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WASHINGTON — In a wartime handle to a joint session of the U.S. Congress, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has urged lawmakers and all Individuals to proceed supporting his nation with army and monetary assist because it fights for its existence in opposition to a revanchist Russia, warning that something in need of victory would threaten the free world, together with the US.

Dwell Briefing: Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine

RFE/RL’s Dwell Briefing provides you the entire newest developments on Russia’s ongoing invasion, Kyiv’s counteroffensive, Western army assist, world response, and the plight of civilians. For all of RFE/RL’s protection of the warfare, click on right here.

Throughout his 22-minute speech from the rostrum of the Home of Representatives on December 21, Zelenskiy harassed that Ukraine can win the warfare in opposition to a better-armed Russian Military, however mentioned U.S. army and monetary assist was “essential” to attaining remaining victory.

As he requested for extra assist, Zelenskiy sought to hammer dwelling to the American folks {that a} warfare being fought hundreds of miles away in cities they by no means heard of involved them straight. He harassed that world freedom and democracy in addition to U.S. safety have been at stake in Ukraine and in contrast warfare with Russia to the U.S. Warfare of Independence.

Ukraine’s protection “shouldn’t be just for life, freedom, and the safety of Ukrainians. It’s going to outline whether or not [there] shall be democracy for Ukrainians and for Individuals,” Zelenskiy, wearing his signature, military-style olive-green sweater and trousers, mentioned in English.

The warfare “can’t be frozen or postponed, it can’t be ignored, hoping that the ocean or one thing else will present safety.”

Zelenskiy returned to Ukraine on December 22, his spokesman instructed AFP. Serhiy Nykyforov additionally confirmed that Zelenskiy had made a quick cease in Poland to satisfy with President Andrzej Duda.

Zelenskiy thanked Duda for the sturdy help of Ukrainians proven by the folks of Poland. The workplace of the president mentioned the 2 leaders mentioned strategic plans for the long run, bilateral relations, and cooperation on the worldwide degree within the coming yr.

Zelenskiy’s journey to the US got here as Congress ready to vote on a sweeping spending invoice that features a provision to allocate an estimated $45 billion in further army assist to Ukraine.

The Senate on December 22 handed the large $1.7 trillion spending invoice, which incorporates about $772.5 billion for home applications and $858 billion for protection. The invoice handed by a vote of 68-29 and now goes to the Home of Representatives for a remaining vote earlier than it may be despatched to Biden to be signed into legislation.

Whereas the invoice is predicted to cross, U.S. help for Ukraine has waned because the 10-month warfare drags on and as Individuals really feel the pinch from excessive inflation.

Many members of the Republican Get together, which can take management of the Home in January, have criticized large assist to Ukraine at a time when the U.S. economic system is struggling and in addition questioned how the help is getting used. In the meantime, some members of the Democratic Get together have expressed concern that rising army assist to Ukraine will provoke Russia.

Zelenskiy sought to deal with these considerations head-on, saying U.S. assist was not “charity” however somewhat “an funding in world safety and democracy that we deal with in probably the most accountable means.”

Zelenskiy instructed Congress that he had offered Biden with a 10-point peace plan however didn’t disclose its contents. The announcement of such a peace plan might soothe these members of Congress who had been calling for extra diplomacy and fewer assist.

He additionally mentioned that Iran — which the US has labeled a terrorist state — had basically allied with Russia in its warfare in opposition to his nation, promoting a whole lot of lethal kamikaze drones to Moscow.

“That’s how one terrorist has discovered the opposite,” he mentioned, a reference to Ukraine’s designation of Russia as a terrorist state as properly.

“It’s only a matter of time when they are going to strike in opposition to your different allies if we don’t cease them now,” he mentioned.

The Kremlin warned that the introduction of superior U.S. weapons into the battlefield will damage not improve, the possibilities of bringing the battle to an finish.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov instructed journalists in Moscow on December 22 that the weapons “can not forestall the Russian Federation from attaining its objectives throughout the particular army operation,” the time period Russia has pressured native media to make use of when describing the battle.

Zelenskiy’s go to to Washington got here a day after his journey to Bakhmut, a metropolis in jap Ukraine on the coronary heart of the warfare.

Russia has been making an attempt to seize Bakhmut for months, shelling town nonstop and throwing wave after wave of troopers into the struggle.

The seize of Bakhmut would permit Russia to disrupt Ukraine’s provide strains but in addition open the door for a future offensive on two greater Ukrainian cities with extra business and rail entry.

In his handle, Zelenskiy in contrast the heroism of Ukrainian troopers defending Bakhmut to that proven by U.S. troops combating Adolf Hitler’s army within the Battle of the Bulge in 1944, additionally throughout the Christmas season.

“Bakhmut stands,” Zelenskiy mentioned to cheers. “Ukraine holds its strains and can by no means give up.”

He additionally in contrast the combating in Bakhmut to the Battle of Saratoga throughout the U.S. Warfare of Independence. The Individuals gained that battle in opposition to the English, turning the tide of the warfare.

Zelenskiy mentioned “extra cannons and shells are wanted” to drive the Russians from Bakhmut and open a path to Ukraine’s remaining victory.

“Your help is essential, not simply to face in such a struggle, however to get to the turning level to win on the battlefield.

WATCH: Ukraine is getting ready for the potential for a brand new, large-scale offensive by Russian forces early within the new yr. Russia continues to amass troops in neighboring Belarus, a rustic that Moscow has used as a launching floor to assault Ukraine.

Zelenskiy didn’t straight ask Congress throughout his handle for Abrams tanks, F-16 fighter jets, or the long-range, guided missiles referred to as ATACMS. Ukraine’s army has been looking for these weapons for months however the Biden administration has refused as of but to provide the inexperienced gentle.

Zelenskiy although not directly hinted on the want for fighter jets throughout his handle, saying Ukraine doesn’t want U.S. troops on the bottom as a result of his troopers can “completely function American tanks and planes themselves.”

Zelenskiy concluded his speech by thanking each events of Congress and the American folks for his or her help of Ukraine.

Elise Giuliano, a professor of political science at Columbia College’s Harriman Institute for Russian, Eurasian, and East European Research, instructed RFE/RL that Zelenskiy was efficient in speaking to Individuals.

“He’s interesting to our curiosity in defending democracy but in addition in our personal safety,” she mentioned. He’s “additionally searching for these factors of commonality” between the 2 international locations.

Giuliano mentioned that it was sensible of Zelenskiy to spotlight Iran’s help for Russia as a result of many Individuals readily establish Tehran as a “dangerous” and “aggressive” actor that the US must “stand as much as.” .

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris (left) and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hold an inscribed Ukrainian flag brought by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy from the frontline city of Bakhmut at a joint session of the U.S. Congress on December 21.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris (left) and U.S. Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi maintain an inscribed Ukrainian flag introduced by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy from the frontline metropolis of Bakhmut at a joint session of the U.S. Congress on December 21.

Zelenskiy had arrived within the U.S. capital earlier within the day on his first journey overseas for the reason that begin of Russia’s invasion 10 months in the past.

He held a gathering with U.S. President Joe Biden on the White Home to debate assist and the course of the warfare earlier than holding talks with Congressional leaders from each events.

Biden introduced a brand new $1.85 billion safety help package deal for Ukraine that features a Patriot air protection battery.

Ukrainian leaders have pleaded for the Patriots to be supplied, and Zelenskiy mentioned throughout a information convention with Biden that he would possible ask for extra. Ukraine wants them to stop the destruction of the nation’s civilian infrastructure, together with lack of electrical energy and warmth within the chilly winter months

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