Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed Congress Wednesday morning. In his speech, Zelenskyy pleaded with the American leadership to “do more” to support Ukraine as the West locks arms in defiance of Russia’s ongoing invasion.
Choosing to remain in his country’s capital city of Kyiv, Zelenskyy addressed American lawmakers via teleconference.
Zelenskyy thanked the United States for its “sincere commitment to the defense of Ukraine” but insisted that American leadership could still do more.
He said, “However, now it is true in the darkest time for our country, for the whole of Europe, I call on you to do more.”
In his speech, Zelenskyy called on the United States to implement and enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine, provide additional aircraft and military defense systems to the country, and create a new security alliance that would reshape the global balance of power.
Zelenskyy also appealed to President Biden, as his American counterpart, and insisted that he take up the mantle of “leader of the world” and defend other nations that wish to be free.
“I’m addressing President Biden,” he said, “You, the leader of your nation, I wish you to be the leader of the world.”
“Being the leader of the world means being the leader of peace,” Zelenskyy added.
The Ukrainian president called on American lawmakers to recall September 11, 2001, when “independent territories” became “battlefields” and “when innocent people were attacked – attacked from the air.”
He asked them to reflect on the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor that dragged the United States into the Second World War, saying that “in [America’s] great history you have pages that would allow you to understand Ukrainians understand us right now when we need you right now.”
Zelenskyy said, “Pearl Harbor, the terrible morning of December 7, 1941, when your sky was black from the planes attacking you. Just remember it.”
Zelenskyy used these events to connect the United States’ past suffering to the ongoing bombardment that Ukrainian cities currently endue.
“You could not stop it,” he continued, “Our country experiences the same every day. Right now, at this moment, every night for three weeks now, various Ukrainian cities.”
Zelenskyy proceeded to implore the United States to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukrainian airspace. He said that Russian forces “use drones to kill us with precision.”
He asked Congress, “Is this a lot to ask for, to create a no-fly zone over Ukraine to save people? Is this too much to ask?”
“You know that they exist, and you have them, but … not in Ukraine, not in Ukrainian sky,” Zelenskyy added, “They do not defend our people.”
Zelenskyy’s calls for a no-fly zone appear to have had some effect, as prominent members of Congress prepare to pressure Biden to implement one.
Watch Zelenskyy’s full address here:
Ukraine’s Zelensky addresses U.S. Congress – 3/16 (FULL LIVE STREAM)