Zelenskyy Mentions World War Ii and Argues There Should Be “No Concessions” With Russia

In a defiant wartime speech in Washington, DC, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked US leaders and "ordinary Americans" for their support in his nation's fight against Russia
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington on December 21, 2022 [Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo]

According to the president of Ukraine, US military support for Kyiv is an "investment" in global security and democracy.

In a defiant wartime speech in Washington, DC, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked US leaders and "ordinary Americans" for their support in his nation's fight against Russia and emphasized that their military aid to Ukraine was not "charity" but rather an "investment" in a democratic world.

Zelenskyy also stated there could be "no compromises" in attempting to put an end to Russia's attack on his nation, recalling the United States' victory over Nazi Germany in a crucial World War II fight.

Zelenskyy expressed his hope that the US Senate and House of Representatives would continue to support his country's war effort on a bipartisan basis on Wednesday during his first travel outside of Ukraine since the conflict started in February.

Zelenskyy, wearing his typical khaki fatigues, replied in English, "Your money is not charity."

It's an investment in democracy and world security, he continued.

His cross-party appeal comes as some in the party have expressed worry about the skyrocketing levels of aid being delivered to Kyiv and as Republicans are expected to take control of the US House in January.

The US has already provided Kyiv with roughly $50 billion in help, and on Wednesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced another $1.85 billion in military assistance, including the Patriot air defense system. One of the most sophisticated US air defense systems, the Patriot missile system provides defense against both cruise and ballistic missiles as well as attacking aircraft.

Members of Congress held up a giant Ukrainian flag as Zelenskyy entered the almost full chamber of the House to several boisterous applauses. As Zelenskyy approached, most people up, cheered, applauded, and many shook his hand. Several people were dressed in the blue and yellow colors of the Ukrainian flag.

"Speaking to you and all Americans at the US Congress is a big honor for me. Ukraine resisted all predictions that it would fall. "Ukraine is thriving right now," he declared.

In the conflict for the minds of the world, we triumphed over Russia, he continued.

Zelenskyy reminded his audience of the challenges experienced by US forces fighting to free Europe from Nazi domination during World War II by quoting former US President Franklin D Roosevelt, who presided over the country from 1933 to 1945.

"Brilliant Ukrainian warriors are doing the same to Putin's forces this Christmas," he continued. "Just like the heroic American soldiers who held their positions and pushed back Hitler's forces during the Christmas of 1944."

The Battle of the Bulge, which started in December 1944 and was Hitler's final big attempt to drive back the Allied forces, was being discussed by the Ukrainian leader. The US's initial attempts to stop the onslaught were impeded by bad weather, which resulted in many deaths and threatened to split the allies, who ultimately won.

Zelenskyy claimed in a tweet that the victory of Ukraine over Russia "will also be America's victory."

The "United Defense"

Prior to Zelenskyy's arrival in the Oval Office on Wednesday, US President Joe Biden declared that the US and Ukraine would continue to present a "united defense" against Russia's "brutal assault on Ukraine's right to exist as a nation."

According to Zelenskyy, his visit proved that "the situation is under control, thanks to your help."

Zelenskyy, when questioned about how Ukraine planned to try to end the conflict, rejected Biden's definition of a "just peace," saying: "For me as president, "just peace" is no compromises."

He claimed that once Ukraine's territorial integrity, freedom, and sovereignty were reestablished and it received "payback for all the harms inflicted by Russian aggression," the war would come to an end.

The conflict that was forced upon us cannot result in a "fair peace," he continued.

After a devastating 10-month war that has claimed tens of thousands of lives on both sides and destroyed Ukrainian civilian cities, towns, and villages, a very sensitive journey is taking place.

In light of worries that allies are becoming tired of the expensive war and its interruption of the globe's food and energy supply, Zelenskyy's visit is intended to rekindle support for his nation in the US and throughout the world.

Russian officials are "trying to exploit cold as a weapon," according to Biden, while Ukrainians "continue to inspire the world."

Vladimir Putin of Russia, according to Biden, "has no intention of stopping this horrible war," he declared during a joint news conference.

Although Zelenskyy made it clear he will keep pressing Biden and other Western leaders for more military help, the two leaders looked to have a pleasant chemistry, cracking jokes and giving each other high fives throughout the visit.

After the Patriot system was operational, he claimed, "we will send President Biden another signal that we would like to receive more Patriots."

Zelenskyy continued, smiling, "We are in the war," and Biden laughed at the direct challenge from the Ukrainian president.

According to Biden, it is crucial that the world and the American people hear directly from you, Mr. President, on the struggle facing Ukraine and the necessity of sticking together through 2023.

Just a few days prior to his arrival in the US, Zelenskyy undertook a perilous journey to the city of Bakhmut in Ukraine's disputed Donetsk area, which he described as the hotspot on the 1,300-kilometer (800-mile) front line of the war.

When Zelenskyy arrived there on Tuesday, artillery boomed in the background as he lauded Ukrainian soldiers for their "courage, resilience, and strength."

Zelenskyy's trip to the US "should determine the course of the war," according to Volodymyr Fesenko, the head of the Kyiv-based Penta Center think tank. Zelenskyy, for the first time, dared to leave Ukraine and is counting on being able to maintain, and possibly even strengthen, US military and economic assistance.

Putin assured the military chiefs of his nation on Wednesday that Russia will accomplish its stated objectives in Ukraine and utilize the conflict to bolster its armed forces. In order to fight in Ukraine, Russia's military must grow from its current strength of 1 million soldiers to 1.5 million, according to Sergei Shoigu, his minister of defense.


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