President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine in a live streamed conference call to the United States congress has appealed to the President and members of the congress to do more for the people of Ukraine as Russia continues to invade their country.
He asked for aggressive measures to stop the the war as he showed lawmakers a graphic video of the death and explosion in Ukraine as a result of the attacks of Russia.The video showed exploding buildings, dead children and mass graves.
The president while acknowledging the previous help Ukraine has received from the United States urged the Americans to look at their own history and try to understand what the Ukrainians are going through.
He made references to the Pearl Harbor the September 11th attack and Martin Luther Kings I have a dream speech.
He said, “Remember Pearl Harbor, terrible morning of December 7, 1941, when your sky was black from the planes attacking you, Just remember it, remember, September the 11th, a terrible day in 2001 when evil tried to turn US cities into battlefields, when innocent people were attacked from air, just like nobody else expected it and you could not stop it. Our country experiences the same, every day, right now at this moment.”
President Zelensky was particularly asking for the United States to create a no fly zone over Ukraine. Describing how Russia has destroyed properties and inflicted brutal attacks on Ukraine with the use of missiles and bombs.
“Russia has turned the Ukrainian sky into a source of death for thousands of people. We are asking for a reply to this terror from the whole world. To create a no-fly zone over Ukraine to save people, is this too much to ask? You know how much depends on the battlefield, on the ability to use aircraft, powerful strong aviation to protect our people, our freedom, our land, aircraft that can help Ukraine, help Europe. You know they exist and you have them, but they are on Earth not in the Ukrainian sky. I need to protect our sky.”
Switching to English towards the end of his speech he said “I wish you to be the leader of the world. Being the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace.”
Reaction from the American congress
While this speech received a standing ovation from the United States congress, CNN reports that Republicans have generally been more supportive of the United States giving Ukraine jets but Democrats are concerned that such move might cause an escalation that could draw America into a war.
The Response of President Biden
Following the speech, President Biden stated that he was already preparing to announce additional help to Ukraine. He said that the United States would be sending an additional $800 million in military assistance. He said “We’re going to give Ukraine the arms to fight and defend themselves through all the difficult days ahead,”
President Biden also announced that new assistance would include 800 Stinger anti-aircraft systems, 100 grenade launchers, 20 million rounds of small arms ammunition and grenade launchers and mortar rounds and an unspecified number of drones.
This would bring the total amount that has been sent to Ukraine by the Biden administration to $2 billion. About $1 billion in aid was sent in the past week as AP news reports that the Biden administration has sent Ukraine more than 600 Stinger missiles, 2,600 Javelin anti-armor systems, unmanned aerial system tracking radars, grenade launchers, 200 shotguns, 200 machine guns and nearly 40 million rounds of small arms ammunition, along with helicopters, patrol boats, satellite imagery and body armor, helmets, and other tactical gear.
President Biden however has insisted that there would be no American troops deployed to Ukrainian soil. He has also resisted President Zelensky’s pleas for warplanes stating that they are too risky as they could escalate into a direct confrontation with Russia and that Russia is armed with nuclear weapons and a direct confrontation between a NATO country and Russia would mean World War III.