The Ukrainian first lady allegedly had a store worker fired after she tried to assist Zelenskaya
Elena Zelenskaya, the wife of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, spent $1.1 million in a single visit to New York City’s Cartier boutique on Fifth Avenue during the first couple’s most recent visit to the US, a former employee who says she was fired after trying to assist the first lady claimed on Sunday.
In a video posted to her Instagram, the ex-employee, an immigrant from Benin, explains that just two weeks after she finally got what she describes as a “dream job” at the high-end jewelry boutique, Zelenskaya appeared at the store – her first VIP client – and she was “mad.” The video has since been made private but is still available on YouTube.
“I tried to take her on a quick tour, but she wasn’t interested,” the woman said, claiming that when she tried to show the Ukrainian first lady some items, “she just shouted directly at my face, ‘who said that I need your opinion?’ and asked to see the manager.” The next day, the employee says she was fired – and made a copy of Zelenskaya’s purchase receipt, which she displayed in her video for all to see, while she was packing her things.
“She got me fired for nothing so I will show her true face to everybody,” the ex-employee said in the video. “She spends over a million at CARTIER while her country is at war?” The princely sum paid was for three items – a white gold and diamond bracelet, white gold and diamond earrings, and a white gold and diamond necklace with onyx and emeralds, according to the receipt, which includes Zelenskaya’s name.
A reporter for Zimbabwean news outlet ZimEye confirmed the details of the encounter with the employee, who said she would not have gone public if Zelenskaya “had just spent all those stolen money [sic] and moved forward to the next luxury brand store” rather than “ruin [her] life” and career.
While Zelenskaya was spending money, her husband was at the UN New York headquarters nearby, begging for more foreign aid. In his address to the UN General Assembly, Zelensky attempted to reframe the “Russian threat” as menacing not only his government but also Moldova, Georgia, Syria, Kazakhstan, the Baltic states, Belarus, and the world food and energy markets, requiring a global response – or at least a lot more cash.
The US alone has approved $113 billion in aid to Ukraine since the start of 2022, including $62 billion in military aid. With no end to the conflict in sight and Washington narrowly avoiding a government shutdown for lack of funds last week, the US has reportedly demanded that Kiev take action on corruption if it wants to continue receiving American taxpayers’ largesse.