Iryna Vereschuk, the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister who has become a symbol of courage

Of Marta Serafini

Born in 1979, Vereschuk, one of the few faces of the government, besides Zelensky, who appears in public in these hours. You studied at the Military Institute of the Polytechnic and then graduated in Law

from our correspondent
LEOPOLI – Until a couple of months ago he attended official visits in a blue suit. Now, ever since the Russians invaded Ukraine, every day, in military clothes he addresses the Ukrainians to give an account of the state of the humanitarian corridors. Born in 1979, Iryna Vereschuk one of the few faces of the government, besides President Volodymyr Zelensky, who appears in public in these hours. Or at least on video. Unlikely to betray particular emotion. His words, as he accounts for the victims and civilians suffering in Mariupol, Kiev and other cities under siege, the president’s messages resume, asking for NATO support and accusing Putin of atrocities against humanity.

Vice premier since last November, with post as minister for the reintegration of temporarily occupied territoriesVereschuk has Kiev in his heart but in Lviv he was born and here he was formed and spent most of his life. In Lviv, as the Ukrainians call it, he studied at the Military Institute of the Polytechnic, where she graduated with a major in international news. She then got a second degree, in law this time, and another major in government administration. In between, her service as an army officer and the start of a political career.

The beginnings

Iryna Vereschuk starts from the bottom. Before as Deputy Head of the Zhovkva Regional State Administration, then five years at the helm of his hometown, Rava-Ruska, a municipality near Lviv with 9,000 inhabitants. At 30, she is the youngest female mayor in the country. One step at a time, head down, as they taught her in the academy. Blonde bob always in a fold and steely look, Iryna was nicknamed the Ukrainian Hillary. In the 2019 elections he enters the Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, for the same party as Zelensky. He works in the Defense and Intelligence commissions and here he prepares the leap forward.

Although Vereschuk was born in the cradle of nationalism, she did not bring that part of her roots to Kiev. AND publicly criticizes the figure of the far-right patriot Stepan Bandera, pro-Nazi. a hero for most of society, an image of nationalism. But it should be understood that this historical figure will never find a place in the Ukrainian pantheon of heroes. Conservative, but with a cosmopolitan approach, Iryna is married to a Ukrainian special forces officer Alpha. And now, with her 17-year-old son from her first marriage, she is staying in a secret location. Like President Zelensky, of whom she appears to be a very loyal one. Her lieutenant. And there are two clues they could make of Vereschuk a key figure in a possible transition processif the government were to move West.

The statement

In 2013 in public he said: Putin? If we had such a politician I would vote for him. It is good for Russia. He acts in the interest of his country. Let every president defend his country in this way. natural!. But it was before Maidan Square, before everything changed in Ukraine. It’s still. Six years later, shortly after the election, during a televised debate on the application for NATO membership he attacks: We are knocking on a closed door and losing our reputation. We can’t go where they don’t want us. Words for which he apologized publicly. What, even more so today, after the decision of the Atlantic Alliance to deny the no-fly zone, reflect the common feeling of many here in the West.


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