Zhelensky’s moving message to the United States

Publisher Note: Frida Kidis(@fridaghitis) Former producer and CNN reporter, columnist on world affairs. He is a weekly commentator for CNN, a columnist for The Washington Post and a columnist for World Political Criticism. The comments made in this commentary belong to the author only.

(CNN) – We know the historic speech of the President of Ukraine. Volodymyr Zhelensky, It will be emotionally and extraordinarily powerful before Congress. But Wednesday’s talk was more than that.

Zhelensky’s words are not limited to history books. They will provoke support for Ukraine’s defense against the Russian president’s war machine. Vladimir PutinAnd resonate throughout the United States.

We know that the Ukrainian president left his mark when top US Democrats and Republicans stood side by side and applauded Zhelensky. When Zhelensky recalls what freedom means to Americans, the country has discredited it in petty political battles over the years, showing that there is a new seriousness in the nation.

Zhelensky, who is now the familiar face around the world with his military-colored T-shirt and slow-growing beard, addressed all Americans:

“Members of Congress, women and mothers, Americans, friends,” he said, because he each had a specific mission: their role to play in saving not only Ukraine, but also the future of democracy and peace. “Right now, the fate of our country is being determined …” he declared, “will the Ukrainians be free?” But it was not just his war, he insisted. “The Ukrainian people are not only defending Ukraine, we are fighting for the values ​​of Europe and the world.”

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After showing a gruesome video of Ukrainians bearing the brunt of Russia’s attack, he switched from Ukrainian to English and spoke directly to the US president. “I thank President Biden for his personal commitment, genuine commitment to Ukraine and democracy around the world. He noted Biden’s leadership in providing sanctions, military support and a united international front against Russia.

“Thank you,” he told Biden and the American people, but we need more.

Holding rhetorically by the lap, he said: “You are the leader of the nation, the leader of your great nation. I want you to be the leader of the world. To be the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace.”

Like the rest of the audience, Zhelensky designed his message. Imagine being attacked from the sky like 9/11, but every day he told the Americans. He talked about Pearl Harbor and quoted Martin Luther King. “I have a dream …” he muttered, “I mean, I have a need. I want to protect our sky.” Zhelensky’s main demand is that the United States impose a rule No flying area On Ukraine, to protect its people from Russian bombing. Biden has so far denied, arguing that this could lead to a third world war by bringing the United States into direct military confrontation with Russia.

But Zhelensky’s speech is not just a plea to conscience. Freedom, democracy, the right to self-determination – not just a reminder that the values ​​that America loves so much are in danger.

For all his rhetoric, Zhelensky is practical and realistic. He also offered an alternative route if the no-fly zone is out of the question. Instead, he called the aircraft and air defense systems. He provided a list of ideas, requests, and ways in which the United States and the world could help.

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“I urge you to do more for our country and for Europe as a whole, in the darkest moment,” he told Congress.

He called for new sanctions “every week until the Russian military machine malfunctions.” He called for sanctions against all Russian politicians who “do not sever ties with those responsible for the aggression against Ukraine,” mainly Putin’s allies “in their offices.” He called on American companies to close their operations in Russia, saying, “Leave your market immediately because it is drowning in our blood.” He called for the closure of US ports for Russian products.

Zelensky told members of Congress to put pressure on companies in their districts to stop doing business with the attacking country.

“I urge you to ensure that not a single penny used by the Russians to exterminate the people in Ukraine is available,” he said.

A few hours later, Biden agreed An additional $ 800 million in military aid to Ukraine, A total of $ 1 billion in aid this week alone. He explained the large-scale military and humanitarian supplies “from the American people” and promised that he could pull in a confrontation.

Biden announced additional support for Ukraine after Zhelensky’s speech 7:36

Biden added that the world is with Ukraine. It could be a long war, “he said,” provoking a dictator’s hunger against the desire for humanity to be free.

Zhelensky made that clear in that war. In his speech, he outlined the idea of ​​a global alliance.

“We propose to form an association … a union of responsible nations with the strength and conscience to end conflicts immediately … within 24 hours if necessary.” U24As he called it, humanitarian support, political support, sanctions, even weapons, would “keep the peace and save the world as soon as possible.”

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It was the brain of a man who had mastered the art of combining diplomacy, idealism and decision-making; Not only is Ukraine helping to win this war, but a leader who is trying to persuade the United States and the world that Ukraine is fighting this war is engaged in a serious war to save his country. For a reason far greater than their own survival.

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