Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky Tells Congress Of Need For Humanitarian No-Fly Zone: “Is This Too Much To Ask?”March 16, 2022
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, in an unusual virtual speech to members of Congress, called for a humanitarian no-fly zone to protect the country from what he called Russian terror.
“This is a terror that Europe has not seen for 80 years and we are asking for an answer to this terror from the whole world,” Zelensky said in his speech to a packed auditorium at the Capitol. “Is this a lot to ask for— to create a no-fly zone over Ukraine, to save people? Is this too much to ask? Humanitarian no-fly zone.”
“If this is too much to ask, we offer an alternative,” he added, calling for aircraft to protect the country.
Zelensky, the former comedian who, since the Russian invasion, has been relentless in his calls for help, in his refusal to leave the country and in his gift as a communicator in placing the war as a key moment in the history of democracies. To lawmakers, he compared Ukraine’s plight to that faced by the U.S. after Pearl Harbor and 9/11.
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“Our country experiences the same every day…every night for three weeks now,” he said.
Zelensky also showed a graphic video designed to show lawmakers a before and after of the Russian onslaught, which he said has included 1,000 missile strikes. It featured footage of exploding buildings and other devastation, along with scenes of tearful refugees, severely injured young children and others and other carnage. Set to the searing strings of classical music, it ended with a call to “close the sky” over the country.
The White House and NATO allies have resisted a no fly zone over the country, warning of the potential escalation with Russia into a wider conflict. President Joe Biden will address the situation later on Wednesday at the White House.
Zelensky got a standing ovation at the end of his speech, when he said in English, “I am addressing President Biden. You are the leader of the nation. I wish you to be the leader of the world. Being the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace.”
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