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Zelensky Compares Ukraine War to Battle Against Nazis in US Congress

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the US Congress on Wednesday
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the US Congress on Wednesday. Credit: Nancy Pelosi / Twitter

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed a joint session of the US Congress on Wednesday after leaving Ukraine for the first time since the start of the war.

Zelensky drew comparisons between Ukrainian troops fighting on the frontline against Russia and American forces who battled Nazi Germany in the Second World War.

The Ukrainian President portrayed the conflict as a broader battle for the fate of democracy.

Zelensky addresses Congress

Zelensky delivered the speech to Congress after a press conference and personal meeting with US President Joe Biden. The latter pledged that the US would provide Ukraine with a $1.85 billion military aid package and a Patriot missile system battery.

The Ukrainian President was greeted with a standing ovation when he entered the Capitol Building. “Ukraine holds its lines and will never surrender,” Zelensky told Congress. He said that Russia is “the tyranny which has no lack of cruelty against the lives of free people.”

Zelensky also invoked a familiar image to the American audience, saying “just like the brave American soldiers, which held their lines and fought back Hitler’s forces during the Christmas of 1944, brave Ukrainian soldiers are doing the same to Putin’s forces this Christmas.”

During the speech, the wartime leader unfurled a Ukrainian flag which he said came from the battlefield. Vice President Kamala Harris and The Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi held up the blue and yellow banner.


Before his trip to the US, Zelensky visited the embattled city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk Oblast of Ukraine; he spoke at length about the frontline city to Congress.

“The Russian military and machiners have been taking Bakhmut nonstop since May,” the Ukrainian President said. “They have been taking it day and night, but Bakhmut stands. Last year, 70,000 people lived there in Bakhmut, in this city, and now only a few civilians [have remained]. Every inch of that land is soaked in blood.”

Zelensky stressed that Russian forces are throwing “everything they have” at Bakhmut, but Ukrainian forces are continuing to hold out despite a quantitative disadvantage in artillery, airpower, and munitions.

US military assistance

Beyond its symbolic importance, the key purpose of Zelensky’s trip to the US was to secure continued American military funding and equipment, vital to the Ukrainian war effort.

The Ukrainian President emphasized the enormity of the challenge faced by Ukrainian forces, saying, “The occupiers have a significant advantage in artillery. They have an advantage in ammunition. They have much more missiles and planes than we ever had.”

“We have artillery, yes,” Zelensky told Congress. “Thank you. we have it. Is it enough? Honestly, not really. To ensure Bakhmut is not just a stronghold, that it holds back the Russian army, but for the Russian army to completely pull out, more cannons and shells are needed.”

Zelensky thanked the US for the financial assistance, again stressing its importance. “Your money is not charity. It’s an investment in the global security and democracy that we handle in the most responsible way,” he assured Congress.

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