Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed, on Wednesday evening, the members of the American Congress, to whom he told them, in a speech delivered in English, that his country is resisting, thanks to the help received, and is determined not to give in to Russian aggression. At the same time, the leader from Kyiv conveyed that the assistance of tens of billions of dollars approved to support Ukraine to fight against the Russian invasion does not represent a gesture of charity, but an investment in global security.
After the meeting he had at the White House with US President Joe Biden, who assured him of continued support for Ukraine, the Ukrainian president came to the Capitol and addressed the members of the US Congress with a strong message, saying that “Ukraine is alive “. His arrival was greeted with multiple ovations in the almost full hall. Three members of the Chamber waved a Ukrainian flag when President Zelensky appeared.
According to CNN, Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the Americans and “all those who value freedom and justice” for their efforts to help UkraineZelensky showed that Ukraine achieved a psychological victory over Moscow. “Contrary to all calculations and gloomy scenarios, Ukraine did not fall. Ukraine is alive. And that gives me a good reason to share with you our first joint victory. We defeated the Russians in the battle to conquer the world’s consciousness. We are not afraid… Ukraine has achieved this victory and it gives us a courage that inspires the whole world. America has achieved this victory… The Europeans have achieved this victory. Russian tyranny has lost control over us,” said Volodymyr Zelensky. Russia “will never again influence our minds”, assured the Ukrainian president. Russians will be free “only when they defeat the Kremlin in their minds”, Zelensky emphasized.
“Bahmut resists. Every inch of that land is soaked in blood, but the Ukrainian Donbas is standing. Russian tactics are primitive. I set fire to everything I see. Ukraine stands firm and will never surrender!” assured the leader from Kyiv.
“You can strengthen sanctions to make Russia feel how costly its aggression really is. It is in your power, indeed, to help us bring to justice all those who started this unprovoked and criminal war. Let’s do it. Let’s hold the terrorists responsible for the aggression and make up for all the losses caused by this war,” urged Zelenskiy.
“We need peace. Yes. Ukraine has already offered proposals, which I have just discussed with President Biden, our peace formula – 10 points that should and must be implemented for our common security and a summit that can be organized. I’m happy to share that President Biden supported our peace initiative today.”
Zelensly thanked for the military help so far, for the artillery, but it said it is not enough.
"Ukraine holds its lines and will never surrender," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tells Congress, receiving a standing ovation.
"Your support is crucial," he continues. "We have artillery, yes. Thank you. We have it. Is it enough? Honestly, not really." pic.twitter.com/0KdvzKT9BK
— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 22, 2022
Zelensky stated that Ukraine is fighting for its “independence and freedom”, but also for that of other countries in the free world, which could be the future victims of Putin’s aggression, and that is why he asked for the continued support of the United States to achieve these objectives. “Your money is not an act of charity, but represents an investment in global security and democracy that we manage in the most responsible way,” said the president of Ukraine.
During the bilateral meeting with Zelensky, US President Joe Biden said that Ukraine will never stand alone. “You have demonstrated — you have shown your strong stand against aggression in the face of the imperial appetites of autocrats who wrongfully believed you might — you might — they might be able to make might right, and they’re not able to do it.
Thus far, they have not — they’ve stood alone. You know, and you’ve had — but you haven’t stood alone. You have had significant, significant help. We’ve never stand alone — you will never stand alone.
When Ukraine’s freedom was threatened, the American people — like generations of Americans before us — did not hesitate.”
Biden also recalled the US and the world’s help for Ukraine.
“Even before the invasion began and Putin threatened Ukraine by building up his forces, we helped make sure Ukraine would be prepared to defend itself — even before they crossed into Ukraine.
We provided a steady stream of defensive weapons, including air defense systems and artillery, ammunition, and so much more. And we’ve not done it alone.
From the very beginning, the United States rallied allies and partners from around the world to stand strong with Ukraine and impose unprecedented — and I emphasize “unprecedented” — sanctions and export controls on Russia, making it harder for the Kremlin to wage its brutal war.”
According to Biden, more than 50 states provided help to Ukraine.
“More than 50 nations have committed nearly 2,000 tanks and other armored vehicles; more than 800 artillery systems; more 2 million rounds of artillery ammunition; and more than 50 advanced multiple rocket launching systems; anti-ship and anti- — and air defense systems all to strengthen Ukraine.
Together, we’ve provided billions of dollars in direct budgetary support to make sure the Ukrainian government can keep providing basic, fundamental services to the Ukrainian people like healthcare, education, and emergency personnel.
This includes another $2 billion that — in direct budget support from the American people that the World Bank distributed earlier this week.
We’ve provided humanitarian assistance to help the millions of Ukrainians who have been forced to flee their homes because of Putin’s inhumane and brutal war.
Communities across Europe have opened their hearts and their homes to help Ukrainians in need.
The United States has been proud to welcome more than 221,000 Ukrainians seeking refuge since March of 2022, including as part of Uniting for Ukraine — as part of our Uniting for Ukraine program.
And today, USAID is committing more than $374 million in urgently needed humanitarian assistance for Ukraine. This will help provide food and cash assistance for more than 1.5 million Ukrainian people, as well as access to healthcare, safe drinking water, and help stay warm in the winter to more than — for more than 2.5 million Ukrainians.”
