Zelenskyy’s Address to U.S. Congress: ‘Peace Is More Important than Income’ (Video)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivers virtual address to Congress.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy cited Pearl Harbor and the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 on Wednesday as he appealed to the U.S. Congress to do more to help Ukraine’s fight against Russia, The Associated Press (AP) reports.
  • During the address, which was livestreamed into the Capitol complex, Zelenskyy asked the U.S. to sanction Russian lawmakers and block imports.
  • He showed the packed auditorium of lawmakers a graphic video of the destruction and devastation his country has suffered in the war, AP notes.
  • “We need you right now,” Zelenskyy said, adding, “I call on you to do more.”
  • “I see no sense in life if it cannot stop the deaths,” he told lawmakers. “Peace is more important than income.”
  • Zelenskyy also acknowledged the no-fly zone he has sought to “close the sky” over his country may not happen.
Warning: Some of the video shown during this speech contains graphic imagery.
WHAT ELSE ZELENSKYY SAID:
  • “I have a dream. These words are known to each of you,” Zelenskyy said through a translator. “Today I can say I have a need. I need to protect our sky. I need your decision, your help.”
  • “If this is too much to ask, we offer an alternative. You know what kind of defense systems we need,” Zelenskyy continued, calling for “aircrafts that can help Ukraine, help Europe.”
  • Ending his speech, Zelenskyy spoke directly to Joe Biden: “You are the leader of the nation, of your great nation. I wish you to be the leader of the world,” adding that “[b]eing the leader of the world means being the leader of peace.”
BACKGROUND:
  • New talk of compromise from both Moscow and Kyiv on a status for Ukraine outside of NATO lifted hope on Wednesday for a potential breakthrough after three weeks of war, Reuters reports.
  • Zelenskyy has said negotiations were becoming “more realistic,” while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said there was “some hope for compromise.”