Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed Congress Wednesday morning, invoking the Sept. 11 attacks and Pearl Harbor as he called on the United States to “do more.”
“Right now the destiny of our country is being decided,” he said through an interpreter.
Zelenskyy received a warm welcome as he addressed lawmakers virtually, saying that he was grateful for all the assistance from the United States but that more was needed to push back Russia.
“Ladies and gentlemen, friends, Americans, in your great history, you have pages that would allow you to understand Ukrainians — understand us now, when we need you right now,” he told lawmakers. “Remember Pearl Harbor, the terrible morning of Dec. 7, 1941, when your sky was black from the planes attacking you. Remember Sept. 11, a terrible day in 2001 when evil tried to turn your cities, independent territories, into battlefields. When innocent people were attacked from air.”
“Our country experiences the same every day, right now, at this moment, every night for three weeks now,” he added.
Zelenskyy reiterated his request for a no-fly zone over Ukraine, although he seemed to perhaps know that the United States might not go that far. So he followed that ask for other types of assistance, both humanitarian and military.
Zelenskyy again turned to U.S. ideals and history to make his case, invoking both Mount Rushmore and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech at times.
“I have a dream. These words are known to each of you,” he said. “Today, I can say, I have a need. I need to protect our sky. I need your decision, your help. Which means exactly the same, the same you feel when you hear the words, ‘I have a dream.’”
Zelenskyy also criticized the current governing bodies of the world, saying that they were failing and that what was needed was a “union of responsible countries” that can stop conflicts immediately.
At the end of his speech, he appealed directly to President Joe Biden: “You are the leader of your great nation. I wish you to be leader of the world. Being the leader of the world means being the leader of peace.”
Zelenskyy received a standing ovation after his remarks.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.