Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine, addressed Congress Wednesday. He pleaded for the United States to do more by creating a new security alliance, a no fly zone, additional aircraft, and air defense systems. Zelenskyy addressed U.S. legislators from Kyiv where he chose to remain despite Russian forces moving on the city. He thanked President Biden and the United States of America for their “personal involvement” in the defense of Ukraine and for the assistance they have provided.
Zelenskyy stated, “But, it is now true in the darkest times for our country, and for the entire Europe, so I call upon you to do more.”
Zelenskyy continued to invoke September 11, 2001, calling it “terrible” because “independent territories” became “battlefields” and “when innocent persons were attacked–attacked by the air.”
Zelenskyy claimed that Russia has “turned Ukraine’s sky into a death source for thousands of people,” adding that there are missiles as well as “countless bombs.”
He said, “They use drones for precision killing us.” “This is terror Europe hasn’t seen in 80 years. We are asking for a response from this terror from all over the world.
Is it too much to ask, to establish a no fly zone over Ukraine in order to save the people? Is it too much? It would be a humanitarian no-fly zone. This would prevent Russia from terrorizing our cities. Zelenskyy asked.
“If this seems too much, we offer an alternate,” Zelenskyy stated, calling for “powerful, strong” air system to “protect our people and our freedom, as well as our land”.
He said, “You know they exist, and you have them. But they are here on Earth.” “They don’t defend our people in Ukraine or in the Ukrainian skies.
Zelenskyy invoked Martin Luther King Jr. and said, “I have a vision.”
“These words are familiar to all of you. Today, I can tell you that I have a need. We need to protect our skies. He said, “I need your help and your decision. It means the exact same.” “I have a dream, the same way you feel when I say them.”
Zelenskyy referred to World War II and stated that “the wars of the past have prompted us to create institutions that should be able to protect us from war but unfortunately they don’t work.”
It is there. It is there. We need new institutions and alliances. Zelenskyy stated that we support them.
He suggested “to create an association called United for Peace. A union of responsible nations that have the strength to stop conflicts and provide all the assistance needed in 24 hours if required, including weapons, sanctions, humanitarian support, and political support.”
Zelenskyy stated that if such an alliance existed today, we would be able save thousands of lives in our nation, and in many other countries around the globe who need peace, or who are subject to inhumane destruction.
Zelenskyy stated that it was “not enough” to be the leader in a nation.
Zelenskyy stated that it takes to be the world’s leader. Being the leader means being the leader for peace. Peace in your country does not depend on you or your people. It depends on the peace of those around you and on those who are strong.
He continued, “Strong is strong and willing to fight for his citizens’ survival and those of the world for human rights and freedom for all people, and not just when it’s desired by your neighbor–or anyone else.”
Zelenskyy stated that the Ukrainian people “fight for the values Europe and the World” and “sacrifice their lives for the sake of the Future.”
Zelenskyy stated that the Americans are supporting not only Ukraine but Europe and the entire world to preserve the planet, justice in history, and keep it alive.
Zelenskyy claimed he was 45 years old, but said that his age stopped when more than 100 children’s hearts stopped beating.
Zelenskyy stated, “I don’t see any sense in life if it cannot stop the deaths.” “And this is the main issue and leader of my people, great Ukrainians and the leader my nation,” Zelenskyy said.
Zelenskyy’s appeal comes just as the White House stated that an escalatory no-fly zone was necessary. This is also the same hour President Biden will announce additional $800 million in military assistance to Ukraine, on top of Saturday’s $200 million announcement.
While Congress members have not called for a no fly zone, many are echoing Biden’s concerns.
Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, stated Tuesday that Biden believes that an escalatory no-fly zone could lead to war with Russia.
Psaki stated that while he doesn’t believe that there are many advocates calling for it at the moment from Capitol Hill but that they understand and acknowledge that President Zelenskyy is still making that call.
A growing number of bipartisan legislators are urging the Biden Administration to make a deal to send MiG29 planes to Ukraine to provide additional air support to Russia’s multifront war against the country.
Last week, the Pentagon rejected the proposal of Poland for NATO and the U.S. to deliver MiG-29 aircraft to the Ukrainian military. It argued that this move could be misinterpreted as “escalatory” or could lead to a “significant Russian reaction” which could increase the chances of an escalatory military conflict with NATO.
Psaki stated that while we recognize the importance of many bipartisan calls, it is up to us to evaluate the impact on the United States and national security.
Ukraine is not a NATO member, and therefore is not subject to Article V of NATO that states that if one NATO member country is attacked, all NATO member countries will assist.
Estonia’s parliament called on Monday for U.N. member countries to immediately establish a “no-fly zone” above Ukraine in order to stop civilian casualties while war rages.
Estonia is the NATO’s first member to establish a body that calls for the establishment of a no fly zone in the face of Russia’s ongoing invasion.
Psaki stated that the White House does not agree with Estonia’s argument for a no fly zone. This is because it would be “an effective step” and, as people often shorthand, would essentially mean shooting down Russian planes, then potentially firing back at us.
Biden will travel to Brussels (Belgium) next week to attend a NATO summit. The purpose of the summit is to “discuss and strengthen our commitment to NATO allies and continue our deterrence efforts in response to Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine.”
Biden will also be attending a European Council Summit scheduled for October to discuss “shared concern about Ukraine”, including transatlantic efforts by the United States to impose economic sanctions on Russia, provide humanitarian aid to victims of the violence, as well as other issues related to the conflict.
According to the White House, Biden’s goal is to meet face-to-face with European counterparts in order “to discuss and assess where we stand at this stage in the conflict.”
Psaki stated that “the president is a big believer face-to-face diplomacy,” and that the summit was “an opportunity for him to do just that.”
Psaki stated that Biden would meet Zelenskyy on his European trip.