In all states, cities and communities. All who value freedom and justice. Appreciates the same as Ukrainians — in all our cities, in every family. May my words of respect and gratitude be heard by every American heart today!
Madam vice president, I thank you for your efforts in helping Ukraine!
Madam speaker, you bravely visited Ukraine during a full-scale war! Thank you!
It is a great honour and privilege to be here!
Dear members of Congress, from both parties who were also in Kyiv! Dear members of Congress and senators, from both parties, who will still visit Ukraine, I am sure in it, in the future! Dear representatives of our diaspora who are present here and are present throughout the country! Dear journalists! It is an honour to be in the Congress of the United States of America and to address you and all Americans.
Despite all obstacles and gloomy scenarios, Ukraine did not fall. Ukraine is alive and fighting.
And this gives me a good reason to share with you our first joint victory — we defeated Russia in the battle for the world's opinion. We have no fear. And no one in the world should have it.
The Ukrainians won, and this gives us the courage that the world admires. The Americans won, and therefore you managed to unite the global community in defence of freedom and international law. The Europeans have won — that's why Europe is now stronger and more independent than at any time in its history. Russian tyranny has lost its grip on us and will never again influence our thoughts. But we must do everything to ensure that the countries of the global south also achieve such a victory.
I know: the Russians can also have a chance for freedom only when they defeat the Kremlin in their thoughts. But the battle is still going on. And we must defeat the Kremlin on the battlefield. This is a battle not only for land, for one or another part of Europe. This is a battle not only for the life, freedom and safety of Ukrainians or any other people that Russia seeks to conquer. This is a battle for what kind of world our children and grandchildren and their children and grandchildren will live in. It will determine whether it will be a democracy — for Ukrainians and for Americans, for everyone.
This battle cannot be frozen or postponed. It cannot be ignored, hoping that the ocean or something else will protect itself. From the United States to China, from Europe to Latin America, from Africa to Australia, the world is too interconnected, too interdependent for any one person to remain aloof and safe while this battle rages on. Our two nations are allies in this battle. And next year is a crucial time in it. The time when Ukrainian courage and American determination must guarantee the future of our freedom with you. Freedoms of people who stand for their values.
Ladies and Gentlemen! Americans!
Yesterday, before going here to Washington, I was on the front line in our Bakhmut. In our fortress in the east of Ukraine, in the Donbas, which Russian military and mercenaries have been storming continuously since May. Attacks every day and every night. But Bakhmut stands. Even last year, 70.000 people lived there. Now there are only a few civilians left there. There is no place that is not covered with blood. There is not an hour when the terrible roar of artillery does not sound. There, one trench can change hands several times a day after bloody battles, sometimes hand-to-hand. But the Ukrainian Donbas stands. The Russian army is using everything it can against Bakhmut and our other beautiful cities. The advantage of the occupiers in artillery is very noticeable. They have many times more shells than we have. They use many times more missiles and aircraft than we have ever had. But our defence forces are standing. And we are all proud of them.
Russian tactics are primitive. They burn everything in front of them. They drove thugs to the front. They are sending convicts to war. They threw everything against us just as another tyranny once threw everything against the free world in the Battle of the Promontory. Just as brave American soldiers resisted and fought back against Hitler's forces against all odds during Christmas 1944, brave Ukrainian soldiers are doing the same to Putin's forces this Christmas. Ukraine stands and will never surrender!
This is the front line: a tyranny that knows no shortage of brutality against the lives of free people. We need your help not just to stand in such battles but to turn it around. To win on the battlefield. We have artillery. Yes. Thank you. Is it enough? Frankly, no. For Bakhmut to be not only a fortress that repels the attacks of the Russian army but for the Russian army to retreat completely, more guns and shells are needed. In this case, as in the battle of Saratoga, the struggle for Bakhmut will change the course of our war for independence and freedom.
If your Patriots stop Russian terror against our cities, it will enable Ukrainian patriots to work to protect our freedom fully. If Russia does not reach our cities with artillery, it tries to destroy them with missiles. Moreover, Russia found an accomplice in this genocidal policy. This is Iran. Iran's killer drones, which are heading to Russia by the hundreds, have become a threat to our critical infrastructure. So one terrorist finds another. And it's only a matter of time before they hit your other allies if we don't stop them now. We have to do it!
I believe that there should not be any taboos between us in the Alliance. Ukraine has never asked and is not asking for American soldiers to fight on our land instead of us. I assure you that Ukrainian soldiers are perfectly capable of piloting American tanks and planes by themselves. Financial aid is also critically important. And I would like to thank you both for the financial packages you have already given us and those you may decide on. Your money is not charity. It is an investment in global security and democracy that we treat most responsibly.
Russia can stop this aggression if it wants to. But you can hasten our victory, I know it. And it will prove to any potential aggressor that no one will be able to violate the borders of another nation, commit atrocities and reign over people against their will. It is naive to expect steps towards peace from Russia, which likes to be a terrorist state. Russians are still poisoned by the Kremlin.
Restoring the international legal order is our joint task. We need peace. Ukraine has already made relevant proposals, and I just discussed them with president Biden — our formula for peace. 10 points that can and must be implemented for the sake of our common security, guaranteed for decades to come. And the summit that can be held — I am happy to note today that president Biden has supported our initiative. Each of you, ladies and gentlemen, can contribute to its implementation. That America's leadership remains unchallenged, bicameral, and bipartisan.
You can increase sanctions in such a way as to make Russia feel how destructive its aggression is. It is in your power to help us bring to justice all those who unleashed this unprovoked and illegal war. Let's do it! Let the terrorist state be responsible for terror and aggression and compensate all the damages caused by the war.
Let the world see that the United States is here!