Speech of the First Lady of Ukraine Before the US Congress

by Olha Povaliaieva
Thursday, July 21, 2022
Speech of the First Lady of Ukraine Before the US Congress

On July 20, Olena Zelenska addressed Congress not with a traditional humanitarian message, but a request to provide more weapons

During her visit to the United States, the first lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska met with the spouses of the Bidens, Anthony Blinken and Nancy Pelosi. Zelenska also had the opportunity to speak before the US Congress. Perhaps this was the first speech of the first lady, in which she did not talk about education and culture but asked for help in protecting Ukrainian families from war.

Photos of murdered families and children whose lives were taken by the war against Ukrainians appeared on the screen in front of the congress. Zelenska spoke about the family of a soldier who was shot while trying to evacuate, about a 4-year-old girl who died from a Russian missile attack in Vinnytsia, and about a thousand Ukrainians burned alive during a Russian missile attack in Kremenchuk. She told about the boy Andrii, who is alive, but because of the war, he no longer has legs and Anna, who no longer has an arm and suffers from phantom pain.

"Unfortunately, the war is not over yet. The terror continues. I appeal to you on behalf of all the dead. On behalf of those who lost arms and legs. On behalf of the people who are still alive and well. On behalf of those who are fighting and who are waiting for their relatives from the front line. I am asking now for something I would never want to ask: I am asking you for a weapon. Weapons are not used to wage war on foreign land. And in order to protect your home and the right to wake up alive in it. I am asking you for anti-aircraft defence so that rockets do not kill children in their strollers, so that they do not destroy children's rooms and entire families," Olena Zelenska.

The wife of the president of Ukraine very aptly called the terror of the Russians against Ukrainians — the "hunger games" — a hunt for Ukrainians.

"I know that you, ladies and gentlemen, will leave for the traditional congressional recess in a week, and you will all be able to return to your offices in the fall. Almost all of you already have your schedule for September. This is normal. And we are now deprived of such normality in Ukraine," first lady Zelenska.

Olena Zelenska said that, like all Ukrainian mothers, she does not know whether her children will be able to return to school and universities in the fall. The Russians deliberately fire rockets at educational institutions, medical institutions, and street centres. It is crucial for Ukraine to get air defence systems, otherwise, Ukrainians will continue to die during Russian terrorist attacks.

"What should Ukrainian teachers and lecturers prepare for? To work in a bomb shelter or an auditorium? We would have answers if we had air defences. The answer is right here in Washington. Help us stop the terror against Ukrainians. And this will be our common great victory in the name of life, freedom and desire for the life of every person and every family," concluded Zelenska.

We remind you that on July 19, Olena Zelenska received the Human Rights Award for the entire Ukrainian people at the Memorial to the victims of communism in Washington.

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