Ukrainian Address to Congress

Angelina Cabrera

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This past Wednesday, March 16, 2022, president Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine formally addressed the United States Congress.  

In his address, Zelensky began with admiration for his nation and its people.  Briefly after this, he dove right into the harsh realities of his everyday life as he and his nation continue to go to war with Russia.  From inhumane airstrikes on civilians to the blatant disruption of basic human values, his country is falling apart and is in need of help anywhere they can get it.  While he does acknowledge the fact that Biden’s help has provided some relief, in the long run, money and military weapons are simply not enough to help ensure the safety of the Ukrainian people.  Instead, president Zelensky is asking that president Biden impose tougher sanctions on Russia and implement a strict no-fly zone over Ukraine.  With these two tactics, president Zelensky hopes it will impose great pressure on Russia and cause them to rethink the way they go about this war.  

After the verbal address, president Zelenksy shared a gut-wrenching, unfiltered, video of the war that Ukraine has been coping with.   Throughout the video, there were several instances where nearby security cameras have caught Russian air missiles hitting important city buildings.  As if seeing this weren’t heartbreaking enough, the video also showed graphic images of the effects these attacks have had on civilians.  From pictures of innocent people profusely bleeding and missing their limbs, to terrified children shaking in disbelief at the fact that their lives will be forever changed, this video demonstrated the ugliness that this war has brought unto the innocent lives of so many across Ukraine.  

In the closing statement, the Ukrainian president was persistent on the idea of attaining peace for his country.  He expresses the idea that with the combination of his country’s bravery along with America’s compassion,  both these traits will inspire a unified strength that will successfully combat the fight towards peace and security.  Elaborating on this, he also mentions how important it is to have good leadership.  Explaining that Biden has so far brought great leadership to his country, he encourages him to also be a leader of the world.  By this, he is implying that he does everything in his power to help maintain democracy for not only Ukraine but other European countries as well.  By doing this he will inspire and lead other countries to do the same. 

All in all, the war in Ukraine is devastating.  After tireless attacks on innocent civilians and important cities, there must be a way to put this to a stop.  While NATO is only allowed to assist Ukraine defensively, and they have provided some relief, Ukraine is still suffering and there are no signs of this suffering ending anytime soon.  As avid supporters of democracy and the freedoms that come with it, it is our duty to help protect these rights and those fighting for them.  In order to protect these things, we need to take the lead and push for a safer life for the people of Ukraine and other nearby at-risk countries in Europe.