Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy made an impassioned speech on Wednesday to the U.S. Congress and President Joe Biden for more effective air defense weaponry in Ukraine.
U.S. lawmakers attended Zelenskyy’s virtual address, hosted by the U.S. Speaker, Nancy Pelosi. The address was under 20 minutes with what many are calling an “emotional” plea to Americans and President Biden.
“— Russia has turned the Ukrainian sky into a source of death for thousands of people. Russian troops have already fired nearly 1,00 missiles at Ukraine, countless bombs. They use drones to kill us with precision,” stated Zelensky from Ukraine’s capital city, Kyiv.
The city of Kyiv is still “under missile and airstrikes from Russian troops every day, but it does not give up,” said Zelenskyy.
Zelenskyy’s rhetorical appeal was created to hit home in America as he compared Ukraine’s trouble with keeping escaping citizens safe from airstrikes to the Pearl Harbor attack in December 7, 1941, and 9/11 of 2001 when terrorists used airplanes to hit New York’s twin towers.
The United States understandably cannot call for a no-fly zone over Ukraine, as it would send a clear message of war to both allies and Russian President, Vladimir Putin. For days, the Ukrainian President has asked for a no-fly zone over major cities. Zelenskyy has evidently come to terms with this as he suggested another alternative to keep more evading civilians from getting hurt or killed.
“… We need S-300 and other similar [defense] systems. You know how much depends on the battlefield on the ability to use aircraft, powerful, strong air — aviation to protect our people, our freedom, our land, aircraft that can help Ukraine, help Europe,” Zelenskyy said, “and you know that they exist, and you have them, but they are on earth, not in Ukraine — in the Ukrainian sky. They do not defend our people.”
"I have a dream", Zelenskyy followed up with the iconic words of civil rights activist, Martin Luther King Jr., stating these well-known words carry the same meaning and feeling for his, “I have a need: I need to protect our sky.”
Towards the end of Zelenskyy's virtual address, he showed a video collage (viewer discretion is advised) of the devastation and death happening in Ukraine. After the video, Zelenskyy switched to English to appeal to the American people, which only sealed Biden's response to the Ukrainian President's call for more aid.
It was difficult not to feel moved or impassioned by Zelenskyy's words as four hours later, Biden responded by announcing an additional $800 million in security to Ukraine. Biden had listened to Zelenksyy's passionate message in his private resident, calling it convincing as well as significant.
There was also a report on Tuesday that Russian forces were holding hundreds of doctors and patients hostage in the largest hospital in Mariupol. Zelenskyy also reported that more than 100 children have died.
"These are atrocities. They're an outrage to the world, and the world is united in our support for Ukraine and our determination to make Putin pay a very heavy price," Biden stated.
Stay safe and godspeed, my friends.