By Simon Shuster/Kyiv

lena Zelenska, the First Lady of Ukraine, got to bed late on the eve of the Russian invasion. Her kids were long asleep in the presidential residence south of Kyiv, a vast mansion of yellow stone that the family had always found a bit too grand, bordering on ostentatious. They had moved there in 2020 because the gated grounds contain a separate building to house their security detail. For days, Zelenska had sensed the bodyguards were nervous. The talk of war, she says, “was everywhere, just kind of hanging in the air.”

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