Russian occupiers.

"The youngest victim is four years old, the oldest is 85, it's terrible," she said.

"Unfortunately, in reality, this number is much higher, which is why we expect the support from the international community, with specific regard to a military tribunal for all of the war criminals who are committing such terrible crimes in Ukraine.

"No one expected that this war would be so cruel. Animalistically cruel. War is always terrible but this war is staggeringly cruel."

She also sent a warm message of thanks to the people of Britain, the UK government and the Royal Family.

“Great Britain, from day one demonstrated the most sincere and the most powerful support, and this is truly a great example of leadership.

"We feel not only the support of the government and the Royal Family... but also we feel the support of the whole country.

"The safety of our people is one of the most important matters for us and you are giving us this.

"You’re one of the first countries who gave us the necessary weapons that we are constantly asking for, which is why we are truly grateful."

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