Ukrainian President Zelensky Addresses Congress

March 16, 2022
President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the United States Congress on Wednesday morning amid the Russian war on Ukraine.

Right now, the destiny of our country is being decided — the destiny of our people, whether Ukrainians will be free, whether they will be able to preserve their democracy.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressing the United States Congress Wednesday morning via video call, appealing for further assistance amid the Russian war on Ukraine.
  • Pres. Zelensky continued: Russia has attacked not just us, not just our land, not just our cities, it went on a brutal offensive against our values — basic human values. It threw tanks and planes against our freedom, against our right to live freely in our own country, choosing our own future.
  • In the roughly 17-minute livestreamed address, Pres. Zelensky appealed to the U.S. once more for the implementation of a no-fly zone above Ukraine. He said if that is asking "too much," Ukraine needs military aircraft to help protect their skies.
  • To date, the Biden admin. has not approved of a no-fly zone "… because of the escalatory nature of it." The admin. has also rejected the idea of transferring fighter jets to Ukraine.
  • Listed below are some actions the U.S. has taken to assist Ukraine since the war began on February 24th, 2022:

1) Approved $350M in military aid to Ukraine two days after Russia invaded Ukraine. This aid included small arms, anti-armor, body armor, anti-aircraft systems.

2) Over the weekend, Pres. Biden approved another $200M in military aid; the Pentagon said Monday they are currently working on how this will be materialized.

3) Provided nearly $293M in humanitarian aid since late Feb. to support the now over 3 million refugees who have fled Ukraine; this humanitarian assistance "supports the provision of food, safe drinking water, protection, accessable shelter, and emergency health care through the support of our international and non-governmental partners," Sec. of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday.

4) The U.S. has also placed financial sanctions on Russia and has banned Russian oil. On Monday, U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Ned Price said the ruble (Russia's currency) is now worth less than a penny.

Why It Matters: Capitol Hill Lawmakers told CNN they anticipate the "next major round of deliberations in Washington on how to best aid Ukraine's fight against Russia will, in no small part, hinge on what exactly Zelensky asks for when he speaks to Congress." Hours after Pres. Zelensky spoke, Pres. Biden announced an additional $800M in military aid for Ukraine; this assistance does not include military aircraft.

Click HERE to watch Ukrainian Pres. Zelensky address the U.S. Congress

Fact Sheet on U.S. Security Assistance for Ukraine (The White House)

READ: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's address to Congress (CNN)

Biden sending more anti-aircraft systems, drones to Ukraine (Associated Press)

by Jenna Lee,