Zelensky speech today LIVE – Ukrainian president asks Congress to ‘close the sky’ after Putin and Russia’s invasion

UKRAINIAN President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed Congress and called for further help fighting back against Russia in a dramatic speech that included a graphic video and reminders of September 11 and Pearl Harbor.

Zelensky’s address featured the display of a graphic video that included tragic footage from the conflict in Ukraine, including disturbing photographs of civilian casualties of the war, destroyed buildings, and terrifying images of military attacks there.

It also included an invocation of Pearl Harbor and 9/11, with Zelensky saying, “remember Pearl Harbor…when your sky was black from the planes attacking you” and “remember September the 11th, a terrible day in 2001 when evil tried to turn US cities into battlefields…and you could not stop it.”

Zelensky’s live-streamed address Wednesday into the Capitol was part of a very public strategy in his fight to stop Russia, and during the speech, he called on the US to “close the sky” to prevent the Russian airstrikes that are devastating Ukraine.

President Joe Biden and other Western leaders have so far refused to take that action to avoid a direct confrontation with Putin’s Russia.

Biden delivered his own address following Zelensky’s speech, in which he announced an additional $800 million in security assistance to Ukraine.

Read our Zelensky speech live blog for the latest news and updates…

  • What is Biden’s goal?

    During his speech, Biden explained that by helping Ukraine, the US hopes to:

    “Make Putin pay the price, weaken his position while strengthening the hand of the Ukrainians on the battlefield and the negotiating table.”

  • What is Biden sending to Ukraine?

    President Biden announced Wednesday afternoon that to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian attacks, the US is sending anti-aircraft, anti-armor weapons, and drones.

    The additional $800million brings the total aid in the last week to $1billion.

    Since Biden has taken office last year, the US has sent $2billion in aid to Ukraine.

  • Watch Biden’s speech

    In case you missed it, the President shared footage of his speech this afternoon.

    President Biden announced an additional $800million in aid to Ukraine and signed the legislation.

  • No questions

    Biden did not take any questions from the press following his remarks this afternoon.

  • Biden signs legislation

    “America stands with the forces of freedom, we always have and always will,” said Biden.

    The President then walked over to a desk and signed new legislation, granting an additional $800million in financial assistance to Ukraine.

  • ‘More will be coming’

    “Now, I want to be honest with you, this could be a long and difficult battle,” said Biden.

    The President called Putin’s attacks “immoral” and “unethical,” and he assured that the US will continue to support Ukraine.

  • An additional $800million in assistance

    Biden announced that the US has given $1billion in assistance to Ukraine in total, as of this week.

    The President shared that the US is giving an additional $800million in security assistance to Ukraine.

  • ‘It’s about freedom’

    “It’s about making sure the Ukraine will never be a victory for Putin,” said Biden.

    The President said the US started aiding the Ukraine before the war began.

  • Biden responds to Zelensky

    ‘He speaks for people who have shown remarkable strength,” said Biden of Zelensky.

    Biden said America is leading the effort to hold Putin accountable for his actions against the Ukraine.

  • Biden and Zelensky’s regular conversations

    President Biden recently said he and President Zelensky speak “almost daily,” according to The Hill.

  • Speech delayed

    President Biden was expected to speak around 11.45am ET today.

    His speech has been delayed to at least 12.30pm.

  • More assistance

    President Biden is expected to speak about further assistance the United States will offer to Ukraine during the attempted Russian invasion of the country.

    He is expected to announce an additional $800 million in security assistance to Ukraine, according to a White House official.

  • Biden to speak soon

    President Biden is expected to give his own speech soon.

    He is expected to announce an additional $800 million in security assistance to Ukraine, according to a White House official.

  • Sen Durbin calls Zelensky speech ‘powerful’

    Senator Dick Durbin responded to President Volodymyr Zelensky’s speech on Twitter, writing, “President Zelensky’s speech to Congress today was powerful.”

    “Putin has unleashed a savage war of death and destruction on a peaceful, sovereign nation. The US must continue to provide Ukraine with the military and humanitarian supplies it needs to fight back and save lives.”

  • ‘Source of death’

    Zelensky had powerful words for the US Congress during his speech about what the skies of Ukraine are like right now.

    “Russia has turned the Ukrainian sky into a source of death for thousands of people,” Zelensky said during his address.

    “We are asking for a reply to this terror from the whole world.”

  • Zelensky invokes 9/11

    “Remember Pearl Harbor, terrible morning of December 7, 1941, when your sky was black from the planes attacking you,” Zelensky said during his speech on Tuesday.

    “Just remember it, remember, September the 11th, a terrible day in 2001 when evil tried to turn US cities into battlefields, when innocent people were attacked from air, just like nobody else expected it and you could not stop it.”

    “Our country experiences the same, every day, right now at this moment,” he said.

  • Message for President Biden

    At the end of his speech, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky offered a message for President Joe Biden specifically.

    “You are the leader of your grand nation,” he said.

    “I wish you to be the leader of the world. Being the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace.”

  • Sen Romney reacts

    “Stepping out of @ZelenskyyUa’s address to Congress, I’m again moved by his monumental leadership and heroic courage,” Senator Mitt Romney shared on Twitter after the speech.

    “Being a world leader does indeed mean we have a responsibility to be a leader of freedom and peace. We must fulfill his request immediately. Get Ukraine the MiGs.”

  • ‘Unwavering commitment’

    Nancy Pelosi reacted to Zelensky’s speech over on Twitter, noting the United State’s “commitment” to the Ukrainian people.

    “This morning, Members of the House and Senate had the distinct privilege of receiving a virtual address by President @ZelenskyyUa,” she tweeted.

    “Congress and the country remain unwavering in our commitment to the people of Ukraine as they courageously defend democracy.”

  • ‘Something we can unite around’

    On Twitter, Rep Andy Kim from New Jersey reacted to Zelensky’s address to Congress.

    “I hope all Americans can agree with @ZelenskyyUa that ‘To be the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace,'” he wrote.

    “That is something we can unite around. There is more we can do to help the Ukrainian people in their time of greatest need.”

  • How long was the speech?

    Zelensky didn’t speak for long, but his address led to strong reactions on social media and from many US politicians.

    He began speaking right around 9am ET and was done before 9.15.

  • ‘Flooded with our blood’

    Zelensky asked that Russians “don’t receive a single penny” from any American company during his speech.

    He told Congress. “All American ports should be closed to Russian goods.”

    “Leave the [Russian] market because it is flooded with our blood,” he said.

  • ‘I need to protect our sky’

    During his speech, Zelensky asked for a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

    “Is this a lot to ask for to create a no-fly zone over Ukraine?” Zelensky asked Congress.

    “If this is too much to ask, you know what type of defense systems we need.”

    “I have a need. I need to protect our sky,” he said.

  • Sen Blumenthal: ‘Action, not just more words’

    “Respond to Zelenskyy’s plea today with action, not just more words,” Senator Richard Blumenthal on Twitter.

    “More anti tank & anti aircraft missiles, anti air batteries, drones, planes, & more to fight Russia’s bombing reign of terror.”

    “Every day matters, as Ukraine bravely struggles for survival. Act now.”

  • Defending values

    “Today the Ukrainian people are defending not only Ukraine, we are fighting to defend the values of Europe and the world,” Zelensky told Congress during his speech.

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