Ukrainian First Lady Declines Invitation to State of the Union

Credits: Glamour UK

According to the White House, Ukraine’s First Lady, Olena Zelenska, was invited to President Biden’s State of the Union address but could not attend.

The White House had invited Zelenska to sit with First Lady Jill Biden during Biden’s address to Congress. However, Zelenska declined the invitation.

The invitation was part of an effort to emphasize the importance of supporting Ukraine in its war effort, especially as the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion into the region recently passed.

President Biden has been urging lawmakers to pass more aid to Ukraine, a message he is expected to reinforce during his speech. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Washington in December to advocate for more aid and unity in Congress against Russian aggression.

Ukrainian First Lady (Credits: Apa.az)

In addition to Zelenska, the White House had also invited Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, but she was unable to attend. Biden had met Navalnaya and her daughter in San Francisco last month shortly after Navalny’s death in a Russian prison on February 16.

Instead of Zelenska and Navalnaya, First Lady Jill Biden will be accompanied by Kate Cox, who sued for the right to terminate a nonviable pregnancy in Texas and later left the state to receive abortion care.

Also attending the address will be the parents of detained Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who were invited by Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.).