Zamosc, Poland — In a virtual address to a joint session of Congress, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pleaded for more U.S. support to help his country defend itself from invading Russian forces. Invoking memories from Pearl Harbor and 9/11 tragedies, Zelenskyy asked for American air defense resources.
“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 your city’s independent territories in battlefields when innocent people were attacked, attacked from air,” Zelenskyy said. “Our country experienced the same every day, right now at this moment, every night for three weeks now.”
Zelenskyy’s top request focused on American support for establishing a no-fly zone over Ukraine, a measure Russian President Vladimir Putin said he’d consider an act of war and Western forces have opposed.
“If that is too much to ask,” Zelenskyy continued, his country needs fighter jets, though the U.S. scrapped a MiG fighter jet swap proposed by Poland last week.
“Today my age stopped, when the hearts of more than 100 children stopped beating,” Zelenskyy said. “I see no sense in life if it cannot stop the death. And this is my main mission as the leader of my people, great Ukrainians.”
Zelenskyy received standing ovations from American lawmakers before and after his address.
“President Zelenskyy personifies the strength of the Ukrainian people and of democracy,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) tweeted after the address. “It was an honor for him to address Congress today; we must continue to stand together and stand with Ukraine.”
“The American people stand strongly with the people of Ukraine,” Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) said in a press conference after Zelenskyy’s address. “The Ukrainian people need those MiGs, and they need them now. They needed them yesterday.”