BREAKING: Congress gives Zelensky standing ovation as he demands more US money

"Is it enough? No, not really," Zelensky said. Congress chuckled, appreciating his ask for even more US dollars and weapons.

Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY
The Congressional chamber was abuzz with excitement on Wednesday evening in anticipation of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressing that body to ask Congress to make good on President Biden's promise to deliver another $45 billion in funding to assist their war effort against neighboring Russia.

Zelensky was treated to uproarious applause from Congress as he took his place behind the podium to address the senators and representatives. Some members held up a Ukrainian flag, and Zelensky could barely get started with his ask for cash due to the extreme adulation showered upon him by American delegates.

He declined to wear a suit, and stood before Congress in a sweatshirt.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi presided over Congress, along with Vice President Kamala Harris, as they looked on with glee at the coming of Zelensky, who Pelosi had likened to World War II era British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Pelosi silenced the room, then presented Zelensky for a second time, to additional cheering.

Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022 and Biden, along with Democrats and establishment Republicans like Mitch McConnell, have backed US funding for Ukraine's defense. Zelensky thanked Pelosi, and others, who had visited Ukraine during the conflagration in his nation over the past 11 months.

Zelensky praised Congress, leading them to cheer for themselves, and spoke about his country's best efforts to not be overtaken by their Russian aggressors. 

But the biggest battle he claimed to have won was in the minds of the international community. "We defeated Russia in the battle for mines of the world. We have no fear, nor should anyone in the world have it." That victory, he said "gives us courage which inspires the entire world."

Americans, Zelensky went on, has "succeeded in uniting the global community. To protect freedom and international law. Europeans gained this victory and that's why you're now stronger and more independent than never the Russian tyranny has lost control over us."

Congress hung on Zelenksy's every word as he paused for applause describing his visits to the front lines of the war in his country, and the difficulty faced by his countrymen. Zelensky compared himself and his war to the fight against Hitler and Germany in World War II.

"Ukraine has holds it's line and will never surrender," he said.

He thanked Congress for spending American taxpayer's money to fund his war, before saying "Is it enough? No, not really." Congress chuckled, appreciating his ask for even more US dollars and weapons.

Zelensky praised himself for not asking for US military forces to come fight on their behalf but simply to send more money and weapons. Lauren Boebert, notably, did not stand or cheer, but looked disgusted at the massive outlay of funds being sent to Ukraine.

"Russia can stop its aggression if it wanted to, but you can speed up our victory, I know it. And it's real proof to any potential aggressor that no one can succeed in breaking national borders," he said.

"Each of you can assist in the implementation to ensure that Americans' leadership remaing bicameral and bipartisan," he said, asking for even more assistance than the US has already supplied. He called for more US sanctions against Russia. Congress erupted in laughter after Zelensky made a Putin pun.

Zelensky said "the Ukrainian people" will have an "absolute victory," quoting FDR and his comments made during World War II.

He appealed to the vanity of Congress, saying that the war "depends on you," that for Ukraine to succeed, it needs more from the US. He delivered a flag from the front lines to Congress. "Let this flag stay with you... it is a symbol of our victory in this war, we stand, we fight, and we will win. Because we are united. Ukraine, America, and the entire free world."

He presented the signed flag to Pelosi, giving her a kiss, too. Harris and Pelosi held it up. Congress continued to cheer, applaud, and stand. Zelensky was presented with a US flag that flew over Congress "today," Pelosi said, "in honor of the President's visit."

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