Zelensky summons Pearl Harbor and 9/11 when he appeals for more from Washington. Within three weeks of a brutal and senseless war, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, has called for the highest ideal and greatest tragedy in American history in an emotional appeal to Congress for more US military assistance to stop the Russian invasion. He quoted Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and added his own twist.
“I have a need,” Zelensky, wearing a khaki military T-shirt, said of his nation’s struggle for survival. He referred to the US presidents at Mount Rushmore, Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt as symbols of democracy, freedom, and independence that Ukrainians wanted today in their struggle not to fall under neighboring Russia. At the most provocative moment, he addressed Americans about their own historic challenge.
“Friends, Americans, in your great history, you have a page that lets you now understand the Ukrainians,” Zelensky, who was broadcast by video from Kiev on Wednesday, told lawmakers. “Remember the terrible morning of Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, when your skies turned black from the plane that attacked you. Just remember that. Remember September 11, 2001, a terrible day, when evil was your cities-independent. Tried to turn the territories into battlefields.”Every day we have the same experience in our country, this moment, this moment – every night for three weeks now,” he added.
In a brief eighteen minutes, Zelensky outlined an ambitious wish list, both for helping Ukraine and for punishing Russia. He called for a “no-fly zone” near the west – to “close the skies” and limit Russian warplanes’ ability to strike Ukrainian cities. If a no-fly zone is “too much to ask”, Zelensky applied for more advanced missile-defense systems and aircraft.
“I call you to do more!” He said. Despite mounting pressure from Congress, President Joe Biden has resisted Zelensky’s request for a no-fly zone and for the transfer of MiG-29 fighter jets that Ukrainian pilots are trained to fly. Washington fears that any direct US intervention could lead to a wider conflict.
“That’s called World War Three,” Biden said last week. Zelensky also asked the U.S. to sanction every Russian politician and widen the economic dragnet. “I am asking that Russians do not receive a single penny they can use to destroy Ukraine,” he said. He encouraged individual lawmakers to mobilize aid and support for Ukraine from companies in their districts.
Zelensky of Ukraine speaks to members of the US Congress when Russian forces approach Kiev
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is delivering a virtual speech via video of members of the US House and Senate. The remarks came as the United States sought to provide more military assistance to the country, which is under pressure from Ukraine.
What we hope he will say: Zelensky is expected to call on the United States to help establish a no-fly zone in Ukraine – to protect civilians – and to provide fighter aircraft that Ukrainians can use to defend themselves.
Dividing these two controversial alternative lawmakers, Republicans are more vocal about giving jets to Ukraine, but some Democrats – and the White House – are concerned that Russia might consider such a move an increase and potentially drag America into war.
Despite widespread bilateral support for aid to Ukraine, many lawmakers believe the United States should be careful not to engage in any direct, armed conflict with Russia.
U.S. President Joe Biden outlined details of U.S. assistance to Ukraine in his own speech the next day on Wednesday.
Zelensky will play a video during his remarks to the US Congress
US House Radio and TV Gallery only told reporters inside a room on Capitol Hill that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would play a video during his virtual remarks.
They will extend the program for about three minutes. However, the video will not end his comment. He will speak after the end of the video.
The chamber is now being filled by U.S. lawmakers. Now more than half full.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell talks with the Ukrainian ambassador for at least five minutes in front of the room.
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