On Wednesday, March 16, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed a joint session of Congress in a rare and urgent plea for help. He urged lawmakers to do more to help Ukraine fend off Russian advances, which were close to entering their fourth week.
Zelensky began his address by describing the horrors that Ukrainians were facing. He said that Russia had turned the Ukrainian sky into "a source of death for thousands of people." He presented a video that showed graphic footage of the destruction and death caused by Russian airstrikes.
Zelensky then made a number of specific requests of Congress. He asked for more military aid, including 300 anti-aircraft systems. He also asked for more economic sanctions against Russia, and for American companies to leave the Russian market.
Zelensky also made a personal plea to President Biden. He urged Biden to be "the leader of the world" and to take a more active role in supporting Ukraine. He said that being the leader of the world means "to be the leader of peace."
Zelensky's address was met with a standing ovation from members of Congress. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced him with a chant meaning "glory to Ukraine" in Ukrainian.
Zelensky's speech was a powerful reminder of the stakes of the war in Ukraine. He made it clear that Ukraine is fighting for its survival, and that the United States and its allies must do more to help.
Zelensky's Path to Leadership
Volodymyr Zelensky was born in Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine, in 1978. He studied law at Kyiv National University, but he pursued a career in entertainment instead. He became a successful comedian, actor, and producer.
In 2015, Zelensky starred in a Ukrainian television series called Servant of the People, in which he played a high school teacher who is elected president of Ukraine after a video of him ranting against corruption goes viral. The show was a huge success, and it made Zelensky a household name in Ukraine.
In 2019, Zelensky decided to run for president of Ukraine for real. He campaigned on a platform of fighting corruption and bringing change to Ukraine. He won the election in a landslide, becoming the youngest president in Ukraine's history.
Zelensky's Role in the Trump Impeachment
In 2019, Zelensky became embroiled in a major political scandal in the United States. President Donald Trump had asked Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter in exchange for receiving military aid that had already been appropriated and authorized by the U.S. Congress.
Trump's actions led to his impeachment by the House of Representatives. However, he was acquitted by the Senate.
Zelensky's Leadership During the War
Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Zelensky has been praised for his leadership. He has remained in Kyiv throughout the war, and he has rallied Ukrainians to resist the Russian invasion.
Zelensky has also been a vocal advocate for Ukraine on the international stage. He has given speeches to legislatures around the world, urging them to support Ukraine and to impose more sanctions on Russia.
Zelensky has become a symbol of hope and resistance for Ukrainians. He has shown that even in the darkest of times, it is possible to stand up to bullies and to fight for what is right.
Zelensky's address to Congress was a powerful reminder of the stakes of the war in Ukraine. He made it clear that Ukraine is fighting for its survival, and that the United States and its allies must do more to help.
Zelensky has shown that he is a courageous and inspiring leader. He has rallied Ukrainians to resist the Russian invasion, and he has become a symbol of hope and resistance.