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.