Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the US Congress in a historic speech, pleading to US lawmakers to send Ukraine more munitions and, along with it, a no-fly zone across Ukrainian skies to prevent any more further deaths from Russian airstrikes and bombardments. Notably, he likened the Russian invasion of Ukraine to the Pearl Harbor bombings and the 9/11 terrorist attacks to drive his points forward.

The virtual address was welcomed with thunderous applause and standing ovations from US lawmakers. The Ukrainian leader started off his speech by stating that Russia had not just attacked Ukraine. According to him, it had also attacked basic human values, freedoms, and their sovereignty as a country. He referenced Mount Rushmore during this portion of the speech in an attempt to remind Americans of what they stood for – democracy and freedoms for everybody.

“I remember your national memorial in Rushmore, the faces of your prominent presidents, those who laid the foundation of the United States of America as it is today: democracy, independence, freedom, and care for everyone, for every person, for everyone who works diligently, who lives honestly, who respects the law,” he said.

The Ukrainian President stated that Ukrainians wanted the same for themselves and said that Americans could understand them through looking back at their own history, referencing the Pearl Harbor bombings of 1941 and the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

“Remember Pearl Harbor — terrible morning of December 7, 1941, when your sky was black from the planes attacking you. Just remember it. Remember September the 11th, a terrible day in 2001, when evil tried to turn your cities, independent territories in battlefields, when innocent people were attacked, attacked from air,” he reminisced.

According to him, the United States did not expect the attacks and that nobody saw it coming. The Ukrainian President said that the same had happened to Ukraine when the Russians suddenly attacked. “Our country experienced the same every day, right now, at this moment, every night for three weeks now,” he said.

He then asked US Congress for help to enforce a no-fly zone in Ukraine so that Ukrainian civilians would be safe from Russian bombardments. It can be remembered that NATO and the US had reservations over implementing a no-fly zone in Ukraine as enforcing said policy would require NATO to shoot down Russian aircraft, risking a potential full war escalation.

“Is this a lot to ask for, to create a no-fly zone — zone over Ukraine to save people? Is this too much to ask — humanitarian no-fly zone, something that Ukraine — that Russia would not be able to terrorize our free cities?”

If a no-fly zone could not be implemented, Zelensky then offered an alternative. To repel the missile strikes, the Ukrainian President requested air defense systems to counter Russian missiles and more fighter jets so that they could keep up with Russia’s more advanced fighter jets. It can be remembered that Poland had proposed to donate its fleet of MiG-29 fighters to the US, with the States responsible for the delivery of the aircraft. The US had rejected the proposal on the basis that delivery to Ukraine from Germany would present logistical issues that Russia might interpret to be an act of war.

Referencing Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic “I Have A Dream” speech, he said that “I have a need: I need to protect our sky.” Zelensky said this in an attempt to persuade US Congress to help implement the no-fly zone and that he needed their decision quickly as they were left vulnerable to Russian airstrikes. Zelensky would then thank the United States and US President Joe Biden for their support for Ukraine. The US had already donated over $1.2 billion from the Biden Administration prior to the very recent military aid package worth $800 million.

“Ukraine is grateful to the United States for its overwhelming support, for everything that US government and your people have done for us, for weapons and ammunition, for training, for finances, for leadership in the free world, which helps us to pressure the aggressor economically,” he said.

Addressing President Biden directly, Zelensky thanked him for his personal involvement and commitment to Ukraine. This comes after POTUS had signed the government funding bill that allocated over $13.6 billion in military and economic assistance to Ukraine into a law.

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“I am grateful to you for the resolution which recognizes all those who commit crimes against Ukraine, against the Ukrainian people as war criminals,” he said to Biden. “However, now it is true in the darkest time for our country, for the whole Europe, I call on you to do more,” he continued.

In an attempt to put pressure on the US and its allies to further sanction Russia to cripple its economy, Zelensky called for all politicians serving in the Russian Federation to be sanctioned and that all American companies must withdraw from Russia as it was reportedly “flooded with our [Ukrainian] blood.”

During the speech, he also showed the US Congress a video showing the destruction and devastation in Ukraine:

Zelensky also proposed to create a new association, the U-24, United For Peace alliance which he said would be a union of countries that would stop all conflict immediately and give all the assistance a country would need within 24 hours of an attack.

“…even weapons, if necessary, sanctions, humanitarian support, political support, finances — everything you need to keep the peace and quickly save the world, to save lives,” he explained. The proposed association would also provide relief to those who were devastated and ravaged by natural and man-made disasters and humanitarian crises.

He ended his speech by stating that the Ukrainian people were not just defending Ukraine but had also been fighting for the collective values of Europe and the entire world, sacrificing Ukrainian lives for the future of the global society. Calling President Biden the leader of the free world, he said that being the leader of the world meant that he should also be the leader of peace.

Biden Responds To Zelensky With $800M Military Aid

US President Joe Biden after he had authorized a $800 million security assistance package to Ukraine (Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks). Source: https://twitter.com/DepSecDef/status/1504147782797516805
US President Joe Biden after he had authorized an $800 million security assistance package to Ukraine (Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks).

Following Zelensky’s emotional plea, President Biden announced that he was sending an additional $800 million worth of military aid to Ukraine. This brings the total amount of military aid sent to Ukraine at $2 billion ever since the start of the Biden Administration. The donation will be given via direct transfer from the Department of Defense to the Ukrainian military.

The new assistance package reportedly includes the following:

  • 800 Stinger anti-aircraft systems;
  • 2,000 Javelin
  • 1,000 light anti-armor weapons
  • 6,000 AT-4 anti-armor systems
  • 100 Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems
  • 100 grenade launchers, 5,000 rifles, 1,000 pistols, 400 machine guns, and 400 shotguns
  • Over 20 million rounds of small arms ammunition and grenade launcher and mortar rounds
  • 25,000 sets of body armor
  • 25,000 helmets.

This new package sits on top of previous military aid sent to Ukraine, including around 600 Stinger missiles, 2,600 Javelin anti-armor systems, 200 shotguns, 200 machine guns, and 40 million rounds of small arms ammunition. The Biden Administration also gave Ukraine 5 Mi-17 helicopters, three patrol boats, four counter-artillery and counter-unmanned aerial system tracking radars, and 70 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs).

“The world is united in our support for Ukraine and our determination to make (Russian President Vladimir) Putin pay a very heavy price,” President Biden said.

“America is leading this effort, together with our allies and partners, providing an enormous level of security and humanitarian assistance that we’re adding to today, and we’re going to continue to do more in the days and weeks ahead,” he continued.

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