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In an interview with Fox News Digital on Saturday, the “Real Housewives” alum echoed a statement she posted to Twitter late Friday: “Zelenskyy’s a bada–.”
“He just seems like he’s not giving up, and it’s an interesting thing to watch,” the entrepreneur and founder of the BStrong initiative said.
“It’s inspiring because he’s leading by example and people are fighting. If he weren’t fighting for his own country no one else would want to be doing that, so it’s amazing.”
Zelenskyy on Saturday posted a video to social media showing him walking the streets of Kyiv after a night of artillery fire in different parts of the city, telling the nation, “I’m here.”
“We will defend our country,” Zelenskyy said in a short video address to Ukrainians.
“There’s a lot of fake information online that I call on our army to lay down arms, and that there’s evacuation,” Zelenskyy said. “I’m here. We won’t lay down our arms. We will defend our country.”
Despite Russian forces moving closer to the center of Kyiv, Zelenskyy declined an offer from the United States to be evacuated from the city.
“The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride,” Zelenskyy said, according to the Associated Press, who spoke with a senior intelligence official.
Frankel also shouted out the people of Ukraine. “They seem very strong,” she said.
BStrong is a worldwide initiative in partnership with Global Empowerment Mission. Over the past couple days, the “Real Housewives of New York City” alum has been sharing updates on her nonprofit’s urgency to help Ukrainian citizens flee to safety as the crisis escalates.
Speaking of BStrong’s focus for the next two days, she confirmed her initiative has set up a base camp in Medyka, Poland, near the Ukraine border.
“It will be the first of many base camps where we will welcome refugees, connect with them, give them very basic needs, and our crisis boxes are en route,” Frankel said. “It’s $10 million in aid coming, but we will meet what’s mostly mothers and children and relocate them. So, get them on a train or plane and relocate them to friends or family — someplace that’s a safe haven — and give them really basic survival needs for now.”
BStrong launched in 2017 and has seen Frankel and her team immediately assist people in need during major disasters around the world, including in Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Bahamas and more.
Frankel is fortunate that BStrong has $16 million in aid in its warehouse, making the swift response in Ukraine possible.
“Every single disaster is different and this isn’t a natural disaster. We’ve grown to that point where we have a massive warehouse filled with aid,” she said. “We used to have to beg for aid and amass aid from all over the country and really kind of scramble for that. Now we have aid, so that’s one thing we are way ahead of everybody and where we used to be. That aid is all donated and that will be distributed in these crisis kits.”
The crisis kits will assist civilians with basic items needed for survival, including blankets, water, chargers, toiletries, etc.
Historically, BStrong has provided cash cards to victims of natural disasters, but the group’s focus in Ukraine is similar to the work done when providing emergency response for victims of the Surfside, Florida, condo collapse.
“It used to be that usually we do cash cards so people can have the dignity to do what they want and rebuild their own communities. But, in this case, it’s a different need, like Surfside in Florida, where we wanted to relocate them and connect them with housing or places to be. Here, we’re meeting them at the base camp and saying, ‘Ok what family do you have? What friends do you have? Where are they?” Frankel explained.
The TV star noted that Americans who are safe at home, and others around the world, can assist.
“Donate and keep talking because communicating spreads information and makes it more about saving lives than eyelashes,” she told us.