The President of Ukraine traveled to the United States on Wednesday to thank U.S. leaders and request more aid in the fight against Russia.
“Your money is not charity. It’s an investment,” said Volodymyr Zelensky during his address to Congress Wednesday evening. The President of Ukraine traveled to the United States on Wednesday to thank U.S. leaders and request more aid in the fight against Russia.
- The Ukrainian president made a direct appeal to Americans, saying, “I hope my words of respect and gratitude resonate in each American heart.” He continued, “Russia could stop its aggression, really, if it wanted to, but you can speed up our victory. I know it.”
- Zelensky’s trip to the United States marks the first time he has left Ukrainian soil since the Russian invasion commenced in February. His visit was “deliberately timed” as the war enters a dangerous new phase as temperatures drop and Russia targets the civilian power grid.
- Zelensky argued the tens of billions in assistance the U.S. has given Ukraine is not just an investment in Ukraine, but in global security that Ukraine will handle “in the most responsible way.” Arriving in the House chamber to a boisterous and bipartisan standing ovation, Zelensky said, “Against all doom and gloom scenarios, Ukraine did not fall. Ukraine is alive and kicking.”
- Ukraine’s president emphasized his gratitude to the United States for its generosity and support, but made the case it was not nearly enough to turn back the invading Russian army. Zelensky’s message was apparently well-received judging by the thunderous applause coming from both sides of the aisle.
- A large majority of Americans continue to support sending aid to Ukraine, polls show. Zelensky’s address was timed in part to stem growing opposition to sending aid from House Republicans, who are set to take control of the lower chamber in two weeks.
- Before his speech to Congress, Zelensky met with President Joe Biden at the White House for two hours before concluding their meeting with a joint press conference.
- President Biden told Zelensky the U.S. would stand with Ukraine “for as long as it takes” and he was “not at all worried” about maintaining international support for Ukraine. The U.S. has already committed $50 billion to Ukraine, and President Biden pledged additional support at the joint news conference.
- The Pentagon announced Wednesday the U.S. would send Ukraine a Patriot missile battery for the first time as part of a new $1.85 billion weapons package. Ukraine could get an additional $45 billion aid package in the omnibus spending bill currently working its way through Congress.
- The New York Times reported on the looming prospect of a stalemate as Russia bolsters its defenses and becomes more entrenched in the land it has stolen from Ukraine. The U.S. government believes Ukraine will find it more difficult to reclaim land in the new year.
- Zelensky’s visit 300 days into the conflict signals the beginning of a new phase in the conflict, according to CNN. The decision to meet in person underscored the fact that Biden would not have invited Zelensky “if he did not believe something real could be accomplished meeting face-to-face instead of over the phone.”
- NBC News identified one key line from Zelensky’s speech on his view of the American role in the conflict. He said, “It gives me great pleasure to share our first joint victory: We defeated Russia in the minds of the world.” His comment underscored just how essential American support is to Ukrainian success on the battlefield.
- The Washington Examiner highlighted the moment when Zelensky gave House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a Ukrainian flag. Soldiers in Bakhmut signed the flag and gave Ukraine’s president asking him to give the flag to Congress as a thank you. Zelensky handed the flag to Pelosi, accompanied by a kiss on the cheek.
- National Review covered the moment at the Biden-Zelensky press conference when Ukraine’s leader was asked if he was worried Ukraine’s use of Patriot missiles would lead Russia to escalate the conflict. Zelensky just chuckled and replied, “We are in a war.”
- Ukraine’s leader “challenged GOP lawmakers to think broader in their view of the world” during his address to Congress, according to Fox News. “I know that everything depends on us, the Ukrainian armed forces, yet so much depends on the world,” said Zelensky. “So much in the world depends on you.”
© Dominic Moore, 2022