Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy Addresses US Congress, Pleads for More Help: "We Need You Right Now"

Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked for "no-fly zone" over his country.

In an emotional and graphic speech, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy implored Congress on Wednesday to dramatically amp up military aid to his broken country, saying, "We need you right now."

Zelenskyy spoke via video link from the heavily bombed capital of Kyiv and showed explicit images of death and destruction wrought by invading Russian troops, who laid siege to Ukraine three weeks ago. Some members of Congress reacted with shock.

Members of Congress reacting to graphic images from besieged Ukraine. - Getty

Zelenskyy evoked 9/11 and the World War II attack of Pearl Harbor to drive home the devastation in his war-torn country.

"Friends, Americans, in your great history, you have pages that would allow you to understand Ukrainians, understand us now, when we need you right now," he said.

    "Remember Pearl Harbor, terrible morning of Dec. 7, 1941, when your sky was black from the planes attacking you," Zelensky said. "Just remember it, remember, September the 11th, a terrible day in 2001 when evil tried to turn U.S. cities into battlefields, when innocent people were attacked from air.

    "Just like nobody else expected it, you could not stop it," he said. "Our country experienced the same every day, right now at this moment, every night, for three weeks now."

    In asking for the institution of a no-fly zone, which American President Joe Biden has said he doesn't support, Zelenskyy said Russia "has turned the Ukrainian sky into a source of death for thousands of people." 

    He also used the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. "'l have a dream,' these words are known to each of you today," he said. "I have a need, a need to protect our sky. I need your help."

    After initially speaking through a translator, Zelenskyy ended his address in English, appealing directly to Biden and the American people.

    "Being the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace. Peace in your country doesn't depend anymore only on you and your people. It depends on those next to you and those who are strong," he said.

    "Strong doesn't mean big, strong is brave and ready to fight for the life of his citizens and citizens of the world, for human rights, for freedom, for the right to live peacefully and to die when your time comes and not when it is wanted by someone else, by your neighbor," he said.

    Congress members gave the Ukraine leader a standing ovation at the conclusion of his speech.

    Meanwhile, the situation grew ever more dire Wednesday in the Eastern European nation.

    Ten people standing in line for bread were shot and killed by Russian forces in the decimated Chernihiv, according to the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.

    "Such horrific attacks must stop," the embassy said on Twitter. The U.S. is "considering all available options to ensure accountability for any atrocity crimes in Ukraine," the post said.

    Social media videos bodies on the ground where the attack occurred. 

    One poster was Oleksandr Merezhko, deputy head of Ukraine's parliament, and chair of its Foreign Affairs Committee. 

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