Ukrainian President Zelensky Invokes Pearl Harbor, 9/11 in Address Asking US Congress for Help

by Victoria Santiago

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has made a historic virtual address to Congress on Wednesday, March 16. Zelensky pleaded with US officials to help stop Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Ukrainian president even called out President Joe Biden by name in English. During his virtual address to Congress, President Zelensky referenced Pearl Harbor and 9/11.

At a Glance

  • Russia invaded Ukraine at the end of February. The conflict has lasted for weeks.
  • President Zelensky has reached out to Congress for help during this conflict with Russia.
  • Zelensky has been pushing for a no-fly zone over Ukraine, but the US repeatedly denied this request.

Zelensky Asks Congress To Remember American Tragedies

The Ukrainian president was introduced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi before his historic speech. Then, Zelensky got right to the heart of the issue.

“I’m proud to greet you from Ukraine from our capital city of Kyiv, a city that is under missile and airstrikes from Russian troops every day, but it doesn’t give up — and we have not even thought about it for a second,” Zelensky said.

In the appeal to Congress, Zelensky asked that Americans put themselves in the shoes of Ukrainians by remembering American tragedies like Pearl Harbor and 9/11. The Ukrainian president said that “every day now for three weeks” Ukraine has seen death.

“Remember September the 11th, a terrible day in 2001 when evil tried to turn your cities, independent territories on battlefields, when innocent people were attacked from air, yes, just like no one else expected it, you could not stop it,” he said.

“Our country experiences the same thing every day, right now at this moment, every night for three weeks now,” he said. “Russia has turned the Ukrainian skies into a source of death for thousands of people.”

He went on to talk about the horrors that he had seen in Ukraine. He even played a three-minute video of what life had been like over the past three weeks.

US Government Continues to Deny Ukrainian No-Fly Zone

Ultimately, President Zelensky is hoping that the US will finally agree to create a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

“Is this a lot to ask for to create a no-fly zone over Ukraine to save people? Is this too much to ask?” Zelensky said.

He ended his historic speech by reaching out to President Biden, asking him to be a leader of peace. The White House said that Biden would try to watch Zelensky’s address as his schedule allowed.

The US has imposed sanctions on Russia, but President Zelensky wants more help. In fact, he “calls” for the US to “do more.” ABC News reports that the US has repeatedly denied a no-fly zone over the country. When asked about it, officials say that they have to consider how the US would be affected by a no-fly zone.