President Biden commits new military aid to Ukraine after Zelenskyy addresses Congress
Read what Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told Congress in a virtual address
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had a simple message for Congress — Ukraine needs more help, and President Joe Biden agreed to commit more aid to the European nation.
Driving the news: Zelenskyy spoke to a joint session of Congress Wednesday morning in a virtual address, sharing details about the war between Russia and Ukraine and how the United States could do more to help.
- In his speech, Zelenskyy cited the Pearl Harbor and 9/11 attacks on the United States in an appeal for more aid and assistance in the ongoing war.
- Zelenskyy asked for a no-fly zone, as well as better defense systems to fight Russia in the air. He also called for more sanctions against Russia.
- Zelenskyy shared a video to Congress that began with images from multiple Ukrainian cities at peace. Then, it transitioned to heart-wrenching footage of bombings and attacks on those locations.
- Lastly, Zelenskyy called on President Joe Biden to become the leader of the world, which “means to be the leader of peace,” he said.
What he said: “Right now, the destiny of our country is being decided. Whether Ukrainians will be free. Russia didn’t just attack our cities, it went on a brutal offensive against our values, our right to live freely.”
- “Russia has turned the Ukrainian sky into a source of death for thousands of people.”
- “This is a terror that Europe has not seen for 80 years.”
- “Is it a lot to ask to create a no-fly zone over Ukraine to save people? Is this too much? So that Russia would not be able to terrorize our free cities?”
- “All American companies must leave Russia … because it is flooded with our blood.”
- “Peace is more important than income.”
- “Peace in your country doesn’t depend ... only on you and your people. It depends on those next to you, on those who are strong.”
- “Strong doesn’t mean big. Strong is brave and ready to fight for his citizens and citizens of the world.”
- “To be the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace.”
The reaction: President Biden reacted to Zelenskyy’s speech by committing $800 million in military support for Ukraine, per NBC News.
The new aid package will include:
- 800 anti-aircraft systems
- 9,000 anti-armor systems
- 7,000 small arms, such as grenades and shotguns
What he said: “This could be a long and difficult battle. But the American people will be steadfast in our support of the people of Ukraine in the face of Putin’s immoral, unethical attacks on civilian populations,” Biden said. “We are united in our abhorrence of Putin’s depraved onslaught. And we’re going to continue to have their backs as they fight for their freedom, their democracy, their very survival.”
- “The world is united in our support for Ukraine and our determination to make Putin pay a very heavy price,” he said.
- “Putin is inflicting appalling, appalling devastation and harm on Ukraine — bombing apartment buildings, maternity wards, hospitals. I mean, it’s God awful.”
Biden: "The world is united in our support for Ukraine and our determination to make Putin pay a very heavy price."— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 16, 2022
"Putin is inflicting appalling, appalling devastation and harm on Ukraine — bombing apartment buildings, maternity wards, hospitals. I mean, it's God awful." pic.twitter.com/YdvUTuFSZE
The bigger picture: Zelenskyy’s speech came after he addressed the Canadian parliament Tuesday.
- Zelenskyy reportedly told Canada that he appreciated the country’s help and support after Russia’s invasion in a message similar to what he said to the United States.
- “We want to live, we want to be victorious,” he said.