Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a virtual address via video to members of the US Congress on Wednesday.
“Right now the destiny of our country is being decided, the destiny of our people,” he told Senators and Representatives.
The Ukrainian president said the invasion of Ukraine by Russia is about more than Ukraine, it is about democracy, freedom, and choosing your own path.
“I call on you to do more,” Zelensky pleaded.
He urged America to remember the Pearl Harbor attack by Japan during the Second World War, and to remember the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the US by al-Qaeda terrorists. What is happening to Ukraine is something “Europe has not seen in 80 years,” he told Congress.
Zelensky also invoked the famous words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King in asking for military help: “I have a dream, these words are known to each of you 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.’ ”
Zelensky’s powerful address to Canada’s Parliament
Zelensky also delivered a powerful, and oftentimes personal, address to Canada’s parliament on Tuesday, asking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau how he would feel if it were his country facing the Russian onslaught.
“Imagine that at 4 am each of you start hearing bomb explosions. Severe explosions. Justin, can you imagine hearing it? You, your children hear all these severe explosions: bombing of airport, bombing of Ottawa airport, tens of other cities of your wonderful country. Can you imagine that?” Zelensky asked.
“What words? How can you explain to your children full-scale aggression just happened in your country? You know that this is war to annihilate your state, your country. You know that this is the war to subjugate your people.”
Biden expected to announce further military aid for Ukraine
The address of the embattled Ukrainian leader came as US President Joe Biden prepares to announce an extra $800 million (£612 million) in military aid to Ukraine.
The money will go towards anti-armor and anti-aircraft weapons, such as Stingers and Javelins, US media reports.
The funding is covered by a spending bill on humanitarian, defensive and economic assistance to Ukraine that was approved by Congress last week.
Signing the bill on Tuesday, Biden said that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine had united people across the world.
In the past year, the Biden administration has provided $1.2 billion in weapons for the country, including Mi-17 helicopters, patrol boats and small arms such as grenade launchers and machine guns, the New York Times reports.
Biden is expected to travel to Brussels next week to meet NATO allies and participate in a summit of European Union leaders.
The US president will “discuss ongoing deterrence and defence efforts,” and reaffirm his country’s commitment to its NATO allies, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.