The American president noted that Putin has not intention to stop the war, so the US. help to Ukraine will go on, also mentioning the USD 1.85 billion package of security assistance .
“We also know that Putin has no intention — no intention of stopping this cruel war. And the United States is committed to ensuring that the brave Ukrainian people can continue — continue to defend their country against Russian aggression as long as it takes.
And I want to thank the members of Congress and their — for their broad bipartisan support to Ukraine. And I look forward to signing the omnibus — omnibus bill soon, which includes $45 billion — $45 billion in additional funding for Ukraine.
I will also sign into law the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes authori- — authorities for — to make it easier for the Department of Defense to procure critical munitions and defense materials for Ukraine and other key materials to strengthen our national security.
Today, I’m announcing the next tranche of our security assistance to Ukraine: $1.85 billion package of security assistance that includes both direct transfers of equipment to — that Ukraine needs, as well as contracts to supply ammunition Ukraine will need in the months ahead for its artillery, its tanks, and its rocket launchers.
in addition to these new capabilities like precision aerial munitions, the package will include a Patriot missile battery, which will — and on which we’ll train Ukrainian forces to operate as part of the ongoing effort to help bolster Ukraine’s air defense.
It’s going to take some time to complete the necessary training, but the Patriot battery will be another critical asset for Ukraine as it defends itself against Russian aggression.
Altogether, today’s new security assistance with humanitarian funding amounts to $2.2 billion in additional support for the Ukrainian people.”
Biden told Zelensky that the US. will stand with Ukraine as long as it takes.
“President Zelenskyy — I want you to know that — all the people of Ukraine to know as well: The American people have been with you every step of the way, and we will stay with you. We will stay with you for as long as it takes.
What you’re doing, what you have achieved, it matters not just to Ukraine but to the entire world.
And together, I have no doubt we’ll keep the flame of liberty burning bright, and the light will remain and prevail over the darkness.”
In his turn, Zelensky thanked Biden, the American people, the US. Congress for their support, reiterating the idea that every dollar give to Ukraine is an investment in the global security.
“I have good news returning home: President Biden announced a new package of defense support — about 2 billion U.S. dollars. And the strongest element of this package is the Patriot battery systems, something that will strengthen our air defense significantly.
This is a very important step to create a secure airspace for Ukraine. And that’s the only way we would be able to deprive the terrorist country and their terror attack to strike our energy sector, our people, and our infrastructure.
We had a very good negotiation and talks about our strategic steps — which we discussed with President Biden — and what we expect next year and for what we are preparing. This is very important for all Ukrainians, and I am hopeful.
And once again, thank you, Mr. President, for $45 billion, because this is a big assistance, and I hope that the Congress will approve this financial assistance for our country. This is almost $45 billion. Thank you very much for the support. Every dollar of this investment for the United States is going to be a strengthening of global security.”
The Ukrainian president also said that his country needs to survive through the winter amid destruction of their energy infrastructure.
“We discussed issues of a standoff against the terror of Russia, their destruction of our energy infrastructure. We need to survive this winter. We need to protect our people. And we need to be very specific in this area. This is a key humanitarian issue for us right now. This is the survival issue. “
Zelensky also announced they have a proposal for a peace summit.
“We are discussing sanctions and legal pressure on the terrorist country of Russia. Russia needs to be held accountable for everything it does against us, against our people, against Europe, and the whole free world.
And it is very important that we have the peace formula. And for that, we offer very specific steps — what America can do to help us to implement them.
We propose global formula for peace summit. I’m thankful for our American counterparts, that they feel us and understand how important it is to continue and stay on course and work on integrity of the country and international rule of law.
We will also need — as soon as our defense capabilities will be strengthened in the next few months. I don’t want to discuss it in details right now. I believe you understand why. And I — but I am very grateful to President Biden. Thank you for your attention to all of these issues.
Glory to Ukraine.”
$1.85 Billion in Additional U.S. Military Assistance, Including the First Transfer of Patriot Air Defense System
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he authorized the twenty-eighth drawdown of U.S. arms and equipment for Ukraine since August 2021. This $1 billion drawdown will provide Ukraine with expanded air defense and precision-strike capabilities, as well as additional munitions and critical equipment that Ukraine is using so effectively to defend itself on the battlefield.
The Department of Defense is also announcing an additional $850 million of security assistance for Ukraine today under its Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative.
This will bring total U.S. military assistance for Ukraine to an unprecedented $21.9 billion since the beginning of the Administration.
“Today’s assistance for the first time includes the Patriot Air Defense System, capable of bringing down cruise missiles, short range ballistic missiles, and aircraft at a significantly higher ceiling than previously provided air defense systems.
The United States will continue to work closely with more than 50 allies and partners worldwide in support of the people of Ukraine as they defend their freedom and independence with extraordinary courage and boundless determination. We will continue to support Ukraine for as long as it takes, so that Kyiv can continue to defend itself and be in the strongest possible position at the negotiating table when the time comes.
Russia alone could end this war today. Until it does so, we stand United with Ukraine,” Blinken’s statement reads.