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‘Alive and kicking’: Battle-torn Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy provides historic handle to US Congress

WASHINGTON: Ukraine‘s president thanked “each American household” in an emotional however defiant handle to the US Congress Wednesday geared toward countering rising skepticism over US navy support as Kyiv’s struggle with Russia drags into the brand new yr.
It was Volodymyr Zelenskyy‘s first abroad journey since Moscow launched the full-scale invasion on February 24, a ruthless offensive that has upended the worldwide economic system and led to widespread destruction and loss of life.
“On this particular Christmastime, I wish to thanks, all of you. I thank each American household which cherishes the heat of its house and desires the identical heat to different individuals,” he informed lawmakers who had given him a prolonged standing ovation as he walked into the House chamber.
The battle has begun to recede from the headlines in the US, with no finish to the combating in sight and Republicans who take over the Home of Representatives in January exhibiting indicators of weakening resolve.
In what was billed by US media as an important speech of Zelenskyy’s profession, he informed a joint assembly of the Home and Senate his nation would by no means give up, including: “Ukraine is alive and kicking.”
However he urged lawmakers — lots of whom had been dressed within the blue and yellow of the Ukraine flag — to do extra for his nation by way of the brutal winter months, pleading for extra weapons and monetary support.
“Now we have artillery. Thanks. Is it sufficient? Actually — probably not,” he stated in a frank second that pierced what had been an upbeat ambiance, together with his phrases accompanied by a number of outbursts of spontaneous applause.
Discussing his go to Tuesday to the struggle’s southeastern entrance line, Zelenskyy introduced lawmakers with a Ukrainian battle flag signed by troopers from the besieged metropolis of Bakhmut.
The Washington go to, which got here some 300 days after Russian hitmen parachuted into Kyiv in a failed try to assassinate Zelenskyy, underlined Ukraine’s near-total reliance on Washington for its protection.
It coincided with President Joe Biden asserting a primary Patriot missile protection system for Ukraine, which has been devastated by air strikes resulting in widespread energy outages as winter bites.
Zelenskyy thanked politicians from each events however his look was additionally calculated to counter fatigue for the struggle, notably amongst isolationist Republicans who’ve voiced doubts over the continued move of tax {dollars} to Kyiv.
Congress is poised to cross $45 billion in further navy and financial support to Ukraine this week as a part of its $1.7 trillion annual funding invoice, bringing complete US help to over $100 billion.
However Home Minority Chief Kevin McCarthy lately warned that Republicans — a lot of whom snubbed the speech — might reject vital continued funding for Ukraine once they take over the decrease chamber in January.
Simply six p.c of Republican-leaning voters believed Washington was doing an excessive amount of for Ukraine in a Wall Avenue Journal ballot in March, however that had risen to 48 p.c by November.
Zelenskyy isn’t the primary chief of a rustic at struggle to deal with US lawmakers in particular person: British prime minister Winston Churchill appeared earlier than Congress within the thick of World Battle II, and leaders from Iraq and Afghanistan have given speeches extra lately.
The Ukrainian chief acknowledged the burden of historical past weighing on the US, borrowing from thirty second president Franklin D Roosevelt as he informed the Congress: “The American individuals of their righteous would possibly will win by way of to absolute victory.”
Earlier, Biden hosted Zelenskyy on the White Home, telling his counterpart that Ukrainians “encourage the world.”

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