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HomeInternationalUkraine flags vie with Christmas decor as Zelenskyy visits Washington

Ukraine flags vie with Christmas decor as Zelenskyy visits Washington


WASHINGTON: Days earlier than the year-end vacation, downtown Washington‘s streets have been dominated Wednesday not simply by Christmas decor however by the flag of Ukraine, marking the shock go to to the US capital by Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Pennsylvania Avenue, the grand boulevard which hyperlinks the White House and Congress, was blocked off for the one-day go to of Ukraine’s president, whereas banners of Ukrainian yellow and blue have been paired with the US flag’s pink, white and blue.
Outdoors of the White Home, Zelenskyy’s first cease of the day, tv cameras from around the globe have been there to file the go to of the wartime chief, his solely recognized journey outdoors his nation since Russia invaded precisely 300 days in the past.
Individuals referred to as him heroic and in contrast the go to to that of Britain’s premier Winston Churchill, who got here to Washington in 1941 and addressed the Congress on wartime cooperation between the 2 allies — as Zelenskyy did later Wednesday night.
Earlier than he addressed the particular joint session of Congress, Zelenskyy was greeted by President Joe Biden within the White Home Oval Workplace, the place they sat subsequent to a crackling fire.
Within the freezing climate outdoors, Ukraine supporters lined safety boundaries to indicate their help.
Yarema, a 17-year-old Ukrainian scholar in the US, was wrapped within the Ukrainian flag, hoping to see Zelenskyy in addition to go to the town.
“I needed to indicate my help to our president and my help to Ukraine,” he mentioned.
Requested what Zelenskyy ought to be requesting from Biden, Yarema replied: “Arms, arms and much more arms.”
Bakhtiar Mendybay, 35, who traveled practically an hour together with his youngsters from his house in Virginia to the White Home, mentioned he couldn’t miss the occasion.
He had one hand on a stroller and the opposite wielding an indication which confirmed Zelenskyy calling for extra weapons.
“I am right here immediately to greet the best man alive,” mentioned the native of Kazakhstan, which like Ukraine is a former a part of the Soviet Union and nonetheless beneath vital Russian affect.
“Ukrainians, they’re combating for everybody, together with my nation, my individuals. I imply, they rise up towards Russian imperialism,” mentioned Mendybay, who has lived in the US for 10 years.
Safety was tight, with tons of of police and Secret Service officers out in power for Zelenskyy’s go to.
“We’re very cognizant that Russia has belongings on this nation and would possibly attempt to do one thing,” a senior official of the US Capitol Police informed ABC tv.
“We all know what’s at stake,” the official mentioned.
On the different finish of Pennsylvania Avenue previous Washington’s Metropolis Corridor which was illuminated in blue and yellow, lawmakers and high Biden administration officers gathered to take heed to Zelenskyy’s deal with to Congress.
A number of members of the viewers wore blue fits or yellow accents in honor of the go to, whereas some male members pinned Ukrainian flags on their lapels.
Getting into the Home chamber, the place members are anticipated to cross one other large Ukraine help deal later this week, Zelenskyy was met with a thunderous standing ovation.
A handful of Republicans strongly aligned with former president Donald Trump, who’ve expressed considerations over the US help for Ukraine, notably refused to applaud.
Zelenskyy’s speech, delivered in English, stretched for greater than 20 minutes, together with extra standing ovations and occasional bursts of laughter, resembling when the Ukrainian president — a former comic — ventured a pun on Vladimir Putin’s title.
After exchanging a Ukrainian flag from the frontlines of the struggle with a US flag that had flown Wednesday over the US Capitol, Zelenskyy departed beneath one other spherical of applause.
A gaggle of Ukrainians within the guests space chanted “Slava Ukraini” (“Hail to Ukraine”), with a number of American lawmakers on the chamber ground becoming a member of in.





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