Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy delivers a video address to members of the U.S. Congress in Washington on March 16.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has called on the U.S. Congress and U.S. President Joe Biden to provide further military assistance to help protect the skies over Ukraine and urged further sanctions against Russia in an address to a meeting of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
"Russia has turned the Ukrainian sky into a source of death for thousands of people," Zelenskiy said on March 16 in the video address to U.S. lawmakers. "I need to protect our skies.” He recalled the black smoke that appeared over U.S. skies during the 9/11 attacks. "Remember September the 11th, a terrible day in 2001 when evil tried to turn your cities, independent territories, into battlefields," he said. "Our country is experiencing the same every day." Zelenskiy played a graphic video showing images of injured Ukrainians, rocket attacks on civilian buildings, and the destruction that the war in Ukraine has caused. He also recalled the attack on Pearl Harbor -- a “terrible morning of December 7, 1941, when your sky was black from the planes attacking you," he said, recalling the air raid that brought the United States into World War II” After speaking in Ukrainian during the first part of his speech, Zelenskiy switched to English when directly addressing Biden in his final appeal, saying that leading the world means being a "leader of peace." "You are the leader of the nation, of your great nation. I wish you to be the leader of the world. Being the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace," Zelenskiy said. He added that Ukraine needs help from the United States “right now.” "I call on you to do more.” In another historical reference, Zelenskiy cited civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech. "You all know the phrase 'I have a dream.' Now I am saying to you 'I have a need,'" Zelenskiy said. “I want you to have the same attitude and feeling to my 'I have a need' challenge when you hear the 'I Have a Dream' speech."