Zelensky addresses Congress, pleas for more help

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CNN) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appealed to U.S. lawmakers at a turning point for his country.

“Remember September the 11th, a terrible day in 2001 when evil tried to turn U.S. cities [into] independent territories, into battlefields,” Zelensky told U.S. lawmakers.

In a rare address by a foreign head of state to a joint session of U.S. Congress, Zelensky asked for more U.S. action against Russia’s attacks on his country, including another call for a no-fly zone.

“We are asking for our life, for an answer to this terror from the whole world,” he said. “Is this a lot to ask for, to create a no-fly zone over Ukraine, to save people?”

Congress recently cleared $13.6 billion in aid to Ukraine. And while aid has had bipartisan support, the White House and many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle oppose the no-fly zone, fearing it could prompt the U.S. and Western allies to shoot down Russian planes and create a direct conflict with Moscow.

Zelensky concluded his speech with a direct plea to President Biden in English. “You are the leader of the nation, of your great nation,” he said. “I wish you to be the leader of the world. Being the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace.”

The Biden administration has sought to move more aid into Ukraine quickly, noting it’s becoming more difficult to get supplies in.

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