Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Invokes 9/11 to Plead With U.S. Lawmakers for a No-Fly Zone
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky invoked the horror of the September 11 attacks to plead with the Biden administration to help implement a no-fly zone over Ukrainian territory and stop Russia’s brutal war.
In an emotional speech to Congress on Wednesday, Zelensky said that Russia’s aggression in Ukraine should shock all Americans, given the relentless bombings and missile attacks. targeting Ukrainian civilians is no different from the terrorist attacks that shook the United States in 2001.
“Remember September 11, a terrible day in 2001, when evil tried to turn your cities into battlegrounds, when innocent people were attacked… Our country is going through through the same things every day, now, every night, for three weeks now,” he said.
“Russia has turned the skies of Ukraine into a source of death for thousands of people. The Russian army fired almost 1,000 missiles at Ukraine, countless bombs, they used drones to destroy us with precision. This is a horror that Europe has not seen in 80 years, and we are asking the whole world for answers to this terror. Is it too much to ask for a no-fly zone over Ukraine to save lives? “.
To really take his message home, the leader showed lawmakers a harrowing video of scenes on the ground in Ukraine. The video features graphic footage of civilians being damaged by rocket fire, including countless children.
Zelensky noted that by the time he was 45 years old, he felt as if his life had stopped due to the war.
“It stopped beating when the hearts of more than 100 children stopped beating. I see no meaning in life if it cannot prevent these deaths,” he said, as the number of children killed in Ukraine has now reached more than 100.
Ukrainian authorities said on Wednesday that an average of five children a day are killed by Vladimir Putin’s army.
“Today, the people of Ukraine are not just defending Ukraine, we are fighting for European and world values,” he said, begging the US to live up to its reputation as the leader of the free world. .
Speaking directly to Biden in English, Zelensky said: “You are the leader of your great country, I want you to be the leader of the world. To be the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace”.
During the past 21 days as Russian troops bombarded Ukraine in many cities, Zelensky has repeatedly called on the West to do more to prevent aggression.
In his address to the Canadian parliament on Tuesday, he received a standing ovation for a powerful speech in which he begged world leaders to implement a no-fly zone over Ukraine to prevent Russian air attacks.
“I want you to understand and I want you to feel this,” Zelensky said. “How many more cruise missiles have to fall on our cities until you do this [no-fly zone] happening?”
While Ukraine has received significant amounts of ground-based weapons and man-portable missiles from its Western allies, the no-fly zone has been seen by US and NATO officials as a risky escalation of war.