On Wednesday morning, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in an address to the United States Congress, called for lawmakers to “do more.” He urged for the implementation of a no-fly zone, asked for additional aircraft and air defense systems, and even called for the creation of a new security alliance – even as he vowed Ukraine will never join NATO.
Zelenskyy, who spoke virtually from Kyiv, thanked President Joe Biden for his “personal involvement” and “sincere commitment to the defense of Ukraine,” but also urged the United States to increase its aid.
“Now it is true in the darkest time for our country, for the whole Europe, I call on you to do more,” Ukraine’s Zelenskyy continued.
“I’m addressing President Biden,” Zelenskyy stated “You, the leader of your nation, I wish you to be the leader of the world,” and added, “Being the leader of the world means being the leader of peace.”
Ukraine’s leader went on to evoke past moments from U.S. history, “Remember Pearl Harbor, the terrible morning of December 7, 1941, when your sky was black from the plains attacking you. Just remember it.”
He continued by recalling Sept. 11, 2001, describing it as a “terrible day” and when “innocent people were attacked – attacked from the air.”
Zelenskyy described how his people were now facing a similar terror.
“Just like no one else expected. You could not stop it. Our country experienced the same every day. Right now at this moment, every night for three weeks now, various Ukrainian cities, Odesa and Kakutani, have been so many predominantly of Mariupol.”
No-Fly Zone for Ukraine?
Among the request that Zelenskyy called for was the creation of a “ no-fly zone over Ukraine to save people,” and asked where it was a lot to ask for? “Is this too much to ask? A humanitarian no-fly zone, something that Ukrainethat Russia would not be able to terrorize our free cities?
He also invoked the words of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. stating boldly “I have a dream.”
“These words are known to each of you,” he added. “Today, I can say I have a need. A need to protect our sky. I need your decision, your help, which means exactly the same. The same you feel when you hear the words, I have a dream.”
He also proposed to create a new alliance, “United for Peace. A union of responsible countries that have the strength and consciousness to stop conflicts, immediately provide all the necessary assistance in 24 hours, if necessaryeven weapons, if necessary, sanctions, humanitarian support, political support.”
“If such an alliance would exist today…we would be able to save thousands of lives in our country, in many countries of the world who need peace, those who suffer inhumane destruction,” he suggested.
Ukraine Has An Orator for the Ages
His address to Congress has already earned praise and has been compared to the great speeches of Sir Winston Churchill, Great Britain’s leader during the Second World War, and whose words helped his nation through the darkest of days.
“Zelensky just emerged as the leader of the free world – he has beautifully articulated Western values, better than Biden, better than Macron, better than all of them. He gave a JFK-esque speech,” suggested Dr. Matthew Schmidt, associate professor in the national security department at the University of New Haven.
“The end of the speech is really beautiful in Ukrainian/Russian: the word for ‘peace’ and the word for ‘world’ is the same in these languages,” Schmidt explained via an email. “So when he called leaders of the world leaders of peace it was really powerful in those languages. It was poetic in Ukrainian/Russian, really poetic, and it will put Zelensky down in history as a truly inspiring leader.”
Now a Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military hardware, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes.